Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva *File photo
Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva *File photo

Police officers will soon be subject to random drug testing as part of a series of anti-corruption measures.

Detectives in specialist departments will also have to undergo ‘enhanced vetting’ and regular background checks.

Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva told the Bermuda Sun that the new system was designed to improve the force’s
credibility. And he said he hoped the regime would be in place before the beginning of the next financial year.

He added: “All officers will be subject to random drug tests and there will be enhanced vetting for sensitive departments such as drugs intelligence, financial crime and vulnerable persons.

“The background checks will ensure that the financial situation of an officer does not raise any concerns.

“We hope to have this rolled out before the beginning of the next financial year in April.”

At present new police recruits are routinely drug tested when they join the force, but there is currently no provision for random and regular tests afterwards.

Neither is there any provision for regular enhanced background checks to be completed when officers join specialist units.

Mr De Silva added: “The whole purpose of the system is to make it difficult for corruption to exist, while at the same time make it easy for corruption to be uncovered.

Credibility

“It does not have to be hugely elaborate.

“It is about credibility for the organization. We don’t have these checks and balances and we need to start to harden our stance.

“Financial checks are not as intrusive as delving into an officer’s wealth or anything like that, we need to be satisfied that an officer’s financial situation and transactions do not raise any concerns.”

Mr DeSilva says the moves have been backed by the Police Association. He added: “I don’t envisage any push back from this.

“We are not trying to impinge on member’s right to privacy but put things in place which show the public that we are trustworthy and this is why you can believe us.”