Review On Policing At December 2nd Protest

March 28, 2017 | 21 Comments

[Updated with video] The Governor has released the review on the policing at the protests at the House of Assembly on December 2, 2016; with the Governor saying “the resulting review, carried out by a senior UK police officer, is now being published in full without redaction.”

The report was prepared by Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead of the Thames Valley Police, who is currently seconded to the National Police Coordination Centre [NPoCC].

The report said the key findings are:

  • Planning for this operation needed to have commenced earlier and been better informed through the provision of an appropriate, detailed threat assessment that enabled commanders to plan effectively and generate appropriate and proportionate tactical plans and contingencies.
  • Appropriate protestor and stakeholder engagement strategies need to be adopted by BPS for all issues that may potentially result in protest.
  • The ability of the BPS to exert effective command in potentially confrontational public order operations is limited by lack of exposure to this type of event and the availability of appropriate command training.

The Recommendations contained in the report were:

  • 1. It is recommended that an appropriate planning process is established for all public order events well in advance of the event commencement date. The process should incorporate the establishment of a strategy, an appropriate and effective command structure and the development of suitable contingency plans. [2.1, 2.5, 3.4 & 3.5]
  • 2. It is recommended that an overarching strategy be established and appropriately briefed to commanders for all long running disputes. [2.2]
  • 3. It is recommended that clear guidance regarding record keeping and what policy logs should be maintained throughout the planning and implementation of public order events and introduce an audit process to ensure the direction is adhered to. [2.13]
  • 4. To facilitate an effective response to future events, public order command training should be delivered to those who are likely to be placed in command positions. It is also recommended that the Force establishes the required numbers of trained commanders and the succession arrangements going forward, to help maintain resilience. [3.6]
  • 5. It is recommended that consideration be given to reviewing how the BPS allocates command roles for public order events to ensure the most appropriate and experienced commanders are utilised in the most demanding roles [3.7].
  • 6. It is recommended that consideration be given to the lobbying for additional appropriate legislation to assist in the management of protest and fill existing legislative gaps [4.5].
  • 7. It is recommended that BPS review its approach to the use of threat and risk assessments to ensure greater specificity and enable them to inform the planning for public order and public safety events [4.8].
  • 8. It is recommended that the BPS invest in protest liaison training and ensure a ‘no surprises’ communication strategy is adopted for future public order events [4.9].
  • 9. It is recommended that consideration be given to the delivery of appropriate tactical training to the PSU and other appropriate personnel [4.15].
  • 10. It is recommended that the application of public order tactics by the PSUs is reviewed and any lessons learnt incorporated into future training [4.15].

In releasing the review, Governor John Rankin said, “On 11 January I announced that I had agreed with the Commissioner of Police and following consultation with the Premier that, in line with best practice, the Police response to the protests at the House of Assembly on 2 December 2016 should be independently reviewed by a peer organisation.

“The resulting review, carried out by a senior UK police officer, is now being published in full without redaction. I welcome this independent assessment and the recommendations in the review, many of which have already been applied by the Commissioner of Police in the context of the House of Assembly meetings on 3 and 10 February. I am confident that the Commissioner and his team will continue to draw on the recommendations in the Review in their future work and planning.

“It should be noted that this review of police planning, command and tactics is separate from two investigations in respect of the protests outside the House of Assembly on 2 December: namely the police investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by those protesting and secondly the investigation into complaints brought against police officers which have been referred to the Police Complaints Authority.”

Update 3.30pm: 20-minute video of the Police Commissioner’s press conference

Update 3.39pm: Minister of National Security Jeff Baron said, “I have received the Report and will be reviewing it and the recommendations. It will be important for the Ministry of National Security to identify where we can support the Commissioner and the Bermuda Police Service in addressing those recommendations.

“This review by an experienced, public order professional of the events of December 2nd 2016 forms an important benchmark for how we strike the appropriate balance between the right to peacefully protest and the need to ensure law enforcement has the tools required to maintain public order and public safety. Where recommendations relate to amending or drafting legislation I look forward to discussing those with the Commissioner and in Cabinet.

