September 20, 2020

Bermuda Police report on the death of RCIPS PC Williams in the Cayman Islands

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bermuda Police reportFollowing the conclusion of the Coroner’s Court concerning the death of PC Williams the Governor has released a redacted version of the report into the same by the Bermudian Police Service.

The following is the transcript of the BPS review of the arrest and death of PC Raphael Williams (). Published 18 September 2014

To read the original posting go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/356216/140320_Bermuda_Police_Service_Independent_Review_of_Arrest_and_Death_of_PC_Raphael_Williams_Undated__2_.pdf

: Some parts of this document have been redacted in line with data protection policy.

Independent Review of Arrest and Death of Police Constable Raphael Williams (RCIPS)

Authorizing Officer: Michael A.Desilva,CPM FCMI Commissioner of Police Bermuda Police Service

Senior Investigating Officer: Robert W. Cardwell, MSc MCMI (AUTHOR) Police Inspector Bermuda Police Service

Security Classification:          RESTRICTED

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part     Title

1          Background

2          Specific Terms of Reference

3          Working Strategy

4          The Criminal Allegations against Police Constable Raphael Williams

5          Actions by RCIPS Professional Standards Unit

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

6          Circumstances of Complaint by XXXXXXXX

7          Action by RCIPS Anti-Corruption Unit

8          Arrest of Constable Williams

9          Care and Custody of Constable Williams at George Town Police Station.

  1. Constable Williams- Movements Post Arrest
  2. Coroner Investigation
  3. Review Conclusions
  4. Appendix A
  5. Background
  1. Background

1.1       PC   Raphael Williams had been arrested by officers in a joint investigation between the Anti-Corruption and Professional Standards Units of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) on 9th January, 2014 on suspicion of committing offences of blackmail and breach of trust.   These offences were alleged to have been committed in the Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands whilst he was on duty. On 12th January, 2014 whilst on police bail PC Williams was discovered deceased in a secluded area of brush in the East End area of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.   A police investigation determined that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

1.2       On or about 21st January, 2014 RCIPS Commissioner of Police David Baines, solicited assistance through Mr Larry Covington, the United Kingdom Overseas Territory         Police Advisor for an independent review of the   circumstances surrounding the arrest, care and custody and the subsequent death of Police Constable Raphael Williams. The Bermuda Police Service (BPS) was contacted to conduct this Independent Review.

1.3       On 24th January, 2014   BPS Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police James Howard acting on behalf of the BPS Commissioner of Police appointed Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), Inspector Robert W. Cardwell   to   conduct the independent review requested together with a small team of BPS Officers that included Detective Sergeant Renay Rock and Detective Constable Jason Robinson.

1.4       The BPS SIO and team of investigating officers travelled to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands between 2ih January, 2014 and 5th February, 2014 and conducted the Independent Review as per the agreed Terms of Reference between the RCIPS and the BPS.

1.5       On arrival of the Independent Review Team they met with RCIPS Commissioner of Police, David Baines. He outlined some of the allegations that had been made against the officers involved in the investigation and arrest of Constable Williams as well as general untoward perceptions around the treatment of Constable Williams against the RCIPS Organization. These allegations had been brought to his attention by the RCIPS membership through the Staff Association Chairman and from the wife of Constable Williams through her attorneys at law firm ‘Cayman Mediation Center’ and the extended family of Constable Williams in Jamaica. Commissioner Baines explained some of the challenges he has had in executing the responsibilities of his office with respect to the wife of Constable Williams which had been made difficult through her attorneys at law firm ‘Cayman Mediation Center’. Maintaining an FLO relationship with Mrs Williams had also been difficult. Commissioner Baines committed to ensuring that the Independent Review Team would have unobstructed access to any asset of RCIPS as required; any officer and any file or document sought.

