Says police guided by Criminal Code when deciding whether to release or hold an accused person in custody
RNC Chief Robert Johnston speaks to reporters today in St. John’s. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
Chief Robert Johnston of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary told reporters today that officers are guided by the Criminal Code of Canada when deciding if a person arrested should be detained or released from custody following an arrest.
“When we look at each case on its own merit, each case is different,” said Johnston. “When we look at whether or not we’re going to detain somebody, we look at whether or not that person has a criminal offence or background, whether or not they’re under any type of (court-ordered) conditions, or is there any other extenuating circumstances why that person should be detained or should be released.”
His comments follow last week’s arrest of a 65-year-old man charged with impaired driving causing death. His pickup truck collided with a motorcycle on Kenmount Road on Friday. The 27-year-old male driver of the motorcycle died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.
The accused was released from custody to appear in court at a later date.
That fact has left some people upset. Comments posted in response to a story published on The Telegram’s website last week suggest the RNC should have kept the accused in police custody until his first court appearance given the matter involved a death.
Johnston, who said he did not want to comment specifically on the ongoing investigation into last Friday’s fatal accident, did offer his personal condolences to the family of the victim while speaking with reporters.
The RNC chief said his force remains committed to using every available resource to prevent impaired driving.