POLICE OPERATION utilizes NEW Stop and Search laws

POLICE OPERATION utilizes NEW Stop and Search laws

#TurksandCaicos, February 27, 2023 – The Royal TCI Police Force has for the first time exercised their newly

conferred stop and search laws which allow them to search any person on the islands without a warrant.

In a press release early Sunday morning they indicated that the powers had been called upon at the Versace nightclub in Providenciales.

Eyewitness reports describe the police swooping into the club around 12 am Saturday morning  in significant numbers and several residents being escorted from the club; their cars being searched thoroughly and at least one being arrested.

The operation, about which details came straight from Trevor Botting, TCI Police Commissioner was rolled out to ‘prevent serious crime and detect those people who may be involved.’

Police say they were informed people with possible criminal connections were at the club and shared photos of at least one person being led away in handcuffs.  The ‘stop and search’ law (section 36 A(1)(a) of the Police Force (Amended) Ordinance 2022) gives the Commissioner power to authorize officers to frisk residents in anticipation of violence, should he suspect it is necessary.

It allows an officer to ‘stop any person or vehicle and make any search he thinks fit whether or not he has any grounds for suspecting that the person or vehicle is carrying weapons or articles of that kind’.

The operation was headed by the country’s newest superintendent Head of Crime, Safeguarding and Public Protection Superintendent Dean Holden, who said in that statement:

“Events of this nature have in the past resulted in incidents of serious violent crime. This policing operation was particularly aimed at preventing and disrupting such incidents.”

Police have not indicated that they made any significant finds or arrests during the operation barring a quantity of marijuana.

Reactions to the operation were varied with some residents denouncing it and others applauding it.

  • PublishedMarch 18, 2023

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