An embarassing moment for Police Commissioner Dottin

Clinton Norton: Sand in nostrils and mouth shows he didn't die indoors at the burglary.

Clinton Norton: Sand in nostrils and mouth shows he didn’t die indoors at the burglary.

Every once in a while the Nation or the Barbados Advocate or the CBC run a “feel good” story about our Royal Barbados Police Force – usually after some scandal that brings international attention to the failings of our understaffed, under-trained, under-paid bunch of temporary workers charged with keeping people safe on this rock.

“Of course Crawford confessed to a particular knowledge of the crime, who wouldn’t? How long could one man tolerate a serious beating at the CID?”

BFP reader Mark Fenty on Commissioner Dottin says accused rapist Derick Crawford confessed

The last big scandal was an innocent man Derrick Crawford jailed for two years waiting for his trial for the rape of two Brit tourists who said he wasn’t the rapist. Before that the scandal was the police covering up the “apparent murder” of Clinton Norton who was tortured to death and found with blood in his lungs and sand in his nostrils and mouth – dead inside a store burglary with no sand on the floor! Then there was the finger rape of Jamaican tourist Myrie and the Terry Schwarzfeld and Colin Peter murders and attending police foul-ups. We could go on and on but you get the message: our police aren’t exactly world class.

Let me translate that for you…

Now in the wake of the Derrick Crawford foul-up where the only evidence against him was a “confession”, Police Commissioner Dottin is in the papers telling police to “avoid over reliance on confessions to solve crime,”

The real meaning of the Commissioner’s message to his officers?  “Stop beating confessions out of people.”

And of course in the news article there is the obligatory mention that videotaping of all confessions is coming “soon”. Sure! LOL!  Like it was coming “soon” 10 years ago!

Further Reading

Have a look at Barbados Today’s Uncouth SSU Cops, then…

We encourage our readers to go to the website of The Nation to read this news story, but we have to print the whole thing here because that paper has a history of changing the news. Read No need to rely on confession

No need to rely on confession

STRESSING the need to avoid over reliance on confessions to solve crime, Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin, has urged lawmen to remember the importance of science, technology and the collection of evidence.

Speaking at a “Crime Scene First Responder” course conducted by the Regional Security System (RSS) at Paragon base in Christ Church yesterday evening, Dottin reminded the 28 participants that any case based solely on admissions, could collapse easily.

He said that confessions could feed public perception of unethical behaviour by police officers, adding that he was pleased that the time was coming soon for the electronic recording of interviews with suspects, that would engender the trust the country seeks.

Dottin, this island’s top cop since September 2003, said the four day stint which was sponsored by the Canadian Government, was more than just a training course but was a chance to improve regional capacity.

The Commissioner said courses like those were important in the fight against crime and disorder which he said stunts economic development and erodes the quality of life. (MK)


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

6 responses to “An embarassing moment for Police Commissioner Dottin

  1. 217

    What’s embarrassing about this

  2. A disillusioned traveller to Barbados

    It’s embarrassing because he has said it all before to no avail. Darwin Dottin says what he knows he needs to say but does not mean what he says. Actions speak louder than words so let’s see him go out and find the real rapist in the Crawford case. The British government has already helped them build a lab for dealing with forensic evidence. They have already spent time and money on training Barbadian police officers to deal with victims of rape. So why was that particular police investigation so flawed?
    Why didn’t Dottin advise his officers to use what they had been taught?
    Why wasn’t the so called “confession” recorded?
    Why has the forensic evidence never been produced?
    Too many unanswered questions!
    I had to laugh out loud when I read that he had said “Any case based solely on admissions, could collapse easily.”
    Well, who would have believed that!!!
    Practise what you now seem to be preaching Mr Dottin and then maybe people will take you seriously.



  4. barbadostripadvisor

    Reblogged this on barbados.tripadvisor.

  5. Mark Fenty

    We obviously cannot invalidate the important job the Royal Barbados Police Force is doing in Barbados. But, we are certainly troubled by the many instances of misconduct surround this very important institution. Some people fail to realize that the Royal Barbados Police Force is much like any other organization in Barbados, and is therefore subject to some of the same faults and failings as all. And like any other organization there are good and bad apples within. So with this thought in mind, we therefore cannot unilaterally or arbitrarily besmear the efforts of the major, for the wrong doings of a few bad apples in the Force. It is important however, that we are impartial in our judgment of the Royal Barbados Police Force, and assign blame where it is needed. I think we all can agree that the job of a peace officer is quite difficult at times. And be quite frank, it often call for some officers to do things that aren’t conductive to proper policing. Nevertheless, too often some of us take for granted the effort it take on the part of these peace officers to maintain the public peace.

    In any even, some of these peace officers are men of integrity whose objective it is to ensure the public order. Other, are rotten apples who see an opportunity to use their position of power to take advantage of the marginalized elements in our society. I knew both elements quite well, because I was born and bred just behind a major police station in Barbados, and I saw both sides of the coin so to speak. But, for the most part, most of the men and women I once knew, were good nature people, who would go out of their way to give you their shirt of their back. Thats the kind of men and women I once knew, and thats the kind of men and women that once constituted the Royal Barbados Police Force in my day. I would like to give a shout out to Commission Alvin Griffith if he is still living, a man of honest purpose and simple integrity, cloth with the rare qualities of dignity, decency and decorium.

  6. Pingback: Discredited Barbados Police can’t shake the tourist rape case that won’t go away. | Barbados Free Press