reply to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
M J Mitchell|
Overseas Territories Department
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
2 King Charles Street
24th January 1999
Dear Mrs Mitchell
Re: Bermuda Formal complaint - Oppressive Conduct etc.
I refer to my previous correspondence.
I have submitted a formal complaint to the Police Complaints Authority, Bermuda, the address of whom you were kind enough to supply.
I also wrote to you requesting details of the party to whom, within the FCO, I should complain regarding the actions of the Governor(s) and Deputy Governor(s) associated with my complaint. I have yet to receive a reply and trust this information will be forthcoming in the near future.
I have also taken the time to locate copies of correspondence associated with my leaving Bermuda, specifically, my Exit Form. Your letter of 4th December 1998, was correct about the reasons I gave for leaving, specifically:
The above is exactly what I indicated on my Exit Form. Clearly you received sight of this, or the content was precisely conveyed to you.
What are lacking however, are the comments I made in the additional three pages that accompanied the official form.
In your letter (04.12.98) you immediately followed the above sentence with:
Whilst not wishing to become involved in semantics, the above should read that I alleged that an offence of Oppressive Conduct had been committed; past tense.
This is not a new allegation.
My current concern, expressed on my web site (see www.bermuda.org.uk, specifically progress and Exit Form), is that either:
If 1 above is correct, it is the Bermuda service that is again involved in underhand tactics. If 2 above accurately reflects what has transpired then obviously the FCO are implicated also.
There is a further concern; possibly the Bermuda police service did not provide details of my Exit Form. It is possible this was obtained from FCO (Bermuda) records. If so, it may transpire that the misrepresentation or withholding of information dates from 1990.
You will appreciate I possess a copy of my Exit Form, evidenced by it now appearing on my web site.
I have a genuine, substantiated, complaint to pursue. I believe I can support my very straightforward argument and do not wish to become involved in side issues or unnecessarily complicate matters by extending the complaint to your office or whoever fed you the incomplete information.
However, I believe it only reasonable to ascertain who provided the limited information and why. To this end, please could you provide me copies of all correspondence you have received from Bermuda in relation to my approach to you and the complaint, to include the details of the person supplying the Exit Form information. I am specifically interested in the Exit Form and am seeking to ascertain what precisely was supplied, the form in which it was received (document, phone etc.) and from whom.
I do not believe the above could be considered confidential and am hopeful that, in clearly stating the need for the information, you will realise my only desire is to ascertain who (an individual or organisation) is seeking to prejudice my complaint.
Clearly, withholding the information would only prevent me from learning the truth.
I trust the above causes no inconvenience and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Former P.C. 217 (Bermuda)
As of February 13th, no reply has been received. However, The Ministry of Labour, Home Affairs & Public Safety (Bermuda) have responded:
21 January 1999
Dear Mr Swift
I acknowledge receipt of your complaint package which I received on 14th January 1999. It appears that you contacted me in my capacity as Secretary to the Police Complaints Authority. Unfortunately you may have been misled as to the functions of the Authority.
The purpose of the Authority is to hear and act upon complaints made by members of the public against the conduct of Police Officers. It is quite clear in your case that the complaint is an internal one relating to events when you were an officer in the Bermuda Police Service. Consequently your complaint is outside the scope of the Authority. I have copied your complaint to the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Governor.
cc. Deputy Governor
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