BPS: ‘No Criminal Complaints Have Been Made’

November 28, 2017

The police said they are “aware of allegations circulating on social media about past inappropriate sexual conduct of a former Cornerstone Bible Fellowship clergy member,” and said that “to date, no criminal complaints have been made” to the police.

Last month Cornerstone Bible Fellowship confirmed that a person was “removed”, and the matter has been widely discussed in the community and on social media.

A police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service [BPS] is aware of allegations circulating on social media about past inappropriate sexual conduct of a former Cornerstone Bible Fellowship clergy member.

“To date, no criminal complaints have been made to the BPS.

“We would like to remind the public that formal complaints are required by law in order for the police to investigate such allegations. Online statements and social media posts do not qualify as formal complaints.

“We appreciate that this is a sensitive subject and that witnesses and victims are sometimes reluctant to come forward.

“Accordingly, we have established a single point of contact so that complainants can be assured that they will be treated with dignity and that their investigation will be conducted in strict confidence. Detective Inspector Mark Clarke of the BPS Vulnerable Persons Unit [VPU] can be contacted at [441] 247-1086 or mclarke@bps.bm.

“Alternatively, the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477 can be used to make a report.

“The BPS works closely with the Department of Child & Family Services on these matters and we take such allegations seriously. But we caution members of the public about making unsubstantiated statements or circulating rumours on social media that may constitute slander or libel.

“It should also be noted that Section 20 of the Children Act 1998 makes it mandatory to report information about child abuse by anyone who performs professional or official duties with respect to a child. This includes health care providers, teachers, social workers, youth workers, police officers, probation officers and members of the clergy.”

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