Chief Inspector?



detective calls for end to poor practices

By Karen Smith
The Royal Gazette Ltd

Bermuda, August 15, 2000

One of Bermuda's top detectives yesterday revealed a catalogue of poor practices when he testified at the hearing into serious crime on the Island.

Det. Chief Insp. Carlton Adams, who heads the major crime squad in the force, said to his disappointment the majority of rape cases were not dealt with by his specially trained and more experienced team.

Instead, most were handled by the Community and Juvenile Liaison team, which had inferior training and answered directly to the Deputy Police Commissioner, rather than to a Superintendent.

And the top detective said his officers had to wait between six and nine months to receive DNA samples from serious crimes because there were no facilities on the Island and too much demand for DNA testing abroad, making the processing of evidence and prosecutions slow and difficult.

He said his department was forced to operate without the support of a modern Police-compliant computer system to collate data, having had its budget for one dropped last year.

And he said when the former Government analyst, who had expertise in forensic work, left, he was never replaced, although there are less qualified people still working in the lab.

Det. Chief Insp. Adams also agreed with chairman of the hearing Justice Stanley Moore that the current situation of having all senior officers, apart from Commissioner Jean-Jacques Lemay, in acting roles resulted in "bumping and jostling" between some officers.

He said the acting roles had been in place for about a year already and he could only be sure that they would be made more permanent in time for Mr. Lemay's departure in April.

The hearing also heard how allegations had been submitted from a defence barrister, who was not named, that some people arrested and kept in Police cells were denied access to a lawyer and a phone call, as the law stipulates they should be.

The lawyer alleged, by letter, that a notice board in the custody area of Hamilton Police Station containing the names of arrested people sometimes had written on it in capital letters, "no visitors, no calls", next to some detainees' names.

The lawyer also alleged that the board advised people brought in that they "may" be allowed to have access to a lawyer.

It was also suggested in the hearing by the chairman that complaints had been made that a significant number of prosecutions in Bermuda rested on a confession statement alone and very little other evidence.

Det. Chief Insp. Adams denied that prisoners were ever denied phone calls and were never denied the right to see their counsel, by his team.

Although he admitted that he himself had been called by angry lawyers who had been refused access to clients by more junior officers.

The detective said: "Prisoners are allowed access to lawyers. There may be occasions when they are not permitted to call relatives and friends, but they are allowed to call a lawyer."

And he said the practise of his department was never to accept only a confession statement as evidence.

He added: "I was always trained to build a case with evidence. Statements must be supported by other evidence."

And he also agreed that some young officers may not be fully aware of the investigation procedure when arriving on the scene of a major crime, having had little training and having no up-to-date checklist that they can carry with them on duty.

Comment: An authority on poor practices speaks out ... once again blame is placed elsewhere.  Why?  Because your Chief Inspector is not thinking of you or the constabulary - he can smell the next rank.

Beware Carlton Adams.  This is a man who could not successfully progress a complaint against a fellow officer and was highlighted as being incopetent at the subsequent disciplinary hearing.  It was not the officer against whom the complaint was made that should have faced disciplinary action – he was acquitted by former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Harold Moniz.

However, the officer bringing the allegation against the Police Constable, Carlton Adams was found to have:

  • Poor pocket books records
  • Failed to have updated the computer
  • Failed to carry out a through investigation
  • Released potential witnesses / suspects at the scene of what was a probable attempted burglary
  • placed the blame for his failings on a junior officer

This is the man who you label one of your ‘top detectives’ and who heads the major crime squad.

Adams is malicious and incompetent.  He has been promoted beyond his capabilities.  He was too close a companion of the former, disgraced, head of the Narcotics department, Dennis Ramsey, to have been untainted by the ‘above the law’ attitude of their peer group.  He is a self serving womaniser (bragging much when I served and was threatened by him) and not someone to place near a victim of any sexual encounter / assault.

He was linked to the Bukhari trial (another fiasco) and it is his own ego driven confidence which will bring about the downfall of future investigations.

The one saving grace is that Adams may have been promoted ‘out of trouble’.  Keep your fingers crossed that Adams has simply been given the higher rank to distance him from the task of obtaining evidence directly.  By leaving the sharp end of the work to lower ranking officers, Adams may be sufficiently distanced to ensure an enquiry succeeds.  His rank should ensure he is holds the middle ground; is kept from evidence / witnesses and seeks the advice of the Attorney General’s department on serious matters.

Remember – this man is a back-stabbing, untrustworthy individual who holds his fellow officers in contempt.  What chance to suspects have of being treated reasonably, let alone fairly?




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