Minister: Police & Hampshire Constabulary MOU

March 1, 2014

Minister Of National Security Michael Dunkley gave an overview on the Bermuda Police Service’s partnership with the Hampshire Constabulary, which enables the Special Constables to effectively investigate serious crimes onboard Bermuda registered vessels following a vessel’s arrival into a Hampshire port.

On 22 January 2014, 16 officers from Hampshire Constabulary became Special Constables for the Bermuda Police Service at a ceremony held in the United Kingdom, with Bermuda’s Commissioner of Police in attendance.

Hampshire Constabulary Bermuda Special Constables Group Photo

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday [Feb 28], Minister Dunkley said, “The MOU’s main goal is to ensure that there are proper, timely and effective responses and investigations into allegations of Serious Crime reported on a Bermuda registered vessel.

“This initiative resulted from the inclusion of Princess Cruise Lines [including Carnival UK] on Bermuda’s shipping registry. International registry protocols require that Bermuda must deal with serious crimes that occur onboard our registered vessels; however, it is not always practical and can be costly due to logistical matters.

“As highlighted by Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva at the launch of the initiative, this partnership with Hampshire Constabulary will allow for the Bermuda Police Service to overcome logistical delays and gives the Service more options and means to deploy when a crime is reported and requires an investigation onboard Bermuda registered vessels visiting the UK.”

Minister Dunkley’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise the House of Assembly about the Bermuda Police Service’s partnership with the Hampshire Constabulary. Honourable Members will be aware that on 22 January 2014, 16 officers from Hampshire Constabulary became Special Constables for the Bermuda Police Service.

Mr. Speaker, the Memorandum of Understanding [“MOU”] made between the Hampshire Constabulary and the Bermuda Police Service enabled the Special Constables to effectively investigate serious crimes onboard Bermuda registered vessels following a vessel’s arrival into a Hampshire port.

Mr. Speaker, the MOU’s main goal is to ensure that there are proper, timely and effective responses and investigations into allegations of Serious Crime reported on a Bermuda registered vessel. The MOU also includes investigations when a person [or persons] is reported as missing from a Bermuda registered vessel when the first port of call following the report is in the Hampshire Police area of authority.

Mr. Speaker, this initiative resulted from the inclusion of Princess Cruise Lines [including Carnival UK] on Bermuda’s shipping registry. International registry protocols require that Bermuda must deal with serious crimes that occur onboard our registered vessels; however, it is not always practical and can be costly due to logistical matters.

Mr. Speaker, as Bermuda’s shipping vessels sail out from Southampton, United Kingdom [UK], they are under the jurisdiction of the Hampshire Constabulary, and if there is an incident of crime, it is often their police officials who receive reports first. Therefore, the partnership was a natural fit.

Mr. Speaker, over the course of a year, discussions took place between the Bermuda Department of Maritime Administration [DMA], Government House, Bermuda Police Service, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and officials from the Princess Cruise Lines. It was agreed that a partnership with the Hampshire Constabulary was the best option as it would create a number of efficiencies and cost savings benefits.

Mr. Speaker, the MOU was signed by the Police and Crime Commissioner from Hampshire, Simon Hayes and the Governor of Bermuda once the terms were accepted by the UK Home Secretary.

Mr. Speaker, this agreement is unprecedented in both UK and Bermuda policing as it is not just for an individual event or incident but it allows for co-operation between the police services on an international level. Mr. Speaker, the overriding guiding principle in this MOU is that a Hampshire Constabulary and a Bermuda Police Service investigation can operate in parallel with maximum co-operation at all times. Additionally, the MOU runs for a period of 12 months and is subject to an annual review to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Mr. Speaker, as highlighted by Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva at the launch of the initiative, this partnership with Hampshire Constabulary will allow for the Bermuda Police Service to overcome logistical delays and gives the Service more options and means to deploy when a crime is reported and requires an investigation onboard Bermuda registered vessels visiting the UK.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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