MAKING A COMPLAINTThe Royal Bahamas Police Force treats all complaints very seriously. Any citizen can file a complaint by letter, by telephone, email or in person to any police officer at any of the local stations or where ever the officer may be whilst on duty. Complaints made against police officers can be made at any local police station or at the Complaints and Corruption Unit at Police Headquarters East Street North.
What should my complaint say? All complaints should include your name, address and contact details. It is important that you give the police your exact address and direction to where you live and all the relevant telephone numbers that you may be contacted at.
For more efficient results, ensure that your complaints cover all the necessary information such as what happened, when it happened, who was involved, what was said or done, whether there were any witnesses other than yourself,where the witnesses can be contacted, if known, description of any stolen property, vehicle information and details of any damage or injury which took place.
Types of Complaints and Police Action Based on the nature of your complaint, occasionally you may be asked by the officer taking the complaint, what type of action that you request.
These complaints may be characterized as minor offences and includes assault, damage, stealing, . Other complaints such as murder, attempted murder, crimes against children and young persons, serious causing harms, rapes, armed robberies and other serious offences are automatically directed to the Central Detective Unit and take a much greater priority requiring serious investigations
When making a complaint, be sure to indicate to the police officer the type of action that you require. Although many complaints involuntarily require police action, more often or so, you (the complainant) are given the option to choose such action. Please note that although you may require police action for a complaint, the investigating officer will make the determination concerning the police action based on the parameters of the law and evidence presented.
These actions are listed and explained as follows: Complaints Requesting Police Action These types of complaints are investigated thoroughly and if sufficient evidence exists, may lead to arrest and prosecution. You will be required to read your statement and sign your name at the end. Police Action Complaints aren’t just limited to offences against the persons and can involved incidences involving lost or stolen passports/documents, licence disc/plate reports, ect.
ComplaintS Requesting Police Assistance These types of complaints are sometimes referred to as minor complaints based on the nature of the circumstances. Persons sometimes request police assistance in getting an item returned, being escorted to ones premises, eviction notices.
Police Information Complaints These types of complaints involve persons reporting to the police information regarding crime, suspicious activity, information that needs to be documented.
Police Warning Complaints A complaint may fall in this category when you (the complainant) makes an incidence report or complaint, however you request to have to other party warned by the police instead of being arrested and prosecuted. Always be aware that based on the nature of the complaint, the police has the responsibility and obligation to take the appropriate action necessary regardless of what you may request.
Complaints Status At the completion of the investigation, you will be notified by the investigating officer as to the results of the investigation. There are several possible findings:
- Cleared by Arrest-The investigation clearly led to the arrest of the suspect and the incident is cleared
- Open and Under Investigation- The complaint filed is still opened and being investigated.
- Unfounded- The investigation clearly and factually shows that the alleged complaint did not occur
- Warning/Advise- The alleged suspect of perpetrator was warned, reprimanded or advised accordingly
- No Further Action required- The complainant requested no further police action
- False Call
- Referred to Other Agency- The complaint is one which is not criminal in nature and must be dealt with at another agency such as Social Service, Child Welfare, and referred there for further review. Open Pending Trial- The investigation has been completed and is before the court for prosecution
- Closed Detected- The investigation clearly and factually shows that the alleged complaint(s) constitute an offence
- Closed Undetected- The investigation clearly and factually shows that the alleged complaint(s) did not constitute an offence
- Currently Before Coroners Court
- Statute of Limitation- means that the maximum period of time, after the alleged offence, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated. Minor Crimes has a statute of limitation of six(6) months, whilst on the other hand, there are no statute of limitations on crimes such as murder.
- Withdrawn- Complainant voluntarily elected to withdraw his/her complaint.
- Civil Action Advised
Complaints against Police Officers If an employee is found to have acted improperly, the appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Although we cannot guarantee that you will be satisfied with the outcome, we do guarantee that your inquiry/complaint will be thoroughly investigated. Should you have any questions, please contact the internal Investigations Division at (305) 835-2000.
Terms Complainant- The person making the complaint Suspect- The alleged offender(s) or perpetrator(s) Victim- The victim(s) to such crime Witness- Any person who may have seen or heard what occurred