Chances are that anyone and everyone who has served in the Bermuda Police between September 1984 and March 2014, will have come into contact with Craig Morfitt, and it will invariably have been a positive contact unless you happened to step into the boxing ring with him! Craig has given 30 years of outstanding service to the BPS and to Bermuda, having made a great contribution to both the Police and to the community at large.
Craig was honoured at a retirement reception held at the Senior Officers Mess on Thursday 27th March 2014, attended by Commissioner Michael DeSilva, Assistant Commissioner Paul Wright, senior officers, civilian staff, former colleagues, and his beautiful family, his wife Beverley, daughters Whitney and Michele, and grandson Ethan.
Perhaps “honoured” is the wrong word because in addition to receiving gifts of appreciation from Commissioner DeSilva, the Officers Mess and the Bermuda Police Association. Craig was also subjected to a “Roasting” by Assistant Commissioner Paul Wright who had known Craig since the two of them served in the Humberside Police before coming out to Bermuda. Paul has kindly given us permission to publish his unedited “Roasting” in this article.
We normally have to work for months or years coaxing retired police officers into sitting down to write their reminiscences, but that is decidedly NOT the case with Craig. Believe it or not, he sat down on his last day on duty and sent the following email to all of his colleagues in the BPS, succinctly summarizing his past 30 years as a police officer in Bermuda.
And what is the next adventure for a man who has no conception of what it means to sit back and relax!
On 30th March Craig flew out to the U.K. to start his retirement trip. He will be driving his Land Rover from England, across Europe to Russia and Central Asia, with travel partner and good friend Klaus. The journey will cover over 20,000 miles and will take him to 24 countries, including Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan over a period of almost 6 months. Craig has an excellent website through which you can follow his journey at www.bermudarover.com.
We have taken the liberty of poaching a few photos from Craig’s family album and adding them to his email and to Paul’s “Roasting”.
We start with Craig’s email to his colleagues in the BPS:-
"On this, my last day of service with the BPS, I thought I would send out my final synopsis. Thirty years of service to the BPS condensed into an e-mail.
Arrival in Bermuda
On 11th September 1984, I arrived on British Airways with the rest of my localization course to be met by Acting Sergeant Sinclair White who drove us to our new homes at the sparse McBeath Block, Prospect (instantly dampening our enthusiasm somewhat)!
About a year later, I was moved to the brand new Clarke Block which was a massive upgrade from McBeath. No air-conditioners or cooking facilities were allowed back then – and we had regular barracks inspections by the OIC Admin to ensure we were obeying the rules and keeping the rooms tidy.
My first two years were spent in Central Uniform, including regular postings to Government House where we all carried .38 Smith & Wesson revolvers (as evidenced by several holes in walls and equipment from negligent discharges). My first inspector was Dennis Ramsay, who likened Hamilton to the City of London on his welcoming speech! My first sergeants were Steve Rollin, Clyde ‘Tango” Burgess and Stan Francis.
After a couple of years in uniform, I transferred to Central CID where I initially worked on Pembroke B Team and later the Paget/Devonshire Team. My first bosses in CID were Wayne Perinchief, Carlton Adams and Vic Richmond. I worked alongside Jonathan Smith, George Jackson, Angus Brown, Steve Shaw, Rai Harrison, Chris Graham-Ward, Ralph Furbert, Randy Liverpool, Sylvester Augustine, Frank Foggo, Wayne Edwards, Tracy Adams and Franz Williams, to name a few. Those nine years in CID were filled with great times and were a great grounding for the rest of my career.
After CID, I moved back to Central Uniform briefly, in an acting sergeant capacity, working alongside Owen Watson and Steve Dunleavy.
My first substantive sergeant posting was the National Intelligence Bureau (the precursor to the current Intelligence Department) which had just been created by then-Commissioner Colin Coxall. I initially worked under Vic Richmond and Norrell Hull and alongside Ian Deallie on the ‘Crime Desk’.
Whilst working in Intelligence, I was instrumental in forming the new part-time surveillance team (something we were told would never work in Bermuda). I worked on the team for many years, both as a sergeant and inspector, alongside some dedicated and hard-working colleagues who, in true covert tradition, shall remain nameless (they all know who they are).
Upon promotion to inspector in 2001, I was transferred to head up the PSU with sergeants Robert Cardwell, Kuhn Evans and Brian Mello (plus K9 Max) and many enthusiastic constables. We had a great team that put in a lot of work and established the PSU as a front-line policing unit, making lots of arrests and seizing lots of drugs in the process.
After 18 months leading the PSU, then-Commissioner Jonathan Smith asked me if I would commit three years to the Inspectorate post to manage an accreditation process with CALEA. At the time, the Service had an old set of SSI that were at least ten years out-of-date, along with a smattering of newer ‘policy documents’. The Service was a long way from the standard required for accreditation so I embarked on the long journey to update our written directives system (our SSIs) and to ensure that the processes were in compliance with accepted best practice, as documented by the accreditation programme. The three year accreditation process was extended to five-years, after which management acknowledged that we were still not ready to achieve accreditation. But it was not a wasted five years. We had significantly improved and modernized our policies and procedures and established a strong foundation for continued improvement. I was ably assisted in those first years by Dave Kinnersley and Iain Simpson.
