November 2003 -
Commissioner of Police accepts what this site has been warning him of for
years: Bermuda has a prolific drug trade. for full story
Bermuda Police made 1,300 seizures of drugs with a street value of $44
million – more than the Police budget for the year. Police Commissioner
Jonathan Smith revealed that 800 arrests were also made that year, a
worrying statistic with drugs accepted as being the cause of many other
that despite boasts at the volume of last year's haul, there was no way of
knowing how much had got through – "how long is a piece of string" – but he
was keen to praise officers for their work combating
Bermuda's prolific drug trade.
Head of Police watchdog organisation resigns
The Police Complaints
Authority has lost its chairman and deputy chairman, both of whom resigned
"I didn't see the Authority as being effective and I couldn't see any change
coming forward to make it effective in the reasonable future and in my view
it was too frustrating to continue," said Coles Diel, who has been the
chairman of the Authority since it came into being in 1998.
Deputy chair Alan Dunch would only
say that he shared Mr. Diel's concerns.
"The function that the Authority
can perform in any community is a very important function," Mr. Diel said.
"But it's a waste of time making a complaint if nothing happens.
The law creating the Authority
passed the House of Assembly in October 1998. Its purpose then was to create
an independent civilian body to investigate complaints lodged against the
Police. Prior to the legislation, complaints against the Police were handled
and investigated by the Police : a civilian oversight committee existed but
without any real authority.
Mr. Diel said that the legislation which created the Authority is "too
cumbersome" for the body to work properly and that more administrative
support was needed. Further the Authority does not have its own
investigative staff which means that the Police still have substantial input
in deciding the facts of a case.
"It's not really fair for members of the service to be involved in
investigating their colleagues. It makes it a very difficult task," said
Mr. Diel. "Really if you are going to have an independent investigation you
should have investigators who are not involved in the service that is being
investigated. That would be ideal."
"You're dealing with the rights of people here – the civilians as
well as the Police - and you can't do it by bush justice," Mr. Diel
The members of the Authority have also been concerned that they are not
in a position to prevent the Police from "whitewashing" a case once
wrongdoing has been proved. Discipline
of wrongdoers rests solely with the Police Commissioner and Mr. Diel has
been pushing for changes which would give the Authority an oversight role.
"The Authority should be in a position to prevent whitewashing or a slap on
the wrist," said Mr. Diel.
Officers do not wish to give up their authority ... where's the fun in being
a chief if you can't push a few indians about? Being 'fair' and the
'rights' of people are not considerations for the Bermuda police service;
rule by intimidation is the rule of senior officers and those wishing to
progress themselves through the ranks. Human rights and acting in a
fair manner are for civilised organisations and communities, not the
introverted, self-serving and self-protective. Many officers are
unable to investigate crime in the big wide and daunting world so they pick
on their colleagues who fear for their careers and future. You are
talking about bullies who organise kangaroo courts, people who wish to
remain unaccountable and to have their utterances treated as the law.
As long as the
situation is permitted to remain the service will continue to be a second
rate, immature organisation, held in distain by those who have experienced
professional organisations. Members of the service will continue to
play at being police officers and the island appears to have accepted that
this is the best they can get.
... nothing has changed!
another officer arrested
A second Police officer has been arrested in connection with an ongoing
investigation into drugs and corruption in the Service.
Police spokesman Dwayne Caines announced that a female officer was arrested
The 32-year-old woman was released on bail the same day and Mr. Caines said
Police would not release any additional information on the matter.
“An active investigation has been ongoing for some time,” Mr. Caines said at
the time. “Police are working vigorously to bring the case to a close.”
The move follows on the heels of a late May drug charges arrest of a male
The male officer has yet to appear in court to answer formal charges on the
matter but at the time of his arrest, Assistant Police Commissioner Carlton
Adams said an internal investigation into allegations against a number of
officers had been underway since last summer.
Mr. Adams said a Detective Chief Inspector and a number of other officers
had been working the case since a red flag about corruption in narcotics was
raised by a member of the public in August 2001.
Without wishing to say
we told you so ... one only need read the entry for May 2002 below to
understand that the problem is well known and worse than has been made
Officer arrested on drug charges
One sacrificial lamb to appease the public? The problem is a lot worse
than one police officer. Possibly something will come out in the wash
... probably not.
The following was reported in the Royal Gazette
serving Bermuda Police officer was arrested yesterday on drugs charges and
is expected to appear in court this week.
At a press conference yesterday, Police refused to disclose any further
details, but said an investigation launched last year after allegations were
made against a number of Police officers is still ongoing.
The investigation began last year after a member of the public made
corruption allegations against members of the Narcotics Department.
Assistant Commissioner Carlton Adams said yesterday: "I have an update on a
significant development in our investigation into allegations made against a
number of Police Officers.
"That investigation was commenced in August 2001 and that matter has been
diligently pursued by a Detective Chief Inspector and a number of Police
officers from that time to the present.
"Today, at 12 noon, a serving Police officer was arrested at Hamilton Police
Station in connection with offences against the Misuse of Drugs Act 1972,
and following consultations with the Director of Public Prosecutions, a
court appearance is anticipated in the near future."
Mr. Adams would not elaborate on his statement, but he did say the
"investigation is ongoing".
When asked if he was concerned that such allegations had been made against
serving officers, he said: "Certainly, but I stand behind the integrity of
the Officers of the Bermuda Police Service."
Soldiers up in arms over failed drug bust
The following was reported in the Royal Gazette by
Regiment commander Colonel David Gibbons is to hold a clear-the-air meeting
with soldiers who are furious at having been forced to take x-rays after
they were suspected of carrying drugs back from annual camp in Jamaica.
