Of all the disciplinary offences where I was asked to
represent police officers, this was (to my mind) the most straightforward. Having
read the 'evidence' once, I could not understand why this matter was being presented to a
The person making the complaint was police sergeant
Carlton 'Socky' Adams, at that time stationed to Somerset Police
station, the West of the Island.
My belief that this matter would be simple to defend was
supported when sergeant Adams attempted to intimidate me into withdrawing from the case.
Sergeant Adams also stated that he had evidence which could get the officer 'off'.
This was an incredible admission from the very officer who had caused the
investigation to proceed.
The account of this conversation is dealt with in my
'pre-narco' pages, under December 1997 (see:
2nd December 1997).
The alleged offence involved two officers, a Bermudan and
an Englishman. The Bermudan had already entered a plea of 'guilty', he had admitted
to the offence, a fact which weighed heavily in the prosecutions favour. However,
based on the evidence, there appeared no logic to his admission, unless he had been 'got
at' (I suspect someone applied pressure to him to 'put his hands up'; capitulate and
accept that he was guilty).
With hindsight, it was easy to realise that the
confrontation by sergeant Adams was simply an expression of fear on his part. He had
caused a complaint to be raised against two officers, a complaint which he could not
substantiate. One officer had already admitted the offence and if I would step aside
it was possible the other would do like-wise.
Unfortunately for sergeant Adams, I had survived 7 years
in an English constabulary where (whilst not tolerating indiscretion by our colleagues) we
provide support to those with whom we work, be they an officer, a Special constables, a
civilian member of staff or an Officer. 'The Job' is difficult enough without having
to watch your back when you step inside a station.
The complaint in this instance was based on a system in
place at Somerset police station where, of a night duty (midnight to 8am), an officer (or
pair of officers) were tasked with checking properties. A list of properties to be
attended twice during the evening was provided and the officer(s) were to physically visit
each one and ensure they were secure. The property list, a single sheet of paper
bearing the addresses was to be marked with the time each property was checked.
I had not worked the Somerset (Western end of the island)
division but the process appeared straightforward enough. However, monotony, boredom,
complacency (call it what you will) could set it, officers would (allegedly) not check the
premises, rather they would attend to other matters or simply find a place to doze in the
quieter hours. The property check list would be completed without reference to the
property, a fictitious visiting time marked against each property on the list.
The English officer is officer6, the Bermudan officer8.
In this instance the complaint, initiated by sergeant
Adams and investigated by sergeant Alan Cleave read as follows:
NOTICE OF COMPLAINT OR ALLEGATION
POLICE CONSTABLE officer6
In accordance with regulation 3 of the Police (Discipline)
Orders, 1975, I hereby inform you that I am investigating a complaint / allegation against
NEGLECT OF DUTY
That is to say, whilst on Night Duty on Saturday 22nd /
Sunday 23rd August 1987, you did neglect your duty in that you did fail to discover an
insecure property on your patrol area, namely the premises known as 'The Railway Station'
Mangrove Bay Road, Somerset.
Contrary to Section 4(a) FSI A/2
You are not obliged to say anything at this stage, but
whether you do so or not, you are required, within 24 hours, to inform me in writing
whether you admit of deny the report / complaint / allegation and you may make a statement
in writing in reply.
Received by ......(signed officer6)
Date Friday 28th August 1987
Copy of the above served upon Police Constable officer6 by
me at 4pm Friday 28th August 1987
Signed A.R. Cleave
The case commenced on the 24th February 1988 when it was
adjourned, part heard, to 22nd March 1988 and concluded on March 23rd. For details
of the proceedings please see :