calls for end to poor practices
The Royal Gazette Ltd
August 15, 2000
of Bermuda's top detectives yesterday revealed a catalogue of poor practices
when he testified at the hearing into serious crime on the Island.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
lawyer also alleged that the board advised people brought in that they
"may" be allowed to have access to a lawyer.
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.
Chief Insp. Adams denied that prisoners were ever denied phone calls and were
never denied the right to see their counsel, by his team.
he admitted that he himself had been called by angry lawyers who had been
refused access to clients by more junior officers.
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."
he said the practise of his department was never to accept only a confession
statement as evidence.
added: "I was always trained to build a case with evidence. Statements must
be supported by other evidence."
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
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.
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.
the officer bringing the allegation against the Police Constable, Carlton Adams
was found to have:
pocket books records
to have updated the computer
to carry out a through investigation
potential witnesses / suspects at the scene of what was a probable attempted
the blame for his failings on a junior officer
is the man who you label one of your ‘top detectives’ and who heads the
major crime squad.
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.
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.
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.
– 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?