Police mishandled missing finger case
Police have tracked down a man who lost a finger found in a car park last week, it was revealed yesterday.
Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Sean Field-Lament said the man told them he lost the digit in a fight with another man last Monday night.
Mr Field-Lament admitted a “breakdown in communication” had caused a “mix-up” that led to the finger being incinerated by hospital staff.
He said that officers at first believed they were dealing with a medical emergency when they got a call from a member of the public last Thursday who reported the find in a car park off Hamilton’s Court Street.
Mr Field-Lament added officers asked the member of the public who found the finger to get medical attention as soon as possible.
The finder took the finger to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where staff disposed of it.
Mr Field-Lament said: “It would appear that our officers’ initial response was to expedite the matter as dealing with a medical emergency.
“While their intent was laudable, unfortunately investigative opportunities were overlooked and lost.
“Gaps in service delivery have been identified and we will be addressing them with training and policy procedure amendments so that we can prevent this happening again.
“While we did not get it right on this occasion, the vast majority of handling of incidents by the BPS is done in a professionally competent manner.
“We have identified mistakes made and we will strive to do better in the future.“
Mr Field-Lament said the injured man got medical treatment for his injury, but did not report the incident to the police.
He added officers had carried out a “robust” investigation to find the injured victim – and also to establish how the key piece of evidence was destroyed.
Mr Field-Lament said: “CID officers conducted a follow-up investigation and were able to speak to two Pembroke males aged 61 and 58.
“It would appear that they had an altercation on Monday evening, January 25, in the Court Street area.
“One of the individuals received an injury to his hand consistent with the partial loss of a finger.
“Both men have declined to make a complain to the police and do not wish the police to be involved.”
The Bermuda Hospitals Board, which runs KEMH, has not yet responded to a request for comment.