The Royal Gazette has been told seven corporals were among the seventeen
soldiers pulled aside and they are so angry that they want to resign their
posts and serve as privates.
The soldiers were detained at Bermuda International Airport on Saturday
night following an intelligence report from Jamaica that some had smuggled
drugs. They were later x-rayed at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
No drugs were found on any of them, although sniffer dogs at the Airport
did detect a smell of cannabis from some of the soldiers.
worked when drug detection dogs have been employed, I am aware they are less
than 100% effective. Evidence of this is that annual competitions are held
throughout the world - if the dogs were all 100% accurate, each dog would come joint (excuse the pun)
top. The dogs are an asset.
would certainly not be comfortable stating that the sniffer dogs (more than
one?) in Bermuda
'did detect a smell of cannabis'. The dogs appear to have reacted.
Just what they reacted to will never be known, the assumption, based on
experience is that this was a narcotic.
Bermuda's dogs trained specifically for cannabis and nothing else? Does
Bermuda have the luxury of acquiring dogs for specific drugs? Possibly
the reaction to each drug is different? - maybe not. Could it have
been cocaine, heroin (or something else)? If so, the report is
undermined. Just what was the reaction (to 'cannabis') and would it
have been different with cocaine of heroin? If not, then the Royal
Gazette report is flawed, possibly naive.
soldiers did the dogs react positively? Were they the only soldiers
x-rayed? If not, why not?
Bermuda's dogs further trained after initial training period? Is the
training they undergo conducted regularly, appropriately and
sniffer dogs appear to have reacted to something. We are not told what
the reaction was and the dogs are hardly likely to expand on their findings.
Did any of the soldiers associate with bitches when in Jamaica?
reporting accurate or is the
newspaper report intentionally, recklessly or carelessly biased? Is the Royal Gazette simply churning out
spoon-fed remarks? Do the journalists consider the content of their
articles? Is the real 'story' about the drug dogs, not the soldiers?
read the article above and form the impression that the Royal Gazette
considers the soldiers had been in contact with cannabis?
reflection, are you satisfied that the quality of reporting is all it could
be? Would you like to know more ... or are you another who accepts
everything at face value? It appears there is something every wrong
with the situation. Brush it under the carpet if you wish to Bermuda,
but is it symptomatic of a bigger problem?
I read that a dog apparently reacted to something. I would not
be comfortable stating that the dogs did smell cannabis,
but then I have always been a stickler for a little thing called 'evidence'
and the reporter probably has far better experience than I and questioned
the facts before placing the comments to paper ...
abuse islander's human rights ... surely not? :-)
Top cop defends roadblocks
By Karen Smith
Police Commissioner Jonathan Smith last night promised to
continue the campaign to make arrests for the remaining 6,000
outstanding warrants – and said the Attorney General’s Chambers had
assured him officers were acting within the law.
The Commissioner said since a warrant team had been activated a few
weeks ago, more than 900 warrants had been wiped off the wanted list,
resulting in fines worth thousands of dollars being paid....
Mr. Smith spoke out after defence lawyer Larry Mussenden accused the
Police of acting outside of the Constitution and of “trampling” on
people’s rights to move freely by setting up random stops and road
blocks. He said he was appalled that
Police were unjustly stopping people without having “reasonable
As of yesterday he said there were 6,177 warrants outstanding, and noted
the courts were issuing up to 200 warrants every week.
Besides the volume of work involved, he said the Police did not have
cell capacity to be rounding up dozens of people every day.
Anyone wishing to see if a warrant is out against them should call
Hamilton Police station on 299-4500.
comment: is the
excessive number of warrants indicative of high crime, a high disregard for
the law or police incompetence? Approximately one warrant for every 10
head of population and one police officer for every 100 head of population.
Still think the island does not have serious problems?
Start the year as you mean to go on?
Thursday, January 3, 2002
The first monthly arraignment session of 2002 saw several Jamaicans
appearing in Supreme Court on separate drug importation charges
suggesting that drug trafficking to Bermuda is big business for foreigners.
Wheelchair bound Jamaican national and alleged cocaine smuggler Patrick
Joseph Scarlett pleaded not guilty to importation and possession of 1.7
kilos of powder cocaine on October 24.
Calvin Henry Doeman, 28, also from Jamaica entered a guilty plea, for one of
four counts of importation and possession before his lawyer was present.
However once Victoria Pearman did arrive, she halted the court
proceedings in order to advise her client to plead to not guilty.
And three other Jamaicans, Andrew Nathaniel Hall 37, Barris Dawkins (aka
Rudolph Everton Pusey) 45, and Teartia Laverna Smith, 38, appeared before
Mr. Justice Ward to answer to charges of conspiracy to import, importation
and possession of heroin on March 24.
Smith pleaded guilty to importing a quantity of heroin, while lawyers for
Hall and Dawkins/Pusey requested to have the charges against their clients
comment: this has been known for years and Bermuda needs to consider the
problem recently reported in the UK given the very high price of cocaine and
cannabis on the island(s) see: UK Daily Telegraph
2002 - DRUG
Police arrests for drugs offences and seizures of narcotics rose
dramatically last year. The Bermuda Police Service reported that total
arrests rose by 19 percent to 496 and seizures of all drugs except
cannabis, increased by 12 percent to 853. Drugs seized at the airport
jumped 55 percent to 48 incidents and street arrests rose from 389 to
433. The number of women arrested for drugs offences almost doubled from
28 in 2000 to 54, while the number of males arrested was up 14 percent