Letter to Mr Dovaston



sent to Mr Dovaston at his home address, England.

Saturday, 22 July 2000

Dear Sir,

I draw your attention to the following site:


while some of the content is not pertinent to your enquiry but simply my airing of a complaint, I believe some of the material will be of interest and provide some background.  Possibly the text displayed will give you a feel for the island’s drug related crime.

The link ‘Why Bermuda’ deals with drug prices and the ‘Background’ contains articles relating to informants (drug related), prison statistics, Middletown (a notorious location on the island), a former Commissioner (Colin Coxall) and much more.

A ‘serious’ investigation was that of Antonio Miranda.  It should have been progressed beyond the tip of the ice-berg.  Indeed, I would be flattering our abilities if I were to suggest we caught the ‘tip’ of ever took out a complete layer.  We had the opportunity but …

Despite my ‘problems’ with certain serving members of the police service, you will find some very competent, well-meaning Officers who deserve better support, training and facilities; personally and for their staff.  You will certainly meet Jonathon Smith, a man for whom I have every respect and someone who I believe has the interests of the community at heart and who could make a difference (if he is allowed to).  Possibly Inspector Edward Coglin Gibbons will be introduced to you; a quirky chap, good-humoured and not to be under-estimated; he is a bright man.  Despite my disappointment in Coggy (Mr Gibbons) I would still chose to have him alongside me in any investigation and again believe he has very good intentions.  If Coggy is still associated with the ‘intelligence’ department then he is a ‘must’ to see.

Exercise caution with people such as George Jackson – he is too easily swayed from a course and quickly becomes confused.  He has good intentions but lacks the ability to lead – other than by adopting the ‘what I say goes’ approach.  Carlton ‘socky’ Adams, is a disaster waiting to happen.  Sadly, he believes he is Bermuda’s answer to investigation.  However, he will twist and distort facts to suit his purpose.  His approach to success is not to raise himself above others but to drag those about him down to below his level; in his mind the result is the same – he is ‘above’ them.  He is dangerous not because of this approach; to most, it is evident.  The danger lies in the fact that he receives support (encouragement) from those who employ or promote him.

I know few in the CID department.  If an officer, in his 30’s, Butch Burgess remains then, as a grass-roots officer, you will find few with greater enthusiasm.

In the main, the island is a holiday resort; work is a revenue source to support the important issue – enjoying the island.  I enjoyed this for a year or so; I’ve been there, done that.  The environment does not promote professionalism from the imported officers.  In addition to the ‘resort’ environment, one need do little to excel or certainly be ‘better’ than those officers employed from the resident population.  ‘Better’ is inappropriate; ‘different’ is probably the word I require.

In the UK, within the probationary period, an officer will probably encounter more crime than most Bermudian officers will see in the entire service.  The UK officer will encounter professional criminals, deceitful individuals, vicious people and those with absolute disregard for the law.  I can recall only one person in Bermuda who I thought to be thoroughly nasty and this only when he was high on crack cocaine.

There are many facets that make Bermuda unique and I wish you every success in identifying the problems and providing a workable solution.

If my site contains any information which is of assistance then it will have done the island some good.  If you feel there is anything else I can constructively add, then I am only an e-mail away.

Lastly, I cannot help but feel the one person who you really need to talk to is Colin Coxall, a former Commissioner.  If you require his address I would suggest contacting Rebecca Zuill (of the Royal Gazette @ Bermuda) though I suspect, as a former senior Officer in England, his details will be to hand.  Possibly Rebecca is worthy of a conversation also?

Good luck

Philip Swift

Former DC 217




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