PATI Information Statement

Name of Public Authority: Bermuda Police Service

 

Introduction:

 

The objective of the Public Access to Information (PATI) Act 2010 is to give the public the legally enforceable statutory right to request and obtain information held by public authorities, including government ministries, departments and other public bodies including the Bermuda Police Service.

 

The PATI Act 2010 is intended to increase transparency and eliminate unnecessary secrecy. This will be accomplished by informing the public about the activities of all public authorities and by generally placing more information into the public domain. The Bermuda Police Service will provide information wherever possible and provide information and data via our web site to automate the process and make access easier still.

 

Under the PATI Act 2010, public authorities must produce an Information Statement. An Information Statement is a commitment to routinely and proactively provide information to the public. What follows is the Bermuda Police Services Information Statement which models the Bermuda Government guidelines for Information Statements.

 

The Bermuda Police Service is committed to delivering an open and transparent service whenever possible and it is our intention to publish information in our Information Statement that the public have an interest in viewing. However, as we are committed to preventing and detecting crime in order to protect the community we serve, it should be recognized that certain information and categories of data may not be disclosed.

 

Information concerning ongoing investigations, investigative methods, intelligence and the use of related operational techniques must be protected. They are central to the maintenance of a safe and just society. In this respect, the Bermuda Police Service will, when appropriate, apply reasonable consideration of the exemptions afforded under the PATI Act (see below for a full list of exemptions).

 

Exemptions:

 

The PATI Act 2010 provides that certain information held by public authorities will be covered by exemptions and cannot or may not be disclosed upon request because of the harm that disclosure is likely to cause. Harm generally refers to substantial damage to a particular interest, and must also be real, likely and significant.


The exemptions relate to records pertaining to the following areas:


  • Health or safety, where disclosure would endanger the physical or mental health or the safety of an individual;
  • Personal information, subject to certain instances where disclosure may be allowed; 
  • Commercial information, for example trade secrets or contractual negotiations;
  • Information received in confidence;
  • Cabinet documents, including official records of deliberations or decisions;
  • Ministerial responsibility, where disclosure of records could undermine free and frank discussion and advice between Ministers, or between Ministers and public officers, in the course of their public duties;
  • Deliberations of public authorities, where disclosure could undermine free and frank discussion and advice during the course of the deliberative process;
  • Operations of public authorities, where disclosure could prejudice the effectiveness of operations of public authorities e.g. with respect to negotiating positions and industrial relations, or in relation to investigations, inquiries or audits conducted by public authorities;
  • Records for which disclosure could have an adverse effect on the financial and economic interests of Bermuda; National security, defense, and international relations; Governor’s responsibilities and communications with the United Kingdom;
  • Law enforcement records for which disclosure of certain types of information would prejudice law enforcement efforts or would endanger a person’s life or safety;
  • Legal professional privilege, where disclosure of records would be exempt from production in legal proceedings on the basis of legal professional privilege;
  • Records for which disclosure would be in contempt of court or a breach of parliamentary privilege; and
  • Disclosure prohibited by other legislation.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Section A: Structure, Organization and Legislation:

Legislation:

Constitutional Authority - His Excellency the Governor

Section 62(1) of the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968 sets out special responsibilities for the Governor of Bermuda to include the internal security of Bermuda and the Bermuda Police Service.


Section 87 of the Constitution vests power in the Governor to appoint the Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Commissioner of Police, and to remove or exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in those offices, after consultation with the Public Service Commission.

 

Legal Authority - Commissioner of Police

Section 3(1) of the Police Act 1974 sets down command of the Service under the Commissioner, subject to general directions of policy with respect to the maintenance of public safety and public order as the Governor may give him.

 

The Commissioner shall determine the use and control of the operations of the Service and shall be responsible, subject to such directions as the Governor may give him, for the administration of the Service.

 

Legal Authority - Deputy Commissioner of Police

Section 3(2) of the Police Act 1974 provides that any act which may be done, ordered or performed by the Commissioner may, subject to the orders and direction of the Commissioner, be done, ordered or performed by the Deputy Commissioner.

 

Delegated Authority - Minister of Labour, Home Affairs & Housing

In 1978, under the provisions of Section 62(2) of the Bermuda Constitution Order, the Governor of Bermuda delegated the following responsibilities as they relate to the police to the (then) Minister of Home Affairs:

 

  • Establishment matters
  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Equipment
  • General Organization
  • Finance
  • Community Relations

 

Executive Powers - Police Operations

The Police exercise their authority and powers under the Criminal Code 1907, the Police And Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 2006, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1972, the Road Traffic Act 1947, The Motor Car Act 1951, the Liquor Licence Act 1974, the Summary Offences Act 1926, the Proceeds of Crime Act 1987, the Bail Act 2010 and many other statutes of legislation that govern law enforcement.