Along the way, the Inspectorate and the Research. Development and Innovation Unit (RDIU) were combined and expanded to create the first Service Delivery Improvement Unit (SDI). The staff of this expanded unit included Michael DeSilva, Darrin Simons, Antoine Daniels and Sean Field-Lament and Iain Simpson. Subsequent restructuring saw the unit down-sized and headed by an inspector (me). Since that time, I have been fortunate to have worked alongside committed officers including Adrian Cook, Everal Webster, Kim Cowper, Ronald Taylor, Michael Butcher and Kadian Gobay who have helped to make the past eleven years or so an enjoyable experience. This streamlined team has continued to maintain and update our policy and procedure system as well as taking on several projects for the improvement of the Service. Perhaps the most significant project was moving from an antiquated appraisal system that was largely ignored and unused to a modern computer-based PDR. Whether you love it or hate it, personnel are now being appraised and have a personal contribution to what that appraisal will look like. Other projects that we’ve been involved in include the introduction of Taser and the redesigned promotion process (still to be tweaked for next time).
That initial three year commitment ended up being about 11 years in the same /similar role. I hadn’t composed a policy/SSI before joining the unit but I could probably write them in my sleep now.
When I first arrived in 1984, there was no police basketball team. Having played for my UK force, I set about establishing the Police Basketball Section and the ensuing team played in summer and winter leagues. Officers playing on the team included Russ Matthews and Reggie Horseman. We practiced at the old Cadet School on Glebe Road and recruited young players from the surrounding communities, including then-students Wayne and Dwayne Caines, Lou Matthews and Harry Andrews.
Within three months of arriving in Bermuda, Russ Matthews and I took to the boxing ring for our first bout (against each other).
We both got hooked on the sport and competed for the Police Boxing Section for several years, boxing locally and overseas. I also got involved on the committee and have served in various capacities over the past 30 years, including Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer. I also keep my hand in by helping with the Section’s coaching and fitness training.
Over the years I participated in external diversity facilitation training, to an advanced level. I was subsequently recruited by the Commission for Unity & Racial Equality (CURE) to assist with the facilitation of racism awareness training to police recruits. CURE was later absorbed into the Human Rights Commission and the training input was expanded to include other areas of diversity. Many of you will have attended one of these sessions, co-facilitated with Mrs. Naomi Schroter.
I have been fortunate to have enjoyed all of my postings throughout my career, except for a very brief involuntary attachment to the Fraud Squad (not my cup of tea, as they say). There have been some bumps in the road but, on the whole, it has been a pleasant journey. I leave the Service with a sense of achievement, confident that I’ve made a significant contribution during my time.
Thank you to those who turned out last night for the retirement party at the Officer’s Mess. It was an enjoyable send-off. Thanks to Mr. Wright for an entertaining ‘roast’ – job well done! Thanks also to the Commissioner, the Officer’s Mess and the BPA for the retirement gifts that are very much appreciated.
Finally, thanks to all of those who I have worked with over the years (there’s no way that I could mention everyone individually in this synopsis). For the most part, it has been fun. I’m now looking forward to the next chapter of my life story.
On Sunday, I fly out to start my retirement trip. I’ll be driving my Land Rover from England, across Europe to Russia and Central Asia. The journey will cover over 20,000 miles and will take me to 24 countries, over a period of 5.5 months. Those who are interested can follow my journey at www.bermudarover.com.
Once I return in September I’ll be looking for something to keep me occupied until 2017, when my wife and I plan to fully retire overseas and travel extensively. I’ve no idea what my next job will be but I’ll cross that bridge after my trip ends.
I wish you all well. Keep safe and be nice to each other.
Signing off "
"Craig was educated at the Riddings Comprehensive School in the shadows of the great power stations and steel mills of Scunthorpe in the north east of England. In fact upon leaving school at age 16 in 1976 he became a metallurgical technician at one of those steel mills. As much fun as that was for him, Craig was always interested in traveling and new horizons and in 1978 he left the steel mill in Scunthorpe for a new life in the big city with the Humberside Police and soon found himself in Hull – a city divided by a fierce rugby rivalry between Hull and Hull Kingston Rovers.
He found himself on the WRONG side of the city – the Hull Kingston Rovers side in the east at Tower Grange Police Station. I joined the same Force the following year in 1979 and got posted to the better side of Hull in the West at Hessle.
To be fair, things were pretty grim for us both in a city with a reputation for gypsy gangs and violence - a city in decline at that time after the collapse of the fishing industry following the Cod wars in the north sea. A county council that wasn’t always able to pay wages on time and the occasional day trips to exciting destinations such as Toxteth in Liverpool to help put down the odd riot!
17th April 1978 Joined Humberside Police UK
Craig was quicker on the uptake than I was and he left to join the BPS right in the middle of the most “fun” year to date – the year-long Miner’s Strike which saw thousands of police living in frozen Nissan huts in broken down ex-military camps all over England and being bussed out to do battle with some very unhappy miners every day!