1.6       The allegations made against the investigating officers and the RCIPS generally included:

  • The arrest of Constable Williams was “heavy handed” and involved multiple uniformed RCIPS assets including the RCIPS helicopter and this combination caused severe embarrassment to Constable Williams.
  • The lack of duty of care and appropriate risk assessment of Constable Williams that might have negated his subsequent death.
  • Denied access to an attorney whilst in custody.
  • Denied access to Staff Association representative.
  • The death of Constable Williams is suspicious and may have involved RCIPS officers
  1. Specific Terms of Reference
  1. To review the allegations of criminal conduct on the part of PC Williams to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the actions of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service in investigating those allegations
  2. To review the circumstances of the arrest of PC Williams and his detention and treatment whilst in custody until the time of his release.

iii.        To specifically review if the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service could and should have done more to identify any vulnerability or self-harm indictors on the part of PC Williams before he was released on bail.

  1. Independent Review Team Working Strategy

3.1       RCIPS Acting Chief Superintendent Robert Scotland was appointed RCIPS liaison Officer for the BPS Independent Review team.   A Decision Policy File of the Independent Review was maintained by the Independent Reviewing SIO. The BPS Independent Review Team achieved the Independent Review as per the Terms of Reference by reviewing a number of documents, files and had conduct of a number of interviews. This included:

  • A copy of the Criminal File into the allegations made against PC Williams inclusive of supporting statements, tape recorded interview transcripts and SIO Policy Decisions;
  • A copy of the Coroner Investigation into the death of PC Williams inclusive of statements and other relevant copied documents;
  • Statements made by RCIPS Officers and others involved in the Criminal and Coroner Investigations;
  • Helicopter Crew, logs and GPS movement records.
  • Relevant legislation;
  • Relevant RCIPS policy and procedure documents;
  • PC Williams Custody documents;
  • PC Williams Personnel File;
  • A series of interviews were conducted with persons identified as critical witnesses to the events around PC Williams as well as those who sought audience with the Review Team.
  • Interviews with the attorney who had represented Constable Williams and the attorneys representing Mrs Williams.
  • Interview with Staff Association Chairman and Legal Lead.

3.2       The George Town Police Station Custody Facility where PC Williams had been held in custody was visited by the Independent Review Team and a tour facilitated. The tour included explanation of Care and Custody procedures.

3.3       As a result of executing the Independent Review Team Working Strategy facts were ascertained through a system of corroboration from multiple sources. The sources of information informing this review are listed in Appendix A. The facts have been reported and summarized to satisfy the Specific Terms of Reference provided to the Independent Review SIO.

  1. The Criminal Allegations against Police Constable Raphael Williams

4.1       XXXXXXXXX   contacted the RCIPS Professional Standards Unit (PSU) and alleged that in the early hours (approximately la.m.) of Monday 6th January, 2014 she had been driving her private motorcar in Grand Cayman when she was stopped by a lone uniformed RCIPS Police Officer.   XXXXXXXXX readily admits that she did not possess insurance for the vehicle she was driving and that this was identified by the Police Officer who had caused her to stop. XXXXXXXXX  that the officer demanded that she have “sex” with him as an alternative to being prosecuted for the insurance offence. He directed her off the main road to a secluded area behind a nearby building.        XXXXXXXXXXXX was successfully able to ward off the advances made by the RCIPS Officer by agreeing to submit to the demand made at a later date.   The RCIPS Officer XXXXXXXX· his private cellular telephone number for the purpose as alleged by her, that contact be made to arrange for a sexual encounter and identified himself to her as ‘Mark’.

4.2       XXXXXXXXXXX the private cellular number provided by the officer into her own cellular telephone. As she is a subscriber to the social media application ‘WhatsApp the cellular number provided by the officer was automatically linked to the ‘WhatsApp account of PC Raphael Williams which included a photograph. XXXXXXXXX positively identified the photograph of PC Raphael Williams from ‘WhatApp and that this was the same person demanding a ‘sexual encounter’.

