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Biometrics contracts for police and immigration in Trinidad and Tobago’s new security budget

Biometrics contracts for police and immigration in Trinidad and Tobago’s new security budget

Trinidad and Tobago confirmed national security agencies will receive $5.798 billion ($853M USD) for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, a slight increase from $5.664 ($833.3M) billion last year.

The announcement comes from Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, who unveiled the figures at his 2023 budget presentation in Parliament on Monday, according to Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

The minister said the funds would be used primarily to upgrade facilities and introduce information, technology and communications (ICT) resources, including biometric tools, to different arms of the protective services.

These will reportedly comprise digital resources for military bases across Trinidad and Tobago alongside improved fingerprint biometrics systems for the Immigration Division to detect undocumented migrants and for the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to enhance officers’ capacities in the field.

“Identifications will be quickly processed and be made available in real-time to officers while mobile,” Imbert said during the parliamentary session. “Certificates of character will also be speedily and accurately processed.”

The minister has not yet disclosed who will provide these biometric systems or how much the country will spend on them, but the government will likely push out contracts for their delivery in the near future.

Further, Imbert said the country’s “body and vehicle camera project” is currently ongoing and that police forces will optimize the budget as much as possible.

“In 2023, the TTPS intends to maximize the use of existing resources. The construction of a facility at the Ste Madeleine police station site will house elements of the homicide division and the Fraud Squad.”

Immigration and police forces are also in the process of deploying biometric systems around the world, including New Zealand, India, and the UK.

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