990124 FCO


Having not received the courtesy of an acknowledgement from either the Commissioner of Police or the Governor's office having resubmitted my formal complaint during 1997 and late 1998, I approached the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (26th October 1998)

The F.C.O. have a responsibility for Bermuda as an independent territory.  That staff of the Governor's Office have acquiesced to the conduct of the former C.O.P and are now declining to correspond, ignoring my complaint, they too are (I would suggest) just as guilty.

I received the following reply:

04 December 1998

Dear Mr Swift

Thank you for your letter of 26th October to Baroness Symons who has asked me to reply.

I have read your website with interest and looked carefully at the circumstances surrounding your departure from the Bermuda Police Force.

In accordance with usual Bermuda Police practice, you were granted an exit interview with the the Acting Superintendent Bissell.   You commented in your exit form that you chose to resign because of petty rules and regulations, poor relationships with colleagues, not enough responsibility, nor prospects, poor communications with higher ranks and no opportunity to use your initiative.   However, you allege that an offence of Oppressive Conduct was committed, and feel your complaints should be the subject of an investigation.  I suggest therefore that you formally submit your complaints to the newly formed Police Complaints Authority, at the following address:

Mr Martin Law
Coordinator of Security Services
Ministry of Labour, Home Affairs & Public Safety
Government Administration Building
30 Parliament Street
Hamilton HM 12

Yours sincerely

M J Mitchell
Overseas Territories Department
0171 270 3596

I find the above very interesting.  Clearly there has been some consideration of my complaint as the FCO are able to refer to my EXIT FORM.   They are 100% correct, I referred to all the items mentioned.  However, call me cynical, but often the most important aspects of correspondence, or evidence, is what is NOT said. 

I have sent a reply to the FCO re the above, requesting some further details.  No reply has been forthcoming.  Having had the oppotuntity to consdier the above against my documentation (my Exit Form) I have again written to the FCO, the letter is detailed under 990124 FCO

Possibly the FCO underestimate the amount of correspondence I secured / copied before leaving the Island.  I copied my Exit Form which, unlike many, I chose to expand on.  Either the FCO have deliberately over-looked this or the Bermuda Police Service have deliberately withheld the information.   If the latter, then the police have embarrassed the FCO.

My Exit Form clearly details the very complaint I continue to make - that of oppressive conduct; constructive dismissal etc.  The Exit Form appears on the pages of this web at: EXIT FORM

I have replied to the FCO, bringing to their attention the fact that my complaint extends to their own staff.

A complaint has been sent, by post, to the Coordinator of Security Services.  I post the above letter as I am in no doubt there has been and will continue to be, liaison between the various Government bodies.  My covering letter (accompanied by the 'complaint' page from this site) to Mr Law is as follows:

 Dear Sir

Re: Formal complaint - Oppressive Conduct etc.

Please find enclosed the following:

  1. A copy of a letter received from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  2. An extract of my web site ( – ’91 Complaint (6 pages)
  3. An extract of my web site ( – Complaint (7 pages)
  4. An extract of my web site ( – Allegations (3 pages)
  5. An extract of my web site ( - Rebuttal to the COP's Royal Gazette remarks (5 pages)

I trust the information contained within '2' above is sufficient to initiate an investigation of my complaint, which I believe will uncover serious irregularities about the previous 'enquiry(s)'. These irregularities may amount to perverting the course of justice associated with my dismissal and the information obtained during subsequent enquiry(s).

With regard to the content of '1' above, I feel that the remarks made by the FCO in relation to my 'exit interview' are erroneous (taken out of context) and irrelevant. In 1990 I submitted a comprehensive report following my return to uniform (web page - 91 Support) which should continue to remain on file at Police Headquarters. No action was taken in relation to this. The content of my 1990 report is clear; even then I was stating Force Standing Instructions (FSI) had not been complied with.

On my return to the Island in 1991, I submitted a formal complaint. This was dismissed amazingly quickly.

Subsequently, I was advised an investigation had been launched following a disclosure that the Narcotics department used or possessed blank (but signed by a Justice of the Peace) search warrants (web page - blank warrant).

