July 2004

Police officer charged with desertion is acquitted - 'credibility of police management' comes under attack.  Not surprising when you consider the 'quality' of the leaders:

Bermuda newspaper article

July 15. 2004 8:16AM  -  By Catherine Hay

Cop acquitted of desertion
Magistrate calls for probe into police abuse of suspects comment

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner came out with guns blazing yesterday as he acquitted a policeman of “desertion” and called for a commission to investigate Police Service’s treatment of crime suspects.

this will come as no surprise to readers of this site.  Possibly now both crime suspects and police officers subjected to disciplinary hearings will be afforded their basic human rights.  Time to do away with disciplinary hearings and place such issues before competent professionals as opposed to senior officers prosecuting junior officers, using senior officer witnesses in front of a senior officer?

Mr. Warner – who first came to Bermuda from Barbados as a policeman more than 30 years ago – called the prosecution of constable Rickie Marcus Joseph, 31, under the Police Act of 1974 for desertion “oblique” and “does little to add to the credibility of the management” of the service.  Mr. Justice Warner also described the use of the courts by the Service to discipline officers as obscure and obsolete.

the leadership has suffered a lack of credibility since the appointment of the current leaders.  The signal sent to serving and potential officers was simple; management is oppressive.  It also appears that there is desperation - unable to acquire sufficient, competent staff, the constabulary will do anything it can to keep those officers it has.  We suspect PC Joseph's arrest was intended to send a message to current serving officers - defy us at your peril.  Nothing has changed.

P.c. Joseph, who joined the Service in June of 2003 with 11 years of service in his native St. Lucia, broke down in tears as he recounted an alleged assault by a senior officer.

can you get a fair, impartial investigation if you are a junior officer complaining about a senior officer?  NO.  Your evidence is worthless and the investigation likely to be a sham.  Your card will forever be marked and this site is testament to such behaviour.


The likes of George Jackson and Carlton Adams are in positions of authority which the author of this site states they are insufficiently qualified to undertake. 

P.c. Joseph, who lived at the barracks at Prospect, Devonshire, was charged with deserting the Bermuda Police Service on July 3, 2004, when he was caught attempting to board a plane for New York.  Last night, in a press release, a Police spokesman wrote that in light of P.c. Joseph’s acquittal, the Service would consider whether changes are needed in the law dealing with the prosecution of serving officers.

Changes are required in the service, not the law!  How arrogant to think otherwise.

Change your archaic bully-boy attitudes.

Oh,  for the record 'police spokesman' - you do not make the laws and no doubt this will come as great comfort to the junior ranks. 

Possibly 'police spokesman' you would like to add some further offences to the statues to address those members of the public (little people) with whom you have an issue  but in respect of whom the current  laws do not provide sufficient means of persecution.  How about some classics:

  • stepping on the cracks in the pavement

  • wearing a loud shirt during the hours of daylight

  • being in possession of an offensive wife

  • looking at me funny

Possibly the service should be looking toward reinstating 'mutiny' and the introduction of flogging?  At the very least officers should surrender their travel documents on arrival in the island.

“From the perspective of overseas recruiting generally, we remain immensely proud of the many hard-working and loyal officers from the Caribbean and UK. The Service and the community are fortunate to have these hard-working officers here,” the release continued. so PC Joseph is disloyal?  He complains of being assaulted and is NOT guilty of desertion and then suffers the inferences of a police spokesperson.

Hard-working mentioned twice?  It does cause the discerning and questioning reader to ask whether this overstatement hides a more basic truth.  Or are Bermudan readers believed to accept anything they are spoon fed?

The Bermuda Police Farce does not encourage hard work.

When asked whether P.c. Joseph was still a member of the Service, the Police media relations officer declined to comment. well, what did you expect - an informed response?  The answer is yes or no ... or should it have been:
 'let's wait and see what a kangaroo disciplinary can railroad through?

was the question that difficult?  Unsure what your bosses wanted to hear?  Or just an uniformed spokesperson?

