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  • The Senate on Friday (Oct. 28.) approved the Finger Prints (Taking, Use, Maintenance and Destruction) Rules Resolution, 2005.
  • Outlining the Rules that govern the Resolution, Leader of Government Business and Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman pointed out that the various elements of the Rules sought to protect the rights of persons whose fingerprints were being taken.
  • Rule Three of the Resolution, he said, stated that the Finger Print Bureau was subject to the general supervision of the Commissioner of Police.

The Senate on Friday (Oct. 28.) approved the Finger Prints (Taking, Use, Maintenance and Destruction) Rules Resolution, 2005.

Outlining the Rules that govern the Resolution, Leader of Government Business and Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman pointed out that the various elements of the Rules sought to protect the rights of persons whose fingerprints were being taken.

Rule Three of the Resolution, he said, stated that the Finger Print Bureau was subject to the general supervision of the Commissioner of Police.

The responsible Minister, pursuant to Section Five of the Finger Prints Act, Senator Whiteman further explained, established the Finger Prints Bureau.

Turning to Rule Eight, which applies when there is no consent on the part of the person whose finger print is being taken, he said the legislation indicated that “reasonable force may be used to ensure that compliance if that consent and cooperation is not given.”

He added that in such an instance, “evidence of the refusal may be given any subsequent trial of that person.”

Rule Eight also makes provisions for the destruction of the fingerprints and photographs should a trial not take place or is discontinued, or if the person is acquitted.

Discussing Rule 10, which takes minors into account, Senator Whiteman explained that it provided that “where finger prints and photographs are to be taken without consent and without a court order, the authorised officer shall prepare written statements, setting the reasons for this course of action, and a copy must be given to the adult or the representative of the child.”

The Finger Prints Act seeks to, without court order, provide legal authority for the fingerprinting and photographing of persons taken into custody in connection with specific offences.

It also makes provision for the institution of new schedules of offences and increases the penalty for breaches of the Act and the rules relating to the work of the Finger Print Bureau.