I am informed police officers were interviewed in relation to the warrants and my complaint(s), in some cases statements were taken. I understand a number of the narcotics department were questioned and that there were allegations about me. These allegations have never been put to me, I suspect I have been used as a scapegoat.

Chief Inspector Bissell interviewed me in 1993, following the search warrant allegation. Surprisingly, he was not interested in the warrants but simply took a statement from me regarding $6000 missing from a Court exhibit. As far as he was concerned, as any material seized using an illegally obtained warrant remained admissible (unlike in the U.S.A.), the issue of such documents was of little consequence.

Returning to my constructive dismissal; a Bermuda Police Inspector, Edward Coglin Gibbons, of the Force's Intelligence department, a person who I understand to have a genius I.Q., has written to me and confirmed that which I always knew; I was Subverted and Betrayed.

This has always been my contention, albeit put in a less succinct form. Unfortunately, Inspector Gibbons will neither assist me in expanding on his knowledge or in 'banging on the Commissioner's door' to ensure the matter is investigated, the truth uncovered and this saga put to rest.

My attempts to have the matter re-opened following Inspector Gibbons’ acknowledgement have met with no success. My 1997 and 1998 letters to the Governor of Bermuda and the Commissioner of Police have been met with silence. The C.O.P appears willing to speak with the Bermuda press and inform them the matter is open pending new evidence however, he will not accept the new evidence; an Officer willing to speak (not that this is required to confirm FSI were not complied with).

I believe the C.O.P's silence (and that of the Governor) is a clear indication of their stance and fear. I do not believe they are capable of defending their predecessor's actions, their position is untenable. Rather than accept that mistakes were made they are choosing to bury their heads in the sand. I trust you will find this as rude and unacceptable as I.

In addition to the Oppressive Conduct pursued in disposing of my services, I ask you to consider the following:

Inspector Gibbons knew I was subverted and betrayed so did many others. The logic of the situation appears straightforward, there are few possibilities:

  • If officer’s statements / interviews reflect my being subverted & betrayed, then my previous complaint should have been upheld. If it was, then this has been kept from me.
  • If their statements / interviews do not confirm my having been subverted and betrayed then they either lied (Inspector Gibbons now having changed his account) or they withheld information.

With regard to the search warrants, they exist. Statements were taken in relation to this enquiry:

  • If one officer has advised knowing of their existence then they have acquiesced to their issue / use (they had a duty to bring this to the attention of a senior officer).
  • If there exists any allegation (as I suspect) that it was I who obtained the warrants from a Justice of the Peace then whoever has made this (albeit untrue) claim is also demonstrating a knowledge of the warrants existence.

I have been informed some of the officers interviewed advised knowing that these warrants were in circulation throughout the Narcotics office. No action was taken.

If you have the facility, time or inclination to visit my web site, in addition to reading the enclosures (1 to 4 – page 1), you will understand that I am not particularly interested in the merit of any allegations made against me. I am a realist; I was successful in Bermuda and this caused many to suffer jealousy or concern. I have no doubt, being 3,500 miles away, that I have been blamed for every problem associated with the department during and subsequent to my employment.

If it was suspected that I had committed any breach of discipline or worse, I was entitled to a (fair) hearing. I was not and it is this to which I vehemently object. My good name has been maligned and my career was destroyed (I could not even approach a UK police service for fear of Bermuda’s wrath). The knowledge I had of the Island was wasted and friendships developed over years were torn apart. I was left unemployed.

I ask that you consider my complaint(s) simply in relation to whether FSI were complied with. I truly believe you will come to the same conclusion as I; they were not. In turn it follows that my employment was terminated in contradiction of FSI.

I was constructively dismissed, I did not resign because I wanted to. I resigned because my employment was terminated as of 3rd March 1991, for allegations in respect of which I was not afforded a hearing.

Even had there been no intention to prevent my contract being renewed, the allegations that I bucked authority and attempted to tape record the Detective Chief Inspector (Narcotics) MUST be put to me, investigated and the be the subject of a hearing (if appropriate).

Please consider this a formal complaint against the parties named within the documentation.

I would appreciate you acknowledging receipt of this correspondence and confirming the content will be the subject of an investigation.

My thanks in anticipation.

Yours sincerely

 Philip Swift

Former P.C. 217 (Bermuda)






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