A former Bermuda narcotics officer’s diary

Diary 1988

An extract from a former Bermuda narcotics officer’s diary.  This serialization is in preparation for the release of the entire contents, with comment, that will detail a number of high profile investigations.

Bermuda Police – other sources of information about policing on the islands:

Bermuda Police Bermuda Police Archive

November 5th 1988 … first day in the office. There was no training, no initialization with the workplace or its procedures, simply a casual introduction to those present and a brief greeting from the Detective Chief Inspector in charge, Dennis Ramsey.  The DCI, was a legend in his own mind, an embarrassment to the department, ineffective but thankfully sufficiently detached to ensure he had no adverse effect upon the general running of the office.

As a ‘detective’ in name, otherwise untrained and left to find an unoccupied desk clearing from the draws those items left by a previous occupant, it was very much a matter of finding your own way.

The account you will read in these pages is taken directly from a CID (Criminal Investigation department) ‘Dairy’ or day-log. The first few days saw minimal content, but as confidence grew, the lay of the land understood, so the entries become more detailed.

Diaries were generally poorly kept by narcotics officers – very little was contained within them. The old adage about why coppers are paired-up probably applicable; one could read, the other write. This diary is an exception to the rule …

05/11/1988, first day on the job, who was to know that 3 days later would follow the largest seizure of cocaine with a prisoner (Vernon) for the year?

Whilst you would think this achievement would attract encouragement and appreciation from peers, it saw the reinforcement of bigotry and qualms within the Narcotics (drugs) office, a warning of what was to come.

The arrest was descended upon by others enthusiastic to be associated with the capture and who hoped to extract information from the suspect … though there was suspicion they merely wanted to shut him up, a message was to be conveyed; he was to keep tight-lipped and ‘do the time’.

From the prisoner’s perspective, it was possibly, ultimately, good advice.  His assets were not touched, no further arrests followed, he was imprisoned (6 year sentence) and when released … he returned to his old job in Hamilton, he recommenced employment at the very location at which he was found in possession of cocaine ‘with intent to supply’.

The diary follows, commencing the day Vernon was arrested … 08/11/1988.  Read more here.

The abbreviations used are explained here.