The BC Civil Liberties Association has some concerns about the new Inadmissible Patron Program rolling out in Kamloops.
Among their top concerns is people’s privacy rights, and how the information will be recorded.
Staff Counsel Meghan McDermott says people generally don’t have to give their ID to police,
“We all know from going out, sometimes you run into people that you may not know very well,” she said.
“If one of those people happens to be on a list, there’s obviously a concern that innocent people – their records in the police database are then going to include a note about their affiliation with this gang member or other nefarious person or individual.”
While police say there is no risk of profiling people, McDermott isn’t sold.
“They have mentioned people wearing or displaying gang colours or insignia will be focused on. They also mention individuals whose lifestyle associations and activities pose a risk to public safety, and that’s is very ambiguous criteria that is going to be applied,” added McDermott.
“We’d be worried about the lack of clear rules about who is actually going to be caught up in that, who will be focused on, and who will be profiled as being a risk to public safety.”
She adds enforcing some of the program’s criteria will be at the discretion of individual police officers.
McDermott says for people wrongly caught up in the program, it can be tough to clear your name off a police database, which could cause problems when they’re trying to clear criminal checks for a job or a volunteer opportunity.