KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent:- Wiretapping is once again being advocated as a crime fighting tool here.
The latest call for the enactment of interception of communication legislation came this week from Acting Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Grenville Williams who said that he ‘strongly’ recommended such a move.
Williams said that St. Vincent and the Grenadines should move to use available technology to tap the telephones and read email communications of persons suspected of being involved in criminal activities.
“The rights of the citizenry must be advanced above the criminal elements. Every tool, email, cell phone and other electronic devises is subject to abuse by the criminals. The state in its right to combat crime must have access to these tools,” Williams said.
He said that “strong rules and regulations” will ensure that “there will always be fairness to all persons involved”, even as he pointed to the use similar legislation elsewhere.
“The use of this technology has been judiciously scrutinized by the courts in the United Kingdom, which has determined that once the guidelines are strictly adhered to, the interception of communication tool is a safe and reasonable mechanism that should be made available to the state to combat the ever advancing complexity of criminal undertaking.”
Minister of National Security, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves last September said that he supported a call by Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Pompey for the introduction of wiretapping legislation here.