4.3       XXXXXXXXXXXX reported what had happened to her to Detective

Constable (DC) Anderson Taylor who she was familiar with at XXXXXXXXXX where she is employed. DC Taylor identified the ‘WhatsApp photograph to be that of Constable Rafael Williams. DC Taylor encouraged XXXXXXXXXXX to make a formal complaint of what had happened to her, but also undertook to alert Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Richard Barrow, Officer-in­ Charge of the Professional Standards Unit of his own accord.

  1. Actions by the RCIPS Professional Standards Unit – XXXXXXXXXX

5.1       DCI Barrow having been apprised of the allegations being made by XXXXXXXX by DC Taylor made an arrangement to interview her about the allegations. DCI Barrow together with Detective Constable (DC) Patela also of the Professional Standards Unit interviewed XXXXXXXXX on or around 3:40pm on Monday 6th, Januarv. 2014. A statement was recorded.

5.2       On Tuesday. 7th Januarv. 2014 DCI Barrow and DC Patela met with Deputy Commissioner Stephen Brougham and briefed him on the allegation made against Constable Raphael Williams by XXXXXXX. A decision was reached that the allegation made went beyond the remit of the Professional Standards Unit and the circumstances were more criminal in nature. A directive was given to brief and involve Detective Inspector (DI) Richard Oliver of the Anti-Corruption Unit whose direct remit the circumstances of the allegation made fell under.

5.3       Later that same day DCI Barrow and DC Patela met with and briefed DI Oliver and DC Hill of the Anti-Corruption Unit about the complaint made against PC Raphael Williams. It was during this meeting and having been briefed on the circumstances that DI Oliver recalied that the same modus-operandi and allegation as alleged by XXXXXXXX   had in fact been used  previously and made against PC Williams by another female member of the public years earlier. The complainant in the earlier matter was one. and had been reported on 17th January, 2011.

  1. Circumstances of Complaint by XXXXX and Investigation

6.1       XXXXXX alleged that shortly after 3pm on 2nd January, 2011 she had been caused to stop when driving her private motorcar in West Bay by a lone uniformed RCIPS Officer. The officer identified that XXXXXXXX inspection and insurance certificates had expired. The officer then directed XXXXX to drive off of the main road and into a more secluded area behind a nearby petrol station. XXXXX pleaded with the officer to give her time to pay for the Inspection and Insurance Certificates as an alternative to having her car towed away.  The officer is alleged to have agreed giving her a few days, but not before securing her telephone number and suggesting that she do something for  him.

6.2       A few days later XXXXXXX alleged that she received a call from the officer in which he told her that he had a “fantasy of having sex with two females”. Despite having no intention of giving into the suggestion being made, XXXXXXX

gave the impression that she was considering the suggestion in order to buy

more time to afford her the opportunity to obtain the Inspection and Insurance

Certificates for her car.

6.3       However, as time passed the officer is alleged to have become increasingly threatening towards XXXXXX as he continued to assert his authority and suggest that he would report her for the expired Inspection and Insurance Certificate violations if she was not forthcoming with his demands for a sexual encounter.

6.4       XXXXXXXX reported the circumstances suffered to DI Oliver of the RCIPS Anti- Corruption Unit. However, at this time XXXXXXXXdid not want to pursue a complaint as a consequence of her personal situation at the time.

6.5       Constable Williams was tentatively identified as the officer who had engaged and made unprofessional advances towards and demands of XXXXXX as the cellular telephone number provided was the same cellular telephone contact number provided by Constable Williams and retained on his personnel file with RCIPS.

6.6       DI Oliver received approval to conduct an ‘integrity test’ against Constable Williams which was completed on or about July 2011.   The ‘integrity test’ involved running a covert human source through a traffic stop scenario that involved Constable Williams. Constable Williams passed the integrity test making no untoward or unprofessional advances to the covert human source stopped by him for a motoring offence.

6.7       The XXXXXX matter was filed by the Anti-Corruption Unit and no further actions was initiated or progressed in the complaint.