 


Section B1:  Functions, powers, duties of the Authority 

 

 

The strategic focus of the Bermuda Police Service for 2015 - 2018 is:

 

  • Tackling Crime & Antisocial Behaviour
  • Engaging with the Community
  • Making the Roads Safer
  • Investing in our People
  • Optimizing Technology

 

 

Boards and Committees: 

  • There is one Government Board established under the Police Act 1974. There are a number of other established boards that also engage with some of the activities within the police service.
  • The Police Complaints Authority (PCA): established under the Police Complaints Authority Act 1998 (as amended 2005). The functions of the Authority are to receive complaints alleging any misconduct or neglect of duty by a police officer and to carry out investigations in the public interest. The Authority may conduct its own investigation, or it may choose to direct and supervise a police investigation of the complaint. In practice, the PCA does not conduct its own investigations. At the conclusion of the investigation, the PCA may: (a) take no further action; (b) instruct that an informal resolution is carried out or (c) make recommendations to the Commissioner that disciplinary or criminal proceedings be instituted against the police officer concerned. The Commissioner may or may not implement the recommendations of the PCA. If the latter is the case, he must provide his reasons in writing. The PCA may, where it considers it appropriate, refer the matter to the Minister for tabling in both Houses of the Legislature.
  • The Public Service Commission (PSC): established under the Public Service Commission Regulations 2001 as made by the Governor in exercise of his powers under section 84(5) of the Constitution. The Public Service Commission makes recommendations to the Governor for appointments of police officers between the ranks of Inspector and Assistant Commissioner. Ranks below Inspector are appointed by the Commissioner of Police. Where the officer requires a work permit, approval is obtained from the Minister through consultation. The PSC also establishes a staff medical board to consider removals from office on medical grounds. 

 

 

 

 


Section B2:  Functions, powers, duties of the Authority 

 

The PATI legislation places the same obligations upon all public bodies.

 

  • To provide an information statement for the public and promulgate it [s5],
  • To provide other information to the public so that the public needs only to have minimum resort to the use of the Act to obtain information [s6]. This includes:
    • General information, e.g. activities of the Authority
    • Log of all information requests and their outcome
    • Quarterly expenditure (upon request) [s6(5)]
    • Contracts valued at $50,000 or more.
  • To respond to information requests in a timely manner [s12-16]
  • To track information requests, and provide this data to the Information Commissioner
  • To respond to requests from the Information Commissioner [s9]
  • To amend personal information held by the Authority that it is wrong or misleading following a written request by the person to whom the information relates [s19]
  • To conduct an internal review if formally requested [part 5]
  • To give evidence for review by the Information Commissioner [part 6, 47(4)], or for judicial review [s49], if required
  • To provide an annual written report to the Information Commissioner of the status of information requests [s58 (3)].
  • To do anything else as required under the PATI Act and subsequent Regulations [s59, 60], including:
    • Fees for Requests for information
    • Management and maintenance of records
    • Procedures for administering the Act 
  • To train staff and make arrangements so as to facilitate compliance with the Act [s61]
  • To designate one of its officers to be the person to whom requests are directed [s62]

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Section C:  Services and Programs

 

 

Service Mandate

 

The Vision Statement of the Bermuda Police Service " We see a police service working in partnership with the community for a safer Bermuda" by focusing and engaging in five priority areas:

 

  • Tackling Crime & Antisocial Behaviour
  • Engaging with the Community
  • Making the Roads Safer
  • Investing in our People
  • Optimizing Technology

 

Services Delivered

 

The key activities of the BPS are:

  • protecting life and property
  • maintaining law and order
  • preserving the peace
  • preventing and detecting crime
  • bringing offenders to justice in accordance with legislation
  • promoting community safety
  • increasing public confidence

 

This is achieved through the provision of:

  • Patrols: uniformed patrols from each of the three main police stations (Somerset, Hamilton and Southside), as well as the roads policing unit, marine unit, police support unit, K9 unit, and the firearms unit.
  • Community Action Teams: one team at each of the three main police stations for community problem solving and partnerships.
  • Detectives: the Criminal Investigation Unit has the responsibility for local volume crimes; as well as specialist investigators in the areas of Serious Crime, Drugs, Financial Crime Units, and professional conduct complaints from the public.
  • Operational Support: to front-line patrols and detectives through the provision of: intelligence officers, forensic officers, radio and communications operators, crime prevention officers, a court liaison unit and the Bermuda Reserve Police.
  • Training & Development: through the work of the training, recruiting, and service delivery improvement units.
  • Corporate Support: through the management of information and technology, human resources, finances, public and media relations, administration and stores.

 

 

 

 

 


Section D:  Records and Documents Held

 

 

Service Standing Instructions

 

Operational Policies

This, the largest section of policies and instructions, comprises the majority of the detailed procedures for carrying out the multitude of operational policing duties.

