TCI News

Member of the House of Assembly speaks out against TCI Police fingerprint policy

#Providenciales, March 26, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Plain-speaking Royal Robinson, immediate former National Chairman of the Progressive National Party and appointed Opposition Member to the House of Assembly re-iterated that the Police Commissioner has no legal premise for requiring fingerprints of regular residents.

“I reminded Members that there was no legislation in place to permit the Commissioner of Police to insist on requiring law abiding citizens to be subjected to such an intrusion into their personal lives without cause or the backing of Legislation.”

Addressing the issue in the House of Assembly today, Robinson shared that he has been consultative about what appears to be a serious breach of the right to privacy.

“I did call on the Premier to put her feet down with respect to persons usurping the legitimate authority of the House of Assembly or the Cabinet. In her response, she confirmed that there was neither any policy or Legislation for such actions to take place and that she gave me leave to place my foot in the appropriate place with respect to this issue.”

The Police Commissioner has reported several times that he does have the legal authority in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance, but that law only says the fingerprinting is required of ex-offenders.

“It is totally disingenuous on the part of the Commissioner to use the Rehabilitation of Offenders Legislation as a pretext to initiate such an unlawful act of intrusion into the lives of the ordinary citizens of this country.”

Magnetic Media had fielded questions to attorneys, published UK standards on fingerprinting and reported comments from members of the public about the new fingerprint policy which tool effect on March 11, 2019. 

Hon Robinson added this morning in the House, “Of course there will a point in time when DNA will be a requirement for a number of reasons.  However, in order for that to happen, the Legislation in support of that must be approved by the House of Assembly through Legislation that has been promulgated throughout this country.  Until that time has come, it behooves the Commissioner or any other persons of like mind to refrain, or as some say, cease and desist from trying to unnecessarily impose their personal views and norms on the people of this country.” 

The processing fee for police records is also due to increase; a cost of $40 advised a Police notice as of April 1, 2019.




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