  1. Actions by the RCIPS Anti-Corruption Unit – XXXXXXXXXXXX

7.1       On Wednesday. 8th Januarv, 2014 DI Oliver was tasked by Deputy Commissioner Brougham to assume the role of Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) of the complaint made by XXXXXXXXX against Constable Rafael Williams. He did so and maintained a Decision Policy File of the investigation that followed. The investigation was coded Operation ‘SNOWDEN’.       DCIBarrow and DC Patela continued to work along-side DIOliver and DC Hill on an agreed investigation strategy.

7.2       The agreed investigation strategy involved having   XXXXXXXX place a ‘controlled telephone call’ to Constable Williams on the cellular telephone number he provided.

7.3       A directed surveillance application to conduct the ‘controlled telephone call’ and record the ‘one-sided consensual’ conversation was approved by Deputy Commissioner of Police Brougham the same day.

7.4       XXXXXXX was invited to the Anti-Corruption office later the same day where she was extensively interviewed about the allegation she had made against Constable Williams. This interview was audio recorded.

7.5       XXXXXXXX was instructed on making a telephone call to Constable Williams which she agreed. A call was made but went unanswered. A voice mail message was left.

7.6       A call was returned to XXXXXX by Constable Williams shortly after. This conversation was audio recorded.       Constable Williams was non-committal in his conversation with XXXXXXXXXXXX around his intentions albeit he was clearly attempting to establish her plans for the day. There was no evidential value gleaned that would further progress the investigation into the allegations as a result of the conversation that occurred.

7.7       The next day, Thursday 9th Januarv. 2014 XXXXXXXXXXXX returned to the Anti-Corruption Unit office.   The investigation strategy had progressed whereby the intention was that XXXXXXXX place a second audio recorded ‘consented one-sided controlled call’ to Constable Williams and if requested by Constable Williams to meet, that this would be agreed and that the Anti-Corruption Unit was positioned to safe-guard XXXXXXXXXXXXX should a meeting be arranged.

7.8       The ‘controlled call’ was made.   Once again Constable Williams was non­ committal in his intentions and did not implicate himself in the allegations made despit XXXXXXXXX following instructions to solicit from him conversation that would corroborate the allegation made. Once again Constable Williams made inquiries with XXXXXXXXXXX about her current location and intended movements for the day. The conversation ended with limited evidential value being obtained.

7.9       Simultaneous to the ‘controlled call’ being made DIOliver had dispatched DC’s Johnson and Lynam (Drugs and Serious Crime Task Force Officers) and DCI Barrow to the residence of Williams in anticipation that surveillance mighf6e required of him to a determined meeting location if this could be arranged by XXXXXXXXXXXXX

  1. Arrest of Constable Raphael Williams

8.1       DI Oliver concluded that ‘prima facie’ the allegations made were sufficiently supported. The offences committed as alleged are set out under Grand Cayman Legislation under ‘Blackmail’ contrary to Section 259 of the Penal Code (2008 Revision) and ‘Breach of Trust’ contrary to Section 13 of Anti-Corruption Law executive action. A policy decision was made to exercise the power of arrest against Constable Williams for the offences identified.

8.2       DCI Barrow together with DC’s Johnson and Lynam had attended the residence of Constable Williams and whilst unable to determine if he was at home had confirmed his private motorcar was parked outside of the residence.   A visual containment of the residence was maintained until the arrival of DIOliver.

8.3       DI Oliver and DCI Barrow knocked on the door of the residence and engaged Constable Williams.            On engagement of Constable Williams, DC’s Johnson and Lynam were stood down and left the area. At 2:03pm that same day, Constable Williams was advised that he was being arrested on suspicion of breach of trust and blackmail offences. He voluntarily obtained and surrendered his ‘duty books’ and cellular telephones to DI Oliver and therefore no search of his residence was necessary or conducted.

8.4       Constable Williams was placed unrestrained in an unmarked police vehicle and conveyed to the George Town Police Station by DIOliver and DCIBarrow who are both plain clothes police officers.

