Beautiful Virgin Islands


Governor defends controversial Police Act despite strong public concerns

Governor defends controversial Police Act despite strong public concerns

Governor of the Virgin Islands John J. Rankin, CMG has defended the amendments to the Police Act 2023 as proposed, despite widespread public criticisms the Bill in its current form will take away from the rights of the people as well as empower the police to abuse citizens.

Speaking at a Wednesday, February 14, 2023, press conference, the Governor said despite the concerns he is committed to protecting the Human Rights of individuals within this territory.

Police act not a rushed piece of legislation - Governor

“BVI is a territory which benefits from the European Convention of Human Rights applying to it and indeed my own background as a human rights lawyer, and I would always wish to do nothing, which is a contravention of international human rights standards.

“Secondly, let me say that the Police Act and its updating has actually been in progress for many years, and therefore, it is not a rushed piece of legislation and what's also important is that while protecting human rights, we also give the police the modern techniques which are required to tackle modern crime, and one of those techniques, for example, is taking DNA samples,” he said.

In Section 27-35 which deals with fingerprints, foot impressions and DNA, concerns were raised that the Bill essentially allows the police to take fingerprints of a person without consent in almost every imaginable circumstance, without a warrant for the same.

The Governor defended that DNA and fingerprinting can be carried out and if that is used... for example to catch a rapist, “I make no apology for that,” he said despite the potential for abuse.

Meanwhile, Section 36 of the same Bill will allow for the police to search persons in their dwellings without a warrant, if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person does not live there or does not have permission to be there.

Section 38 will allow a police officer to search the home of someone who is arrested on an arrestable offense without a warrant, even without that person being present. This provision should frighten the public on the face of it, according to one local activist.

Governor of the Virgin Islands John J. Rankin, CMG has defended the amendments to the Police Act 2023 as proposed, despite widespread public criticisms the Bill in its current form will take away from the rights of the people as well as empower the police to abuse citizens.

No warrants sometimes necessary - Governor Rankin

Governor Rankin added, “With regards to going to a house without a warrant, sometimes in an emergency situation that will self-evidently be required. If the police have reason to believe that a serious crime is going to be committed, if someone is going to be subject of a violent assault or a murder, then the police need to act to protect the individual,” he said.

The Police Act, 2023 had its first reading on Thursday, February 2, 2023, in the HoA, sparking an immediate public backlash.

Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) said Members of the House of Assembly have engaged the BVI Bar Association, individual lawyers, concerned citizens, and a number of other stakeholders and the concerns are consistent enough to warrant that the bill not be passed in its current form.

Dr Wheatley had also expressed concern that the public was not privy to and did not request certain amendments that had shown up in the draft Bill.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
0:00
0:00
Close
Global Headlines: Hajj Heatwave Tragedy, Flynn's Family Enterprise, and Rising Geopolitical Tensions
Political Shifts in France, Legal Battles in the UK, and Public Protests in Israel
UK's Richest Family Convicted for Exploiting Servants
Hollande Declares End to Macron’s Political Ascendancy
Hindujas Appeal Swiss Court's Human Trafficking Verdict
Prince William Celebrates Birthday at Taylor Swift Concert
Singapore to Implement Screen Time Regulations for Children
Hello and welcome back. Here we are with your latest news update from around the world.
Hello and welcome back. Here are today's top stories from around the world, you don't want to miss:
UK PM Sunak and the Election Betting Scandal
Climate Activists Target Taylor Swift's Private Jet in UK
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
US to Supply Taiwan with Suicide Drones Amid Rising Tensions with China
Bodyguard of UK Prime Minister Arrested for Alleged Election Betting
Global Displacement Crisis: Record Numbers in 2023
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Melinda Gates Discusses 'Horrible' Divorce from Bill Gates
Child Obesity Surge in England: A Deep Concern
U.S. Sues Adobe Over Hard-to-Cancel Subscriptions
Deadly Heat Wave Claims Dozens of Lives During Hajj Pilgrimage in Mecca
Here are today's top worldwide stories you don’t want to miss:.
World’s Largest Pilot Union Calls to Eliminate Terms Like ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manpower’ for Equity
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
×