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26°/26°Few Clouds

2020-07-15 - 15:54:38  COMMUNITY | 

OFFICERS UP IN ARMS OVER COMRADE’S SUSPENSION


Concerns at the BPS as a colleague of the officer suspended yesterday has criticised the move as unfair, arguing there was no need for the matter to be put in the public domain as it was since the reason for the officer's suspension his colleague claims is neither criminal, nor job related and is rather domestic in mature.

Further, TNN understands, the suspended officer is the officer who claimed to have been assaulted by the Superintendent in charge of the department which deals with complaints against police officers.

TNN sort a response from Commissioner of the Bermuda Police Service, Steve Corbishley in these matters. “A police officer suspended on Tuesday in relation to apparent reported discipline matters could be charged over their actions with the matter being turned over to the Department Public Prosecutions (DPP).

TNN has learned that several of the suspended officer’s comrades among the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) are said to be up in arms and crying foul over the recent move to suspend the officer from active duty.

Police Commissioner Stephen Corbishley though said that the case involved potential issues of illegality and had been since placed in the hands of the DPP for possible criminal charges to be laid.

“We confirmed yesterday that an officer has indeed been suspended,” said the Commissioner. “There are matters of internal conduct and there are also criminal allegations as well, which are being dealt with by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“A review was undertaken in regards to whether we could restrict the officer or if she would have to be suspended. And in the interest of, obviously opposition, and public interest it was felt that the opportunity was to suspend this officer.

The police chief emphasized that any actions taken thus far should not be held to assume guilt as there remain the internal investigative review and judicial processes to ascertain items of culpability.

Said Mr. Corbishley: “It’s not an indication of guilt. It’s just an indication of how seriously we take the matter.”

However, reports reaching TNN from within the police cadre have alleged the situation to be a matter of personal revenge being taken against the officer, supposedly hand-picked by the Commissioner to deal with internal affairs.  

It was unknown whether this allegation related to a recent situation where a police constable reportedly made an assault complaint against a superintendent hired from the United Kingdom to run the Professional Standards Department within the BPS. The alleged assault purportedly having come during the course of a meeting between the two when the constable attempted to use a mobile phone and efforts to prevent such resulted in apparent physical contact.

The Commissioner though categorically denied the current suspension and ongoing inquiries to be retaliatory, adding that the issues of concern surrounding the officer preceded the aforementioned alleged incident.

“I reject that completely, Trevor,” responded the Commissioner. “The matter that you reported in TNN around an overseas officer was actually factually inaccurate.

“That’s not your fault, it’s how it was reported to you. The matters against the officer who has been suspended were actually taking place before that time.

“The Professional Standards Department of the BPS has integrity but also has to follow due process and I sometimes get frustrated when comments from third parties are made which are not cited on the full facts of matters.

“Think people should be cautious reporting any information unless they know the full facts of full matter and those facts are presented to both a disciplinary panel and also a court for them to decide on what the outcome can be.”
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