  1. Care and Custody of Constable Raphael Williams at George Town Police Station

9.1   On arrival at the George Town Police Station conversation occurred between Constable Williams, DI Oliver and DCI Barrow in the car. The conversation was around Williams preferred entry into the police station. The options were to drive into the rear of the police station and enter via a closed gate and this would require a call-in to the Station to have someone come out and open it, or alternatively, and the option chosen by Williams was to walk through the front door of the police station and walk directly into the Custody Suite.

9.2   At the George Town Police Station Constable Williams was escorted into the Custody Suite where a RCIPS Custody Record was created by a Custody Officer. The Custody Record was created at 2:34pm the same day (31 minutes after arrest).     The Custody Record included a Prisoner Risk Assessment questionnaire. Constable Williams indicated that he had a pre-existing medical condition associated to high blood pressure/hyper-tension and was on medication for this. He did not indicate in answering the remainder of the risk assessment questions that there would be any risk of self-harm or that he had on any occasion considered such. Insp Oliver completed (hand-written) the circumstances of the arrest on the Custody Record. An electronic custody record was also initiated in the RCIPS Jail Management System (JMS).

9.3   A review of the Custody Record and record maintained in the JMS revealed some abnormality and caused the Review Team some concern. Of note was that there is no notation on the hard-copy Custody Record or in the JMS indicating whether or not Constable Williams wished to speak with a lawyer. This part is left blank and the reason for this was specifically probed.

9.4   The lack of notation was explained by the Custody Officer creating the record when he was interviewed. He explained that this was left blank as Constable Williams had not decided on which lawyer he wished to notify of his detention at the time of the record being created.

9.5   It is apparent from the handwritten hard-copy of the Custody Record that Constable Williams indicated he was on medications and the medications are listed.   The next notation about medication is found at 0812hrs 10/1/14 in the electronic JMS that lists “1 Aspirin 325mg, 1/2   Hydrochlorothiazide 25mg, 1

Nifedipine 20mg Sr Tab & 1 losartan 50mg Tab”. It is unclear if this notation is of the medicine being received by Custody Officer or being administered to Constable Williams.

9.6 The Custody Record entries that are made on both the hard-copy and in the JMS besides the absence of clarity around medications are for the most part unremarkable for what they indicate and are routine.

9.7   At 8:15pm the same day Constable Williams was visited by DIOliver and his Anti­ Corruption Unit colleague DC Hill.       DI Oliver inquired             as to whether or not Constable Williams had made contact with an Attorney.   He indicated that he had not and that his preferred Attorney was a ‘Mr Polack’. At this time Constable Williams attempted to reach ‘Mr Polack’ by telephone but was unsuccessful.          DI Oliver advised Constable Williams that he was positioned to put him in touch with an alternative Attorney (Mr Ben Tonner) but this offer was declined by Constable Williams. DI Oliver advised Constable Williams that it would be necessary to detain him overnight.

9.8   DI Oliver by this time had re-contacted the 2011 complainant XXXXXXXX against Constable Williams and updated her on the recent developments.   DI Oliver had arranged to meet with XXXXX the following day as she was now indicating that she was prepared to proceed with her original complaint.

9.9   Constable Williams was returned to his cell and records indicate he rested for the night. He received a visit from the RCIPS Welfare Officer (Mark Green) at around midnight.

9.10 At 7:36am on Thursday, 10th February, 2014 Constable Williams was visited by Inspector Gordon (Staff Association).

9.11 Sergeant Madourie on taking over the Custody Suite on the morning of Thursday, 10th February, 2014 indicated when interviewed by the Review Team that she had conversation with Constable Williams.   In this conversation she learned that he had not yet made contact with an Attorney. She undertook to make contact with an Attorney to represent him and made contact with Attorney Charles Clifford on his behalf.

9.12 Mr Clifford attended the George Town Police Station the same morning and consulted with Constable Williams.   Shortly after, Mr Clifford had a conversation with DI Oliver and a time was agreed for the purpose of interview of Constable Williams.

