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New police chief: communication a priority

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First impressions: Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley is introduced to the island as a replacement for Michael Desilva (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

New Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said he will work with the public to address the problems that concern them.

Mr Corbishley said: “I want to work with local people, but particularly I want to work with local communities.

“I want to listen to their concerns, listen to what they need from the service to ensure they are safe, they feel safe and to address the challenges that they face, whether they be antisocial behaviour, drug use, organised crime or indeed anything that requires the service of the police.”

Mr Corbishley said he had already spoken to the Government and Government House about their expectations.

He also said proactive communication would be key to building a relationship with the public.

Mr Corbishley said: “A lot of my track record with policing is to build very proactive relationships with communities.

“Quite often communities are lead not by people in government and politics, but local people who know what’s going on. It’s important that we engage with those people to listen, understand and respond to their concerns.”

He said road safety will be a priority under his watch with a focus on speed and intoxicated drivers.

Mr Corbishley added that while there had been concern about his appointment as a non-Bermudian, his international experience will benefit the service.

He said: “The issue for me is as much about the value that I offer as the challenge of understanding the issues that affect Bermuda.

“I will give you reassurance that I will listen. My family are moving to Bermuda. We want to be part of the community.

“I’m not coming over here on a contract to perform a role and clear off.”

Mr Corbishley added: “On top of that I bring perhaps a different viewpoint, some objectivity, some experience around international policing and some of the challenges in the UK, some of the partnerships, so I add value to the BPS.

“While it’s not about me, I think the role I will perform with my deputy in going forward gives not only the right direction moving forward, but an exciting journey ahead for the BPS in being able to serve Bermuda.”

A British police officer, Mr Corbishley most recently worked as acting Assistant Chief Constable, the equivalent of acting Assistant Commissioner, with Kent Police.

He was formerly in charge of the partnership directorate at the force headquarters in Maidstone, with responsibility of strategic crime reduction, partnership and community relations.

A Government House spokesman previously said: “He has considerable strategic experience, including a secondment to the National Crime Agency, which will serve the Bermuda Police Service well as it adapts to emerging global security threats.”

One of his priorities will be to establish a programme for developing talented Bermuda Police officers with leadership potential to prepare them for senior command positions within the next five years.

Mr DeSilva retired last Friday after nine years in the job.