Mr. Warner said that he could conclude from the Crown’s evidence that P.c. Joseph attempted to desert, adding: “In considering the Police submission it seems the complaint was made for oblique reasons.” now is the time to investigate these reasons - what were the motives?  Where is proportionality, reasonableness and common sense or is there no place for them in a modern (who are we kidding) Bermudan police service?

This appears to be a human rights abuse or evidence of oppressive conduct? Yet another that will be buried?  If the Bermudan police treats its own in this manner, just how do you think the people of Bermuda are  considered?  If the police are sufficiently confident to take such action against a trained police officer who should be sufficiently conversant with the legislation, how much easier is it to trample over the rights of a citizen?

Mr. Warner called the provision in the Police Act of 1974 which makes desertion a criminal offence “unfortunate” saying: “If Police are using criminal court to discipline officers then it seems that Section 31 is obsolete in this Police Service. “It lends itself to oblique use and can be of little practical use.” was the criminal Court used to discipline, or was it intended to send a more aggressive message?  Are the senior officers who authorised this excessive action foolhardy or bullies?
“The items found in the evidence are clearly meant to prejudice the court. This complaint and prosecution does little to add to credibility of the management of Bermuda’s Police force,” he continued. and the management buck stops with:

again, we say 'you were warned'!  You only have yourselves to blame.

Is this the first time the prosecution have tailored evidence presentation to suit their own means?  Just what is the magistrate saying; that the Bermuda police farce have deliberately excluded evidence that could go toward the suspects innocence? 

This comment warrants further examination - is it that the prosecution have suppressed evidence?  The magistrate appears to be making a serious derogatory comment about the police.  How can any magistrate accept at face value any evidence presented in the future until such time as the entire 'service' undergoes a cleansing?

In addition, Mr. Warner said that he felt sure of the defendant’s credibility, pointing out P.c. Joseph’s “religious values” and dedication to “continue planting seeds in the kingdom of God”.

If the witness is credible then possibly, there is the most remote chance, that the  alleged assault by a senior officer will be investigated.  It would appear that PC Joseph now has the endorsement of the Court, certainly with regard to his credibility as a witness - an honest one.

Time will tell - will the next person to appear before the Court be the senior officer who allegedly assaulted him?  Or will the Bermuda police seek to undermine the PC Joseph's credibility to protect their own?

Could it be that the Bermuda police have shot themselves in the foot - if they'd let PC Joseph leave the island the complaint against the senior officer would have fallen at the first fence - no witness and they could say what they wanted about an officer who had left (allegedly fled)?

Earlier, Mr. Warner dismissed the evidence of P.c. Suzanne DeSilva who testified that P.c. Joseph had told her he was leaving the island and the Service three days before the offence.  “In my view Miss DeSilva’s evidence didn’t have the necessary ring of truth. I’m not satisfied to be sure that her submissions were true,” he explained, adding that he found Miss DeSilva “arrogant in her delivery” of testimony.

something else for the Bermuda police to investigate ... or should we ay 'sweep under the carpet'

How many of you reading the magistrates comments (as reported in the Royal Gazette) interpreted them to mean that Miss Desilva was a was a confident liar who could not be trusted?

Is there a place for the likes of Miss Desilva in the Bermuda police?  If you were the subject of an ongoing prosecutions by the officer or  involved in cases where the officer is a witness, how confident would you feel about her credibility now?

P.c. DeSilva claimed to remember verbatim her conversation with P.c. Joseph and refused to refresh her memory from notes.  However, Mr. Warner said, she made several errors in her testimony, including the date which she claimed P.c. Joseph told her he was leaving as well as the nationality of his pastor, who was South African and not West-African as she claimed. is this a case of poor memory, innocent mistake,  selective memory disorder, poor coaching from someone, lack of training, arrogance or plain old failing due to the account being untruthful? Possibly this was just pandering to the bosses; say what they want to hear; ingratiation?

In what context was the conversation and who knew to approach her for an account?