 

O1- Operational General

O2- Operational Division/Department/Unit

O3 - Operational Traffic

O4 - Operational Criminal Investigation

O5 - Operational Patrol

O6 - Operational Prisoner & Court Related Activities

O7 - Operational Property & Evidence

O8 - Operational Support

O9 - Miscellaneous Directives

 

Administrative Policies

A1 Administrative General

This section contains policies outlining the structure, organization and general management of the BPS.

A2 Administrative Financial

This section contains policies concerning the reporting of hours worked (including overtime/time off); overall fiscal management of the BPS; and compensation for damage to personal effects.

A3 Administrative Personnel

This section contains policies concerning the welfare of the members of the BPS; recruitment; grievances; recruitment and renewal processes; promotion; allocation and distribution of personnel; and membership in specialist teams.

A4 Administrative Training

This section contains policies concerning the overall training of members of the BPS; certain specialized areas of training; and overseas travel/training and subsistence.

A5 Administrative Committees

This section is intended to deal with any established committees within the BPS. It presently contains no policies.

A6 Administrative Technology

This section contains policies concerning the use of the internet and email; audits; backups; and software.

A7 Administrative Uniform, Technology & Fleet

This section contains policies concerning the purchase and maintenance of the BPS vehicle fleet; seatbelts; and use of warrant cards by BPS members.

A8 Administrative Plant & Facilities

This section is intended to deal with the physical plant and connected facilities of the BPS. At present it contains only one policy concerning the BPS Gym.

A9 Administrative Communications

This section contains policies concerning the means and method of issuing instructions and directives internally; and standards of communication outside of the BPS.

 

Strategies and Action Plans

 This section holds a number of strategies or plans designed to deal with specific issues affecting Bermuda.


 Gang and Violence Reduction Strategy

 A strategy intended to introduce proactive and community based initiatives to counteract, contain and reduce the incidences of gang related violence.

  

Road Policing Strategy

 In recognition of the fact that virtually every resident of Bermuda uses the roads in one way or another, this plan is intended to optimize BPS actions, both proactive and reactive, to traffic infractions, dangerous and impaired driving, collisions (fatal and otherwise) and criminal activity.

 

Instructions

This group of instructions and procedures covers a long list of duties, outlining many elements of the operations of the BPS and the Bermuda Reserve Police, by division. Due to the ever changing nature of legislation, operational needs and public expectations of the BPS, they are classified as 'interim' policies/procedures until such time as a permanent policy is created.

I-1 Instructions - General Instructions

I-2 Instructions - Operational Procedures

I-3 Instructions - Community Policing Division

I-4 Instructions - Policing Support Division

I-5 Instructions - Serious Crime Division

I-6 Instructions - Drugs & Intelligence Division

I-7 Instructions - Corporate Services Directorate (HR/Finance)

I-8 Instructions - Reserve Police

 

 


Section E: Administration (all public access) Manuals

 

 

 

 


Section F: Decision-making Documents

 

 

 

The Bermuda Police Service has a decision making policy, the purpose of which is to provide all employees of the organisation clear guidelines on the procedures regarding making and recording professional and ethical decisions.   Any and all decisions will be based on the best interests of the Bermuda Police Service, having due regard to the Service's Core Values, Mission Statement and Code of Conduct.

 

When decisions are made, consideration should be given to the following principles that are established under the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR):

  • Proportionality
  • Legality
  • Accountability
  • Necessity
  • Least Intrusive

 

 

 

Guidance to decision making is already provided for in the relevant manuals and in Service Standing Instructions for complex operations.  For the types of decisions that are not already covered by other documents, guidance is provided by the Professional & Ethical Decision making policy, which is predicated on the Service Decision Model:

 

All employees are accountable for their decisions and must be prepared to provide a rationale for what they did.

 

 

 


Section G: The Information Officer

 

 

The Information officer for the Bermuda Police Service can be contacted as follows;

 

The Public Access to Information (PATI) office

Bermuda Police Service HQ

PO BOX 530 HM

Hamilton HMDX

 

Email; pati@bps.bm

Tel: (441) 295-0011 or (441) 247-1763

 

 

 

 


Section H: Any Other Information

 

 

The Bermuda Police Service will provide guidance on making a PATI application and will provide the necessary application forms on its website: www.bermudapolice.bm

 

Alternatively, application forms can be obtained at the PATI office or at any police station.  

 

 

 

 


Section 3: Information Statement: Copies and Updates

 

Every public authority shall update its information statement at least once a year, and make it available for inspection by the public at reasonable times by [s5(1-5), PATI Act]:

 

Copies of the Bermuda Police Information Statement can be found at the following locations;    

 

  • PATI Office, Police HQ, Devonshire
  • The Bermuda National Library
  • The Bermuda Archives
  • Available electronically
  • Website: www.bermudapolice.bm
  • With the Information Commissioner