NASSAU –– Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade fired 13 people from the Royal Bahamas Police Force in 2016 for misconduct and betrayal of the public trust.
His comments came as the crime statistics the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) released Wednesday also revealed that 167 complaints were made against police officers by members of the public in 2016, an 11 per cent decrease from 2015.
“Again this year I had to send home what I call a significant number of rogue police officers, and I make no apologies for that,” Commissioner Greenslade said. “Thirteen officers who were frauds in my view wore our uniform under false pretence with criminal ideas, behaved in an unethical fashion, ceased to become efficient police officers and betrayed my trust and the public’s trust. I sent them home and I took your uniform, Bahamian public, away from them and asked them not to enter headquarters again or any other precinct that’s owned by the RBPF. I asked them to depart from us, we know them not.”
He added: “There are many cases before our tribunals. Those tribunals sit on a daily basis, headed by chief superintendents. After the assistant commissioner has done his due diligence on matters and we are satisfied there is sufficient evidence to proceed, just like in criminal matters, those matters are sent to a tribunal and these officers would be the first to tell you, notwithstanding my very pleasant disposition I’m always nudging at the deputy commissioner and asking what happened to the matter that I saw that was going viral of some fight, what happened to the matter where an officer lost my duty gear, just reminding him that I have not forgotten because I have to hold in trust for you as a public the fact that we are going to [be] above board and we are going to deliver every day in a professional and ethical manner.”
Commissioner Greenslade did not reveal precise reasons for firing the 13 officers.
Public complaints against police officers last year included 101 complaints of assault, up from 86 in 2015. They also included 15 complaints of unethical behaviour, 12 of missing property, five of extortion, seven of unlawful arrest, four of threats of harm and five of causing harm.
One hundred and one of the complaints resulted in complete investigations in some form, the statistics show.
However, in 37 of the cases, officials found the complaints unsubstantiated while in a combined total of 11 cases officials found the complaints either unfounded or lacking sufficient evidence.
In only one case was an officer fired as consequence of a complaint.
In six cases, it was recommended that the complainant be reimbursed and in nine cases it was recommended that the complaint be taken before a court of enquiry and a tribunal, indicating that a serious offence had been alleged.
In 18 cases, the complainant withdrew the complaint.