Diary 88 on

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November '88

 

The C.I.D. Diary 8th November 1988 on

A diary is maintained by CID officers and details their activities for each day, at the end of the week they are handed in to the sergeant in charge of the officer's section and checked, they then reach the Detective Inspector and eventually the Detective Chief Inspector.  The DCI, throughout my time in the department was Dennis Ramsey.

In addition to maintaining the diary, which could be required for Court purposes, an officer continued to keep a pocket book this almost certainly being required in the event a matter proceeded to trial.  The pocket book contained, as far as was possible, original notes.

The diary served another purpose, it enabled an officer to justify overtime claimed at the end of a month.

I commenced my duties with the he Narcotics Department on Tuesday 8th November 1988.  I was allocated a desk and that was the extent of the welcome to the Department.  I was assigned to the Street Team, as opposed to the C.A.T. (Civil Air Terminal) squad, it was therefore a matter of patrolling the streets and conducting searches under the Misuse of Drugs Act, making the necessary arrests and generally trying to develop 'operations'.

There was no training provided, little guidance and a distinct lack of specialist equipment.  One day I was a uniform officer, the next I was referred to as a 'detective' in the Narcotics department.  No one was particularly interested in the 'bigger picture', there were no long-term projects and no analytical work was conducted; it was simply a matter of living for the moment.

As for equipment, we had no facility to tape telephone calls, report writing was by hand, intelligence reports went via a civilian typist, radios were temperamental and to produce a search warrant we had to use an old type-writer.

Bermuda's biggest area of crime was being addressed with a lack of resources.  As the importers, suppliers and users could adapt to the latest technology to promote their activities, we were in the dark ages.

For many in the police service, there was no drug problem.   Sure, some narcotics were being used but so what?  It was nothing on a large scale so some officers (and Officers) buried their heads in the Islands lovely pink sand.

Admittedly, we did not have drug dealers / suppliers reporting that they had lost their drugs, their supply had been stolen from them nor did users complain about the quality of the product.  Hardly surprising of course, but to some within the police service, as the subject was not something about which we were being approached on a daily basis to resolve, why the attention?

We had drug related deaths (over-doses), burglaries, thefts, assaults and the odd bit of fraud being conducted by users to maintain their habit but such was the narrow-mindedness of the force that this was generally overlooked, ignored or dismissed.

There was jealousy / envy associated with the Narcotics department.  It was a plum job, for those who did not mind getting their hands dirty now and again, working some odd hours and mixing with less than savoury characters, it was a very good appointment.

I do not deny I had never wished to become a CID officer, at least, I never wished to work in the C.I.D. department.  I have every respect for those that do conduct this work.  Unlike the narcotics department, a C.I.D. officer would walk into the office to start his shift and have no idea what he would be confronted with, or what would be presented during the day.  In the narcotics department, certainly we had many surprises, but most were of our own making; we choose to look for 'trouble'.  A C.I.D. officer could arrive at 8am to find a prisoner (or more than one) in custody from the night before for an assault / burglary / theft / indecent assault / fraud etc.  This could then be followed by the telephone reports of crime as people awoke to discover they had been burgled.  All manner of problems could present themselves during the day.

In the narcotics department, except for the odd person complaining about drugs being sold in their road, we had little to respond to.  To a greater extent we controlled our destiny.  It as a matter for each officer just how much they committed themselves to the job.  Unfortunately we lacked imagination, initiative and enthusiasm on many occasions.

This, I believe, led to many petty rivalries within the department which were a constant source of complaint.  The DCI himself perpetuated poor relations within the office (see A45's - Back-stabbing).  The sad truth is that there were persons who were conspicuous for their lack of input, they simply did not develop intelligence or initiate actions.  But, they were there are support and as such carried out an extremely important role.

However, for the odd few this was not enough.  For some, it was less work to slander and drag down those who did demonstrate ability.   The logic appeared to be that success resulted not from elevating your own position but ensuring those about you were reduced to a lower level .

The above has contributed to Bermuda's narcotics problems.

The diary will be detailed month by month.  Where applicable, there will be links to documentation or reports that compliment the content.   Whilst the narcotics department had little equipment, I bought my own tape recorder (with telephone attachment) and a word processor.  Transcripts of the tape and word processor documents will also appear as they link to specific incidents.

Lastly, a link to abbreviations used on the diary pages can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please follow this link for the month:

November 1988.

 

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