Kent police staff are sent to Bermuda to help find lost property
Why is Kent's small constabulary sending staff (a current and a former officer) to Bermuda to investigate a leak of confidential / secret documents? Where is the quid quo pro? Who benefits? See below and:
Originally it was the Met' that were to be approached for support. As a hefty constabulary who could likely do without administrators, this appeared reasonable. The City of London who specialise in fraud could have been called upon. There are numerous constabularies with more manpower than Kent … so why drain Kent’s assets? Bermuda; a colony 3500 miles away has what by way of a relationship with Kent?
Why would Kent consent to be brought into a probe that appears to be a no-win state of affairs? If the parties inappropriately (allegedly) revealing the information are exposed and prosecuted there will follow a show trial likely requiring a revisit of Kent officers to give evidence. But does anyone want a public rendering of an topic that it appears most (in Government and the police) are trying to keep concealed? Does the Island's Premier really want the issue resurrected and to have those who leaked the documents discuss in open Court what was taken and why - unless the Court can be hushed also?
Why obtain the services of Steve Harris, Kent’s head of Professional Standards Department, a euphemism for the Complaints division? Is this anticipated this will be an internal investigation of Bermuda’s police staff who, despite ‘special security measures’ managed to acquire and dispense the ‘confidential and secret’ file?
It remains to be seen what assistance the ‘outsiders' are provided on the island. Will this be perceived as an internal investigation, a potential disciplinary matter, the investigation of Bermuda officers? Bermuda officers have been the subject of previous articles about just how slowly internal corrective issues are investigated, how leisurely the subject is advanced. How high ranking are the Bermuda suspects (assuming them to be police officers) if the Island’s constabulary feel unable to undertake the investigation alone? The Bermuda constabulary has investigated serious crimes alone previously, why are they unable to undertake a ‘lost property’ survey?
The second member of police staff, David Stevens, is not as serving officer, he is a retired policeman, who ‘chairs the domestic violence strategy group for Kent’. ‘Domestic violence’; husband and wife disputes (abuse in the home) – an apt portrayal of the relationship between Government, Governor and their ‘child’, the Bermuda police? Possibly he will help to prise the Government and police apart – stand between the two and prevent a breach of the peace?
Are Kent being called in as a scape-goat - not expected (wanted) to discern anything? If they fail to discover the culprits Bermuda breathes a sigh of relief and their reprieve. Everyone points to the 'external agency' powerless to determine where fault lies or the whereabouts of the islands file and mole. Bermuda tried their best but ....
Is there more to Kent's involvement than meets the eye? What is the relationship between Bermuda and Kent such that Bermuda could call upon the constabulary for assistance? To my recollection this has never occurred before. Just how many former Bermuda officers are now employed by Kent? Is the enquiry already a forgone conclusion? Is there any 'stolen' file to find? Just how many copies of the file were there – have they all gone? See:
Will Kent staff be required to attend the appeal of the gagging order, the Privy Council hearing to be held sometime in the not so near future? See:
The missing confidential / secret file is a messy affair; ‘subject to special security measures’, once 'lost', now 'stolen', resulting in Government attempting to take control of the police, the Auditor General arrested, subsequent gagging of the press. Politics combined with policing – an explosive combination. Ask yourselves why the Bermuda Government would attempt to take control of the police immediately following the leak. Just how do you separate the police from the Government in the small colony and why send Kent staff, who appear to have no experience of the rock’s issues, into the fray?
Is this less about finding the file and more about containing the situation, intimidating those who would consider such action in the future and protecting the Premier?
In the meantime, whilst I suspect Bermuda will meet all costs associated with the Kent police staff travelling and remaining in Bermuda at this favourable time of year, what of Kent? What will the monies from the rental of the staff to Bermuda be used for and what resources will be further stretched in the absence of these staff members?
At a time when everyone is anxious about home grown problems, their safety and security, why are we sending scarce resources abroad?
UK Police chiefs on Island over BHC documents row
Leading Police officers from the UK are now in Bermuda carrying out a review into how Bermuda Housing Corporation documents got into the hands of the media, Police Commissioner George Jackson said yesterday.
Chief Superintendent Steve Harris and David Stevens, of Kent Police force, are providing help and support to Bermuda Police Service as the probe into the BHC affair continues.
At a press conference yesterday, Mr. Jackson said the British officers had been specifically briefed to report on “the integrity and independence from outside influence” of the Police inquiry.
“I wish to assure the public that we are aggressively investigating this matter to ensure that the public retain their confidence in the Bermuda Police Service,” he said.
Last month, The Mid-Ocean News ran a story from a leaked Police dossier centring on allegations of corruption at BHC.
The documents reportedly revealed that Dr. Brown, former Premier Jennifer Smith and former Minister Renee Webb were all investigated by Police looking into the BHC allegations.
Mr. Jackson and Attorney General Philip Perinchief then attempted to gag the media over reporting information from the leaked document, which they claimed had been stolen.
Supreme Court and Bermuda’s Court of Appeal both turned down their request, stating that freedom of the press to report on the BHC probe outweighs concern that the documents are confidential.
The matter has now been referred to the Privy Council in London, with the media temporarily gagged
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