9.13 At about 1:10pm the same day DI Oliver and DC Hill attended the George Town Police Station. In the presence of his Attorney, DI Oliver advised Constable Williams that he was arresting him on a second count of breach of trust and blackmail offences as alleged by XXXXXXXX

9.14 Disclosure material about the offences alleged against Constable Williams was provided to Mr Clifford and he and Constable Williams were provide an opportunity to have a private consultation.

9.15 DI Oliver and DC Hill then commenced a series of audio recorded interviews with Constable Williams about the offences alleged by both XXXXXXX and XXXXXX. These interviews were recorded on three discs between 2:16pm and 3:30pm; 3:40pm and 4:54pm and 5:03pm and 5:24pm.

  1. Constable Williams- Movements Post Arrest

10.1 At 6:22pm the same day, Constable Williams was released from custody on police bail with conditions.

10.2   On receiving bail Constable Williams returned to his private residence together with his wife.   In the afternoon of Saturday, 11th January, 2014 Mrs Williams reported to the RCIPS that her husband (Constable Williams) was missing.

10.3   Protocols as per the RCIPS policy on missing persons were initiated and led to the discovery of Constable Williams in a deceased state on Sunday, 1zth January, 2104 in a remote area of Grand Cayman.

10.4   A Coroner Investigation was commenced.

  1. 1 Coroner Investigation

11.1 The Coroner Investigation was reviewed as well as relevant CCTV footage captured by a local hardware store. The investigation is unremarkable and no concerns came to light as to the circumstances that preceded the untimely death of Constable Williams.

11.2   There is no evidence contained within the Coroner Investigation that would cause any heightened concern or that would require further scrutiny and investigation to exclude the involvement of any second or third parties in the death of Constable Williams.

  1. Review Conclusions

12.1 The criminal allegations alleged against Constable Williams are made by two separate female members of the public. The complaints are some 3 years apart. The circumstances of the two complaints are strikingly similar in nature as well as the modus-operandi.

12.2   Identification as to who the offending officer is in both cases is not a matter of dispute.

12.3   DI Oliver is the material investigating SIO of both complaints made against Constable Williams. He maintained a policy file on his decisions. Policy decisions and justifications were reviewed.   The review found no irregularity in the investigation conducted as reported by DI Oliver. There was no conflict in what was reported and the corroborating and independent documents reviewed and persons spoken with by the Review Team. No deviation from the high standards associated with the Core Investigation Doctrine (2005 – Association of Chief Police Officers) was detected.   The investigation at-hand was for the most part uncomplicated and routine in nature albeit the suspect was a serving police officer colleague. However, even though the suspect is a serving police officer colleague this in of itself does not present any special circumstances that would cause any deviation from normal investigation practice other than notification of Chief Officers as per established police protocols.

12.4   There is no suggestion or evidence that RCIPS Chief Officers influenced, directed or were involved in the investigative decisions made by the SIO beyond authority required and sought for directed surveillance.

12.5   The tactics deployed to arrest Constable Williams included four plain clothes officers attending his residence for this purpose. Two of these officers are senior ranking (DCI and DI) and one of these officers is also the SIO. The other two officers (Constables) never engaged Constable Williams and were dismissed once their purpose of mitigating any risk and ensuring sufficient resources were on­ hand to respond to any eventuality was accomplished. Whilst normal police protocol around custody of arrested persons dictates that the arrestee is restrained with handcuffs, discretion was exercised and this protocol was dismissed as being unnecessary.

12.6   The RCIPS is equipped with a helicopter. Flight Log and GPS records were reviewed for the helicopter. The crew was interviewed.   These exercises corroborate policy file records that show the helicopter was not considered for use by the SIO, and additionally the accounts of the officers involved in the arrest of Constable Williams who had denied that the helicopter was used.

12.7   Decisions made in the arrest of Constable Williams in the opinion of the reviewing SIO were found to be justified, proportionate and lawful.

12.8   Care and Custody records and interviews of Custody Officers of Constable Williams at the George Town Police Station do not support any assertion that rights afforded to arrested person to consult an Attorney were suspended, withheld or denied in his case.

