Judge: Police Can’t Publish Mugshots of Accused Persons

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JUSTICE Frank Seepersad has ruled that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) cannot publish the mugshot of an accused person.

In a written judgement on Wednesday, the judge said the TTPS can however publicise information about an accused individual.


The judgment emerged from a lawsuit filed by Acting Corporal Narindra Beharry against the State, raising concerns about the dissemination of his mugshot and its impact on his right to privacy.

The court ruled that the police can indeed publish images, names, and addresses of an accused person where the law permits it. However, Justice Seepersad said the TTPS is prohibited from disseminating police booking photographs or mugshots.

The lawsuit addressed alleged breaches of Beharry’s constitutional rights, with the judge ultimately rejecting the right to privacy aspect of the claim.


Beharry said his mugshot on various media platforms violated his right to privacy. While the judge acknowledged the inappropriate dissemination of the officer’s mugshot, no compensation was awarded.

Justice Seepersad held that the TTPS was allowed to publish file photographs, such as those submitted when the officer applied for the job, those on the Internet or updated photographs taken with respect to employment records.

He said, “The TTPS has no legislative authority nor does it have the capacity to interpret, alter or amend legislation and the implementation of this ‘media policy’ to use mugshots as a means of identifying accused persons to members of the public is flawed.

“An internal TTPS media policy cannot be used to circumvent the limitations imposed under section 50 of the Act.”

Justice Seepersad said, “This society is inundated with criminal activity, and most citizens live in fear. With every passing year, the situation worsens.”

He held that citizens should be made aware of individuals charged and brought before the court, supporting the police’s ability to publish photographs of an accused person.

However, the judge drew a clear line by specifying that mugshots could only be used for identification purposes and not for public dissemination.

He said that mugshot images were captured for a specific purpose under section 50 of the Police Service Act which deals with helping the police to internally identify an accused person.



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