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Commissioner condemns wrongdoing by police officer

Former police officer Lakila Hart (File photograph)

The Bermuda Police Service have confirmed they were aware of the judgment in the case of former officer Lakila Hart who was given a six-month suspended jail sentence after admitting abuse of power and offering to supply drugs.

Responding to questions from The Royal Gazette, Darrin Simons, the Commissioner of Police, said the BPS condemned such actions within the service and “respects” the decision handed down by the courts.

Mr Simons said: “The BPS condemns wrongdoing by members of the service.

“Where appropriate, we work with individuals to address performance issues and bring them back to the expected standard. Where this is not appropriate and the matter is deemed a conduct matter the prescribed sanctions are dispensed following the lawful adjudication of the matter.”

Asked whether he believed it was necessary to take further actions to combat such behaviour within the BPS, he added: “For a number of years the BPS has been on a professional standards journey to embed the Code of Ethics in all areas of policing and continue to improve service delivery and raise public confidence in the BPS.

“That journey continues unabated today. There are already measures in place to combat wrongdoing among the ranks of the BPS and remain confident that these measures have been and continue to be effective.

“While it is disheartening, the fact remains that officers appearing before the courts is evidence of the BPS’s commitment to diligently deal with both criminal and misconduct matters.”

Mr Simons said that Hart had resigned from the BPS before pleading guilty to the offences.

He added in a press conference yesterday: “We have very active, robust mechanisms to deal with incidents where there is either criminality or misconduct. As a learning organisation sometimes people just need to learn about doing things differently.

“In this particular case, the officer has been convicted of an offence and has resigned from the organisation and that relationship with the BPS has ended.

“It is a reflection on all of us and it is not a reflection that we are happy about at all. We have a Code of Ethics and standards of professional behaviour that my expectation is that all officers uphold.”

In March, Magistrates’ Court heard that Hart accessed licence-plate numbers and contact information through the BPS’s database for personal use and on behalf of others at least three times.

Hart was also charged with two counts of offering to supply drugs to another person.

She was sentenced for the offences on May 2.