Caines on criminal records
Criminal records to be shared with Britain
Criminal records are to be stored electronically and shared with British police forces, the Minister of National Security said last week.
Wayne Caines said a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office, the criminal records service for England and Wales, will be seconded to Bermuda for three months to help to digitise priority records such as sex offenders, gang members and “high-harm offenders” with Bermudian or UK passports.
Mr Caines said: “Acro will also be given remote electronic access to these records so they can conduct their own searches.
“The Commissioner of Police has confirmed that this arrangement will reduce the demands on the staff, and speed up the information-sharing process.
“The data contained within records management systems will remain the property of the Bermuda Police Service at all times. Acro use will include searching, printing and exporting information, with users subject to BPS auditing.”
Mr Caines was speaking in the House of Assembly as the debate on the Budget continued.
Bermuda Police already has an information sharing agreement with Acro, but the island’s criminal records office has only two staff and about 20,000 paper records, some dating back to the 1930s.
Mr Caines told MPs the cost of the secondment will be about $4,000 and digitised records will mean officers will have access to offender information 24 hours a day, rather than be limited by the police record office’s normal hours.
He added the digital records could also be shared with other authorities such as the Department of Public Prosecutions and the court service.
Mr Caines said: “The BPS will now have the ability to research prolific priority offenders based on criminal convictions.”
He added that digital records would also cut down the risk of important information being destroyed by accident.
Mr Caines said: “This positive use of an established international relationship will assist in modernising a significant feature of criminal justice administration and improve the efficiency of the Bermuda Police Service in this critical area of criminal record-keeping.”
• To read Wayne Caines’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”
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