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BFRS to investigate Crockwell voice note

Shawn Crockwell

A full investigation has been launched into a “sensational and speculative” voice note left by a fire service member regarding the death of Shawn Crockwell.

The Bermuda Police Service yesterday condemned the recording, shared on social media, which described the supposed circumstances surrounding the discovery of the independent MP, as well as his condition.

The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service responded shortly afterwards, saying it had launched an inquiry into the matter and that it would act swiftly if professional standards had not been maintained.

Mr Crockwell’s body was found at his home in Hamilton Parish on Saturday at about 4pm. News spread rapidly shortly afterwards as the 21-second-long note was circulated among the public.

At 7pm, a police spokesman officially announced the death of the 47-year-old father of three.

In a statement yesterday, police said: “The Bermuda Police Service has verified that a voice note circulating on social media with alleged circumstances of MP Shawn Crockwell’s sudden death did not come from a police officer.

“The contents of the voice note are disturbing in that they make sensational and speculative comments about the scene that are not true.

“It has been confirmed that the voice on the recording belongs to a member of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service.

“Accordingly, the matter has been referred to the Chief Fire Officer who has initiated an internal investigation.”

Asked whether charges could be expected, Assistant Commissioner Martin Weekes responded: “The Bermuda Police Service investigation will examine the entire circumstances connected to the sudden death of MP Crockwell, including speaking to Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service personnel.”

Chief Fire Officer Reginald Lloyd Burchall described the incident as “a serious issue which is being fully investigated”. He added: “First responders are required to operate at the highest levels of competence and sensitivity.

“Our firefighters are well trained and answer calls around the island every day, professionally, and in keeping with our expected high standards.

“Where that standard is not met or some breach occurs, we act swiftly to ensure that public confidence in the BFRS remains high.”

Mr Burchall extended his sympathies to the family of Mr Crockwell, and said he would “pray for their comfort at this difficult time”.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of National Security said Senator Jeff Baron, the minister, was aware of the issue and understood that both the BPS and BFRS were looking into the matter.

A full inquiry into Mr Crockwell’s death is under way.

However, when asked yesterday whether the date and time for Mr Crockwell’s death had been determined, a police spokesman said: “Please note that the Bermuda Police Service will not be releasing specific details relating to the ongoing investigation into the sudden death of MP Crockwell.”

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