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'Police Should Investigate Prison Sick Notes' Says Former Senior Officer

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Thompson yesterday called for the government to allow the Royal Bahamas Police Force to investigate recent claims by government officials that one doctor allegedly provided 69 prison officers with sick notes in one day.

Mr Thompson said a complaint should be made to the Commercial Crime Section of the Central Detective Unit to get to the bottom of the matter.

National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage made the sick note allegations during his contribution to the mid-year budget debate in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, and further claimed the doctor in question was not in office on the day the notes were written.

Mr Thompson said: "A complaint should be made to the police for investigation by the Commercial Crime Section of the Central Detective Unit where there exists a highly skilled and dedicated staff.

"It is possible that crimes such as forgery, uttering forged documents and fraud by false pretence may be discovered, which could result in criminal prosecutions. There is also the possibly of discovering gross unethical conduct, which could be reported to the Ministry of Health and the Medical Association.

"The practice of obtaining sick certificates by fraudulent means is very prevalent in our country and must be reported to the police when discovered or suspected."

Last month nearly two-thirds of prison officers scheduled to work called in sick for three consecutive days. At the time, Bahamas Prison Officers Association president Gregory Archer denied all reports of a “sick out” and claimed all officers not at work had “legitimate sick slips.”

However, Sgt Archer had suggested that officers were “sick and tired” as a result of poor working conditions at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

Sgt Archer said that the complaints expressed by his association were not new. He insisted that the government has been made aware “over and over again” of the problems, but refuses to resolve the matter. He said that the longer these matters went unanswered, the longer officers would be unable to perform.

Last month, the Caribbean Association of Corrections (CAC) executives revealed in a statement that the group was “very concerned” with present issues facing officers at the correctional facility.

The group suggested that if issues at the facility are not corrected, the situation has the potential to “disrupt the smooth operations at the correctional facility”.

The group said it was willing to be a part of the mediation process between prison officers and the government.

Comments

TheMadHatter 4 years, 9 months ago

Why Paul Thompson ? You don't think that the guards should have any recourse to battle against their treatment? Would you prefer to see them with metal shackles around their ankles, or perhaps their arms tide spread eagle and their backs whipped like the slaves they must be - to be treated the way they are? Are they just good-for-nothing yard niggers?

TheMadHatter

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 9 months ago

"It is possible that crimes such as forgery, uttering forged documents and fraud by false pretence may be discovered, which could result in criminal prosecutions. There is also the possibly of discovering gross unethical conduct, which could be reported to the Ministry of Health and the Medical Association.

Fair enough, but what about the BEC bribery scandal, shouldn't that be forwarded to the police too?

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TruthHurts 4 years, 9 months ago

@ThisIsOurs

You can say that again! Things that need instant reprimand is not carried out! They need to stop joking and do better for the prison guards.

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asiseeit 4 years, 9 months ago

Today is the day our M.P's are required by law to disclose their assets. I wonder how many will and I also wonder if the law will be applied to those that do not? It all starts at the top.

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