Call for police video-recording of confession statements
Derek Crawford was originally charged with the rape of two visitors to Barbados – Rachel Turner and Diane Davies.
When both women said the police had the wrong man the case exploded in the worldwide news with the incompetence and brutality of the Royal Barbados Police Force front and center in the questions.
The Police Commissioner said that Crawford “confessed” to the rapes and particular knowledge of the crimes. Mr. Crawford said he signed the confession after the police suffocated and beat him. He said he would have signed anything, and BFP regular Mark Fenty agreed, saying,
“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
We know how it is ’bout hey and we believe Derek Crawford. We believe him well. Clinton Norton and a few others would believe Crawford too, except Norton is dead in strange circumstances and some folks say the police did it. In case you’ve forgotten, somebody tortured Clinton Norton to death. He was found with blood in his lungs and sand in his nostrils and mouth – dead inside a store burglary with no sand on the floor. There’s not many stories about Clinton Norton in the local news media, nothing to see hear and we don’t like to raise that kind of thing – bad for the tourist business.
Meanwhile British Member of Parliament Sephen McPartland just called upon the Foreign Office to warn that Barbados is “not a safe place” for women travelers…
“I firmly believe that Barbados is not a safe place for British women to travel to as there is a rapist on the loose.
“The police have failed to reopen the case and they have failed to get Rachel justice.
“The Foreign Office should update their travel advice and make it clear that Barbados is not a safe place to travel and warn British tourists to stay away.
“Maybe then, the authorities in Barbados will make the police reopen the case and find this rapist.”
Member of Parliament Sephen McPartland quoted at BBC Barbados rapes: MP warns travellers island is ‘unsafe’
DNA? Modern police methods and investigations?
Why bother with that when you can grab a likely looker – maybe the same general description like the witness says – and then beat the hell out of ‘im til he confess! That’s a good description of police work in Barbados for many Constables. Former RBPF Constable (now a lawyer) Stephen Alleyne wants the police to video confessions from suspects.
Bajans have wanted video confessions for 20 years and more. We know how things are on this rock.
Mr. Alleyne is spitting by de road – makes him feel good but accomplish nothing!
Under Scrutiny: Time to record all confessions
By Stephen Alleyne
As the recent dismissal of two cases against Barbadian national Derek Crawford for the alleged rape of two British women continues to make news in the United Kingdom, this is an opportune time to call on Government to complete the facilities for the video and audio recording of confession statements from accused persons without further delay.
In the Crawford case, the police were seeking to rely on a statement they said was voluntarily made by Crawford in accordance with the Judges’ Rules (a set of rules first issued by the Judges of the King’s Bench Division of the United Kingdom in 1912 and revised from time to time giving guidelines to investigators on the procedure they should follow in the detaining, questioning and recording of confessions from suspects), but the two victims of the crime were adamant Crawford was not the man who raped them, resulting in the prosecution discontinuing the case.
This assertion by the two women therefore raises a number of questions about the statement the police purportedly recorded from Crawford. Did Crawford make the statement in the first place? If he did, was it because of acts of oppression or coercion visited on him that forced him to do so? And if he did because of acts of oppression, was the statement in any event true or did he make them to avoid further oppression? Because of their present method of recording confession statements, the police, in the absence of additional physical and/or scientific evidence, will find it difficult to answer these questions, as demonstrated by the Commissioner’s failed attempt to do so in a media conference.
… continue reading this article at The Barbados Advocate – Time to record all confessions