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Parliament outlaws camouflage clothing

CMC

Monday, July 19, 2010 | 9:09 AM    

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CASTRIES, St Lucia — Parliament has passed legislation banning members of the public from wearing camouflage outfits similar to those worn by the police.

Prime Minister Stephenson King, who introduced the measure, told the House that for some time now the police force had been requesting a review of the legislation dealing with the wearing of camouflage by civilians.

“The private sector has been importing those outfits and they are worn at carnival time or other occasions and has become part of the ordinary man’s dress code. As a result, there are occasions when you cannot distinguish who is policeman and who is civilian,” King said.

“It is felt that the time has come for some restrictions, a total ban on the use of camouflage uniforms.”

King said that under previous legislation in the Criminal Code, a person commits an offence if he or she wears in public, without authority, clothing that is used for making or resembling the camouflage uniform.

However, in order for a person to commit such an offence it must be proven that the uniform was worn to deceive the public.

“It’s going to be difficult to prove that someone wears a uniform to deceive,” the Prime Minister said of the provisions of the Criminal Code.

He said in the past, persons had been arrested wearing the camouflage uniform but were not charged as it could not be proven that they were wearing the uniform to deceive.

“Therefore the recommendation is the Public Order Act is amended to outlaw the wearing of the uniforms completely”, he added.

There was no objection to the measure from the opposition benches.

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