Burch praises Police service

Posted by on Oct 25, 2010 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

Public Safety Minister David Burch updated the public on the workings of his ministries… calling it “State of the Ministry”.

Commissioner of Corrections, Lt. Col. Edward Lamb, Commanding Officer of the Bermuda Regiment, Lt. Col. Brian Gonsalves, Director of Labour and Training, Major Wayne Smith, Commissioner of Police, Michael DeSilva, Minister Burch (ctr), BHC General Manger Major Barrett Dill, Chief Fire Officer Vincent Hollinsid, Permanent Secretary Dr. Derrick Binns and Assistant Chief Immigration Officer, Dr. Dannette Ming.

Here is part of his update:

Let me state at the outset that we are greatly encouraged with the new leadership of the Bermuda Police Service under Commissioner Michael Desilva and Deputy Commissioner Michael Jackman. You will know that significant resources have been provided to the Service to meet its mandate. Our request to implement a more pro-active approach to policing and for officers to enforce all the laws of our land has been implemented and the results are self evident.

Let me also reiterate that the relationship between Government House, Government and the BPS has never been better. We are committed to working together in the area of public safety. This innovative joint effort, together with outside assistance when necessary has been extremely successful.

Some examples of that innovation include the recruitment of a number of experienced investigation officers from the UK and a new Assistant Commissioner of Police (Serious Crime), Mr. David Mirfield who commenced his duties on 5th July.

He has been appointed for a period of two years during which time he will be tasked with establishing best practice in serious crime investigations, particularly in the areas of gang suppression and violence reduction. Mr. Mirfield edged out two other short-listed candidates by providing evidence of recent operational experience and investigative successes.

Mr. Mirfield retired in April as a Chief Superintendent from the West Midlands Police after a long and distinguished investigative career that includes serving as a Senior Investigating Officer and then Crime Manager for serious crimes. He spent the last four years in charge of the West Midlands’ Criminal Investigative Division with responsibility for all major crime including: gangs, murder, kidnap and child abuse. Mr. Mirfield holds a Law Degree from Coventry University, and a Diploma in Criminal Justice. He is a trainer for West Midlands Police and the National Policing Improvement Agency in murder investigations and witness protection.

A number of enhancements to policies and procedures are being implemented. Some of them are:

A Code of Conduct written and approved by the Police Complaints Authority, Attorney General’s Chambers and the Bermuda Police Association.

Introduce a Wellness and Fitness Programme to include circuit training and health screening. The next Recruit Foundation Course will pilot the new programmes.

A functioning Health and Safety Committee now established that meets once a month.

A new shift system at Com Ops and the PSU is being tried in a trial period. Both systems agreed by Police Association in an Memorandum of Understanding.

Implementation of an enhanced Tutor Constable Programme will commence with the next RFC course.

Investigation of a new Staff Appraisal System to incorporate best practice in policing organizations.

Implement a new Reserve Police, Recruitment and Retention plan.

Early in the assumption of his appointment, Commissioners DeSilva expressed a desire to have the service assessed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. Progress has been made in that regard and I anticipate His Excellency will shortly make a formal request with the Government’s support to the UK authorities.

The efforts in strengthening the Bermuda Police Service has borne considerable fruit as evidenced by the speedy arrest of suspects, their prosecution and conviction in the Courts.

As you are aware, in January this year the FBI conducted an on island seminar for key stakeholders in the anti gang initiative. Subsequently a number of line officers from the gang targeting unit, the Intelligence Unit along with two Corrections officers have been to the FBI. In addition to the FBI they undertook orientation with the US District Attorney’s office and the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police intelligence, narcotics and gang units.

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