Daily Archives: July 8, 2006

Caricom – Barbados Citizens’ Personal Information To Be Given To Foreign Police – Sharing Process Has No Rules, No Oversight

royal-barbados-police.jpg

Caricom Establishes Regional Police “Team”

Caricom has established a Regional Police “Team” that will see members of various member police organizations working together to provide security for the 2007 Cricket World Cup and beyond. According to an article in the St. Kitts/Nevis Sun, this will be a permanent fixture that will carry on after CWC.

This had to come and it is probably a good thing to put a formal structure to cooperative activities that already happen every day between law enforcement officials in different Caribbean countries.

Caution: Not All Caricom Countries Are Stable

But once again, Barbados Free Press sounds a note of caution regarding information sharing between Caricom member organizations. Not all Caricom member states are politically stable. Not all Caricom member states share the same cultural mores or laws.

This policing agreement will see information about Barbados citizens being passed on to police in other countries – with no rules about further sharing of the information, and zero concern about protection of privacy.

Barbados Free Press

Think about that.

As companies and powerful individuals in various Caricom countries continue to compete against each other economically, some countries may be tempted to use their law enforcement organizations to gather information about Barbados citizens and businesses – for no reason except to secure competitive advantages.

Barbados Citizens’ Personal Information To Be Given To Foreign Police – Sharing Process Has No Rules, No Oversight

To our knowledge, Barbados has no effective Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy laws that would require police to keep records of citizen information transferred to foreign policing organizations. The Royal Barbados Police Force also lacks any standards for determining what type of information can be transferred and under what circumstances. Barbados Police have no procedures designed to protect the privacy of citizens’ personal information. No judge will examine a formal request. A foreign police officer is simply able to phone Barbados police to ask for information.

Under this new Caricom Regional Police Team, the decision to transfer the private information of Barbados citizens to foreign police forces will be made by whichever Barbados Police Constable answers the phone. The personal information of Barbados citizens will be transferred to foreign police organizations under a process that has no oversight, no rules or standards – and does not require the request to be in writing or that the police keep records of information transferred.

Is this what Barbados citizens want from Caricom?

photo of RBPF trailer at The Gap… taken by a slightly tipsy Cliverton in the wee hours last week. 

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Island Life