Podcast: Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva

December 18, 2015

The latest episode of the Bernews podcast features an interview with Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva, covering topics including the police budget, road safety, reports by the Auditor General, the investigation into the ‘Jetgate’ affair and more.

Commissioner DeSilva touches on the parts of reports by the Auditor General that overlap with ongoing police investigations and the ongoing investigation into the ‘Jetgate’ affair, with police following lines of investigation in both Bermuda and the United States.

Also discussed was the police advising Government that roadside breath testing should be done on a random basis and that the issue now sits with the Department of Transport.

With police facing a five percent budget cut this financial year, and a three percent cut next financial year, Commissioner DeSilva said, “It [the budget cuts] have been onerous. Our budget is so front loaded with staff costs. Salaries, overtime and benefits account for 85 percent of the budget.”

Bernews Podcast with Michael DeSilva

He said that as of April 1 this year, the Service had still to find savings of $4.5 million and by May or June, there was only nine months’ worth of salary, so the decision was taken then to release some officers from their contracts.

Last month, another seven officers were told their contracts would not be renewed; those officers are now considering legal action.

Commissioner DeSilva also said they have 12 Bermudian cadets with a three-year commitment to work for the BPS.

“I have 12 young Bermudians that are expecting a job and that is extra payroll unless I make extra space for them. So that complicates it as well,” he added.

Asked about the possibility of privatising some services, the Commissioner said, “We will do a proper assessment of some of these jobs and come up with alternatives.”

Asked what type of duties could be transferred, the Commissioner said, “The type of things that come to mind are things like our presence in the courts.”

He also said it might be a case of transferring some work to other Government departments.

60-minute podcast with Commissioner DeSilva:

When asked about the Auditor General’s reports, the Commissioner said, “We will go through the reports and try and differentiate between facts that tend to disclose breaches of Government policy, like financial instructions, separate those from facts that tend to disclose breaches of law.”

When asked if there were investigations that the Auditor General’s reports might have bearings on, the Commissioner replied that “there is overlap.”

On the so-called Jetgate affair, the Commissioner said, “There have not been any arrests, no-one has been charged and we are still very much in the process of assessing all of the material which is in the form of a combination of witness statements, bank statements and other documents and emails.

“We are still in the process of making our way through that.”

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Bernews’ podcasts aim to provide an in-depth look at current affairs, and the text extracts above represent only a small portion of the full interviews.

You can also download the episode in MP3 format here, view past podcasts here, and subscribe via iTunes to download all our podcasts directly to your phone or tablet.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Y-gurl says:

    Did he address the fact his staff are off the job and are at Cabinet complaining about having to face real life?

    • fed up says:

      Having to face real life ?! More like not wanting to loose $1000 plus dollars per month from their salary . Do you have that to loose ?

      • Y-gurl says:

        I have to lose tax dollars that pay for them to not do what they are supposed to be doing

      • Zevon says:

        Everyone else already contributes to their own healthcare.

      • Northshore says:

        And those who have lost their jobs in the private sector matter not to you Mr. or Mrs. Police ??? They have lost way more than 1k a month you dreamer !!!

      • Onion says:

        The rest of us already have lost that many times over.

    • jeremy deacon says:

      Hi, the interview was done before the BPA took that action