12.9   However, Custody Record entries reviewed are inconsistent and poor. In the case of Constable Williams this observation is relative to visits, the number of late entries, illegible handwriting and the lack of detail on some entries particularly around medication. Both the hard-copy Custody Record and the JMS record must be read together in order to ascertain any kind of sequential history of Constable Williams detention.   Additional gaps had to be filled with interviews of some Custody personnel.   This does not meet the threshold for any kind of high standard or best practice for maintaining accountability for custody of arrested persons.

12.10 The Custody Suite at the George Town Police Station is dated and undesirable to the needs of a contemporary police service where Human Rights are paramount and maintained whilst in custody. Significant threat of liability is presented to the RCIPS as there is no natural light in the Custody Facility; the Cells can best be described as wire cages that afford no privacy; do not contain access to running water or a toilet facility and the air temperature does not appear to be regulated and controlled. Additionally, each holding cell has a mounted lower and upper fixed bed which increases risk of self-harm to any detained person who is committed to do so.       Whilst the facility is fitted with CCTV, at the time of this review and during the time of detention of Constable Williams it was not in working order.

12.11 Records reviewed indicate sufficiently that a duty of care was exercised against Constable Williams whilst held in police custody at the George Town Police Station. This included a risk assessment questionnaire that would have triggered a cause for concern that there was risk of self-harm whilst detained and mitigation the Custody personnel interviewed suggested that there was any concern or indicators as to the vulnerability of Constable Williams to self-harm or that he had formed an intent to self-harm.   Additionally there was no behaviour displayed as reported or recorded that might be indicative that he had made this decision whilst in police custody. It is within reason that if Constable Williams intended to self­ harm whilst in custody this could have been easily attempted or achieved given the inadequate Custody Facilities at the George Town Police Station.

12.12 Review Officers spent considerable time meeting with and interviewing Mrs Natalie Williams (Wife of Constable Williams) in the presence of her Attorneys.   Mrs Williams was distraught and suffering grief throughout her interview.   It was the opinion of the Review SIO that she was also suffering from a state of confusion about what had transpired with her husband and that this was being aggravated by misinformation that was being or had been supplied to her. Clearly Constable Williams had offered an explanation to Mrs Williams about the circumstances leading up to his arrest prior to his death. However, this explanation was clearly without some of the material and circumstantial evidence that had been amassed against him and that he was aware of as a result of his interviews by investigating Officers. Mrs Williams appears to have connections within the RCIPS who are further confusing her on the circumstances of her husband’s custody. Her denied access to the scene where Constable Williams met his demise and further denied “full” body viewing of him after death caused her further alarm and suspicion.

12.13 Denying Mrs Williams access to the scene was justified and is in-line with fundamental protocols of preserving a scene from contamination during initial investigation. Denying Mrs Williams the “full” body viewing of her late husband’s body is also quite justified, and is normal police practice to guard against unnecessary exposure that will compound and negatively affect the grief process which the police are traditionally not equipped to support.   In fact providing any viewing in the circumstances was above and beyond what was required as identification of the deceased had already been determined.   A facial viewing was proportionate in the circumstances as a humanitarian gesture. A viewing would clearly assist in providing some confirmation to Mrs Williams and assist her in beginning the closure process.

12.14 The Independent Review concludes that all actions taken in respect of the investigation conducted into the allegations made against Constable Williams were required and reasonable. The investigation was fluid and rapid.   The arrest of Constable Williams for the purpose of taking him into custody for the purpose of further investigation into the allegations made against him was proportionate and justified.   His overnight detention was justified by the requirement of investigating officers to make contact with the first complainant XXXXXXX and that when visited by investigating officers at 8pm he had not yet made contact with an Attorney of his choice.   Care and Custody of Constable Williams was in keeping with normal RCIPS practice using the facilities available for the purpose of detention.   The administrative shortfalls identified did not contribute to any negligence in the care, custody and observation of Constable Williams whilst he was in police custody.

Robert W. Cardwell, MSc MCMI

Police Inspector

Bermuda Police Service

 

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