“As the Report indicates, December 2nd was “challenging day for the Bermuda Police Service”, and a day on which officers also “..showed resilience..”. Clearly there are lessons to be learned and I endorse the overarching theme of the Review that its findings “should be viewed as an opportunity to develop enhanced capability and capacity within the Bermuda Police Service.”

The full review is below [PDF here]

click here Bermuda protest on Dec 2nd

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (21)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. wassup says:

    Interesting read, really quite critical of the police. I cannot find reference to the use of pepper spray though. Can anyone point me to it if they find it? was it part of the investigation?

    • Toodle-oo says:

      With a little bit of intuition one would presume that the following statement from the report addresses , or will address , what you are referring to .
      It , I would guess , also address the unlawful behavior of the protesters and the use of pepper spray .

      The above report ,though , when viewed on its own is just a lot of woffle IMO

      “It should be noted that this review of police planning, command and tactics is separate from two investigations in respect of the protests outside the House of Assembly on 2 December: namely the police investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by those protesting and secondly the investigation into complaints brought against police officers which have been referred to the Police Complaints Authority.”

      • look jeff says:

        Look jeff the only thing I want to know from you and the Premier is was the police correct to spray senior citizens on that date in question!

        • Nanny Pat says:

          They broke the law. What part of that do you not understand?

          Be thankful they weren’t in the States or elsewhere – rubber bullets may not kill but they sure do hurt and leave bruises.

          • Rightok says:

            So because you have a peaceful demonstration. You should be shot with a rubber bullet? Ummmmmm OK

            • BdaReally says:

              Ok let’s not try to act gullible. We have all seen the video. I’ll be the first to say I’m not a big fan of the police but from what I’ve seen the protesters attacked the police first. They were pushing them back and even grabbing the officers. Then the gentleman with the umbrella struck the officer and that’s where it all went down hill. I’m sorry the PLP and BIU need to take responsibility for their part in instigating the whole situation. Do I think the police went a bit far with the pepper spray, yes but I saw some of the “peaceful” protesters also daring the police to touch them and do something. So the protesters were not as innocent or peaceful as they are now trying to portray.

            • Sandgrownan says:

              Well, it wasn’t peaceful was it,, thats kind of the point

    • joe says:

      No specific mention of pepper spray in the document.

    • puzzled says:

      Well if you open your mind and read between lines it is mentioned but not the way you want it to be.

    • jim bob says:

      Exactly my sentiments…..I smell a whitewash again……

      • Pastor Syl says:

        Why would someone from outside the island, with no connection to the people or the local police, from a totally independent organisation whitewash anything? These conspiracy theories and paranoia get really tired sometimes.

  2. watching says:

    With the criticisms levied at the BPS, I would think the Minister should speak to this as well.

  3. San George says:

    Who ordered police in riot gear to confront the people blocking access to the People’s House? HoP does not belong to a political party. Enjoy your reign of te**or.

    • A Chap called Vanz says:

      It doesn’t belong to the 200 people that blocked it either.

    • Nanny Pat says:

      Who ordered the people to block access to the People’s House?

    • Pastor Syl says:

      The police were in protective gear, not riot gear. Please stop the exaggeration

  4. Bermuda is another world says:

    So you knowingly break the law as a form of protest–so be it–your choice–but you do so in the face of an inexperrienced police “service”–you are increasing the risk to yourself given that unknown.

    Assume the risk at your own peril.

    Protest is fine–violent retaliation is not.

  5. Madge says:

    I think at last we have some great leaders !!!!!The police commissioner stood his grown with questions today… and I also believe that our Premier is not going to tolerate any more nonsence from a few rebels.
    Bermudians, do not listen to certain …. that have their own agenda..

  6. O.M.G says:

    So if we all decided to block the PLP OR THE UNION doors they would have call the police and had us removed they best way they can and arrested. You were all wrong what do t you understand about this. And to have the leaders of the opposition and union there encouraging it was disgusting. And to think that they thought it was right to call in sick or just don’t go to work to protest was alright another way to teach your youth how not to worry about going to work.

Leave a Reply