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Feb 16, 2018

The Problem with Police Profiling

The Police Department has been explaining its recent move for police officers to take photographs of persons stopped and searched as part of its activities on the ground in various areas. The question has been raised as to whether this is profiling or singling out certain individuals based on their particular descriptions and activities. Legal advisor Bart Jones told media houses that police are simply keeping a record of persons they have searched, which in some cases clears them of involvement in crime, or contradicts possible charges of police brutality. However, where it concerns the taking of photographs, measurements and other personal information, officers are governed by a specific section of the Police Act. That section speaks to circumstances where persons have been convicted. Without a conviction, photographs and other information must be returned or relinquished to persons initially held in custody. While Jones admits that the system is not perfect, is it lawful? The matter has come to the attention of Cabinet and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber said today that it merits further discussion in Belmopan.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“I will refrain from giving you my view on it merely because there was discussion on it in Cabinet recently and then there was some difficulty in terms of communicating what Cabinet had requested to the Police. So, I believe we will have to go back to the Cabinet table to have a final discussion on it, which I am hoping can happen on Tuesday. Then we will make formally known that the Cabinet’s position is.”

 

Reporter

“At least are you able to confirm that the Cabinet is aware of the citizens’ concern that this particular style of policing may be invasive?”

 

Patrick Faber

“Absolutely. The Cabinet is aware and we have had a discussion on it. Like I said, there was some miscommunication in terms of transpiring what was said to the Police and so we need to make absolutely clear what the position is and I hope we can do that on Tuesday and make known to the wider public and the police what our position is.”

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