For immediate Release:

Monday, February 24, 2014

NAPE Calls On Government to Release Findings of a Report on Sheriffs’ Office and Take Action to Address Concerns Regarding Continuing Assaults

ST. JOHN’S, NL – NAPE President Carol Furlong is calling on the Minister of Justice to release the findings of an independent review on the Sheriffs’ Office and take immediate action to implement any recommendations that would address safety of court staff, in light of continuing attacks on Deputy Sheriffs.

Following an outcry over government layoffs last spring, Minister of Justice Darin King ordered two independent reviews of the Sheriffs’ Office and the Legal Aid system. “Minister King has stated that the reviews would be released as part of the 2014 budget process, but the necessary changes cannot wait that long,” said Furlong. 

“In light of continuing assaults on Deputy Sheriffs we want government to release the findings of the report,” Furlong stated. “We believe that the Sheriff’s report is recommending improvements to security for court staff, the public, and those appearing before the court.”

According to Furlong, one Sheriff has been off work following a recent attack which resulted in neck injuries and whiplash. In another incident last week, a Sheriff was twice bitten in the arm while another was kicked in the groin.

“There is a demonstrated need for greater security in our courts,” said Furlong. “Unfortunately, Sheriffs are being assaulted while we wait for government to take action to increase staffing levels. Government cannot continue to sit on this report and not take steps to address our concerns about safety of Sheriffs and other court staff.”

Furlong is calling on government to take immediate action to address NAPE’s concerns.

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For further information please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501

(cell) 709.631.9737