There is an odd odour to the events.  Possibly an internal investigation will get to the bottom of it ... don't hold your breath

Is now the time to call in the professionals - instruct an outside constabulary to undertake an investigation? It appears imperative that issues such as this are taken out of the hands of the oppressive Socky Adams, the incompetent George Jackson and the inexperienced John-boy Smith. 

This conversation played a key role in the Crown’s case, constituting the only direct evidence that P.c. Joseph was intending to permanently abandon his Police duties when he was caught trying to board a plane for New York on July 3. and the evidence was dismissed. 

Not only does it appear the island has lost an officer (PC Joseph) the credibility of PC Desliva appears shot and the Bermuda Police Shambles should now be the subject of an investigation that will extend to perusing a senior officer for assault (common?).  In addition, they will receive adverse publicity. In hindsight, how much easier to let a person do what it appears they wished to do - leave the island as opposed to demonstrate insecurity?

P.c. DeSilva said under oath that P.c. Joseph told her he was planning to leave Bermuda for St. Lucia on July 5 – not July 3 – in order to open a business and eventually open stores in Bermuda, Virginia and West Africa. She also alleged that Joseph said: “Before the Police know it I’ll be off the Island. I’ll have to be here to get in any trouble.” said under oath and dismissed by the magistrate ...

does not bode well.

During cross-examination, P.c. Joseph denied making that comment but did confirm that he had plans for the business ventures. He said he was acting with the support of a “South African apostle” who told him to “follow his faith in God” and go into business.  
P.c. Joseph told the court that he was troubled by his superiors’ “harassment” of him, alleging that his superiors were telling him to report that he had been sick on June 31 when he failed to show up for his duties.  But P.c. Joseph said that he had spent the day with “an Apostle from South Africa who had taken me through deliverance in dealing with my spiritual matters”. intriguing ... so the officer was absent from duty?  Now there's a disciplinary offence possibly.... just what are the Bermuda police farce playing at - sledge hammers to crack nuts?



Director of Public Prosecutions Vinette Graham-Allen said in her summations on Tuesday that all the evidence pointed to Joseph intending to permanently abandon his duties as a police officer, though he may have planned on returning to the Island to set up a business.  She highlighted P.c. Joseph’s purchase of an American Airlines flight on July 2 as well as his refusal that same night to answer his door for the officer who was investigating his absence from duties on June 31. She said that P.c. Joseph left only a TV, VCR, three police shirts, and a guitar amplifier in his police Barracks when he left.  Finally, she said the defendant handed in a letter of resignation when he was caught at the airport. “Regardless that he was not on board the plane or cleared customs,” Mrs. Graham-Allen said. “It’s an expressed intent and the inference that can be drawn from his conduct is that he intended to abandon his duties in accordance with the definition of desertion.” so let him resign ... what have you to lose?  since when has the police service been a conscription? 

what were you presented with - a officer who no longer wished to carry out the office of constable in the islands of Bermuda?  Are you suggesting that you wanted to keep the officer employed on the island in the knowledge that he was unlikely to act in the best interest of its inhabitants because he did not want to be there?  Surely not ... so why not let him go?


is it that others have deserted and you are fearful more will follow?  Is it that your attempts to recruit UK officers involved a deception with regard to the quality of accommodation that caused some to return immediately the deception was discovered - you are desperate to retain staff?

Or are you just an oppressive organisation intent on keeping lower ranks in their place - subservient?

Let the above be a warning to all.  The Bermuda police shambles is a dangerous employer - it appears nothing has changed since 1990:

  • the police federation appears to be  a toothless department providing officers no assistance / protection. 
  • it appears serving Bermuda police officers gain recognition not by their investigative prowess or dedication but, by pursuing back-stabbing, deceitful behaviour.  This approach is not new, the tactic is simple - if you lack the imagination, enthusiasm or ability to rise above your colleagues, then there is another means by which to elevate yourself (in comparison); drag those about you down, below your level - in essence, you kick their legs out from under them (metaphorically speaking).




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