May 23, 2014 -
The official opposition party in the Turks & Caicos Islands has proposed new biometric surveillance legislation.
The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) party introduced a motion in the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly earlier this week that, if approved, would allow the use of biometrics by law enforcement authorities as a crime fighting tool. The opposition presented the motion to address the escalating crime rate in the country.
In a report in the Turks & Caicos Weekly News, PDM Home Affairs critic Goldray Ewing stated that the opposition had asked the government about “fingerprinting laws and surveillance laws and they said that they had no appetite for that at the time. But after the police commissioner came out with crime statistics for last year, the party decided that we wouldn’t leave it up to the government or to the police to determine what type of tools they need to fight crime.”
As a result, the PDM wants to introduce a law that will allow the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police to determine whether or not they wish to utilize biometrics in the course of their investigations. The opposition also wants a law that will determine the legality of using the technology in the financial sector.
The national police force already utilizes forensic technologies such as DNA and fingerprint identification during the course of criminal investigations.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the West Indies.