Claims against police in Nygard matter should be thoroughly investigated

Dear Editor,

The Royal Bahamas Police Force was my university for three decades and I remain a member of the reserves.

The force earned my admiration and respect for being an efficient, effective and dedicated public service provider in our country.

Whenever there is negative publicity about the force, I tend to react defensively. The allegations made against police officers in the recent Peter Nygard news releases must be investigated.

It is not a dif­ficult investigation, which would result in disproving the allega­tions or exposing the rogue officers.

I expect that an investiga­ting team will proceed as follows:

1. Interview the young victims of the alleged rapes, etc. to ascer­tain where and to whom their complaints were made (station or CDU). Provide information relative to the date, time and, if possible, the identity of the officer(s) taking the information. Provide the identities of the persons (parents/guardians) ac­companying the victims to the police posts.

2. Ascertain from the victims if statements were taken from them or anyone else by the police.

3. Ascertain from the victims if they were taken for medical exa­mination. If so, where and the name of doctors and the dates of examinations. Determine if any reports were given.

4-. Have any of the victims been contacted since they allegedly made complaints to the police?

If complaints were made as the victims allege, there should be written records at the police outpost in the form of diary entries and crime files.

The latter should contain the following: statements taken from the victims; statements from witnes­ses (which would include the first persons told of the rapes by the victims); the medical reports; directions from senior officers on how to proceed; and written reports from the investi­gating officer. Most importantly, the files should contain police interrogation of Peter Nygard, the person accused of the rapes, etc.

The files should contain instructions from a senior officer with regards to disposal, e.g., “File due to insufficient evidence” or “Arrest and charge.”

Locating written records of the alleged com­plaints is most important – e.g. diary entries or files.

The investigators must also interrogate Nygard’s employees and associates in an effort to identify the victims, confirm visits by the victims to Nygard Cay and identify police officers who visited Nygard Cay.

There are other areas of investigations that experienced detectives would be aware of.

These are serious allegations and must be promptly and thoroughly investigated.


Paul Thompson, retired assistant commissioner of police

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