I think Craig was well-in with the Humberside Police top brass because the Chief Constable himself personally wrote to Bermuda to recommend Craig as “a confident young officer who is well liked by his colleagues and his work is always of a high standard”. Lots of people knew about Craig even before he applied for the job in Bermuda because, like Michael Jackson many years later, he owned a pet monkey which was really quite exotic for a place like Hull.
The Late George Garrod made note of the fact that Craig would not be leaving a girlfriend behind but he didn’t mention the monkey.
Not surprisingly, it seems that leaving Humberside to work in Bermuda was a popular option for many. In addition to Craig, other Humberside officers who made the trip over the years include: Phil North, Lee Fitzpatrick, Rick Clarke, Paul Leggett, Mark Cartwright, yours truly, Paul Fenwick and Andy Pell – Andy actually made the trip twice. Maybe he forgot why he left Hull in the first place!
Anyway, back to the story…. Craig was appointed as Constable 219 in BPS on 11th Sept 1984.
Craig flew out to Bermuda from Heathrow airport and joined 18 others including Peter Morgan, Nigel Gyte, Kevin Hardisty, Russell Mathews, Steve Parkinson, Dave Pascoe, Stuart Pybus, Mick Rhodes, Dave Arrowsmith and Nigel Brock. They all got $18k per year and had to pay $30 per month for what was optimistically referred to as “accommodation”. (Editors note - the other recruits on Craig's intake were Jeffrey Norman, Chris Johnson, Neal Richardson, Desmond Peters, William Mackay, Ian Pearson, Michael Grainger, Alex Watson, and Danny Matthews.)
People who knew Craig later in life always comment on his excellent work ethic – particularly on his ability to multi-task. However, it was not always so…. Some things should not be attempted at the same time as Constable Charlie Mooney, the driving instructor, pointed out on his:
24th Sept 1984 - Assessment Driving Test by PC 498 Charles Mooney.
Comments: “A good drive which could have been even better if he had not persisted in breaking and gear changing at the same time”.
Even Acting Sergeant Sinclair White – famous for his engaging classroom debates on the finer points of Bermuda’s laws found fault with Craig:
19th October 1984 – Localisation Course Report by APS 471 White
Comments: “PC Morfitt worked hard throughout the course but there were occasions when his mind was elsewhere”.
To be fair to Craig, a lot of students struggled at Training School in those days and they too allowed their minds to wander to places anywhere but there!
Compared to Hull, Bermuda really was “another world” and in those days communication back home was not as easy as it is today. No doubt Craig wrote home occasionally using the old flimsy blue airmail envelopes and buying telephone time by the minute from the operators at the Cable and Wireless office on Church Street. Bermuda even had a television channel that broadcast for four hours each evening and music on an infinite loop on a radio station. As the snow started to fall on me on the picket lines in the frozen north of England, Craig was probably smiling to himself as he reflected on his first glimpse of a Bermuda summer and was even developing a slight suntan – pale white rather than really the usual zombie white! Yes, life was good – or so he thought until there was trouble in paradise and even he came under fire:
3rd November 1985 - A45 Report “ Police Car Attacked In Curving Avenue”
Acting Inspector Eggs Massey wrote to CI Tim Willis:
It was noted that both officers were fit for duty the very next day. The Curving Avenue incident along with some really good arrests for drugs raised his profile and prompted Commissioner Bean to comment “His past performance speaks for itself and you might consider him on your shortlist (for Narcotics) in the not-too-distant future”. Insp. Neil Cox noted: “This man is a worker … has a very good rapport with Bermudians, both on and off the job and could serve Narco very well”. It was obvious that Mr. Cox was a big fan. He later wrote: “This part-time (ie: off duty) pugilist has enormous stamina for every type of police work… I recommend him to ANY of the Services departments.” There was also much interest in getting Craig into CID.
After a glowing report from DS Jonathan Smith following a CID attachment, DCI Wayne Perinchief agreed and snapped him up to receive a posting to CID in January 1987.
By 1988 Craig had added to his growing list of talents in the area of basketball and boxing when he was commended by Commissioner Bean for his shooting skills when he successfully defended the inter-service falling plate competition. He repeated the feat the following year and Commissioner Bean wrote to him with rare enthusiasm to say “You are to be congratulated for such a magnificent performance which enabled you to overcome all opposition thereby YET AGAIN winning this competition”.
At work Craig was consistently assessed as outstanding in terms of his performance. He was increasingly right in the thick of things and regularly working out of the Major Incident Room on the most serious crimes including the deaths of Helen Rowe and Clive Longe in 1987, obtaining the initial confession in the 1989 murder of Wilbur Doe, the Mr. & Mrs. Griehl murder/suicide at Horizons to mention just a few. He was commended along with Legay Farley, Socky Adams and Stuart Crockwell for his role in the murder conviction of Anthony Edwin Flood and he was regularly called to act as Detective Sergeant for long periods and praised by people who didn’t impress too easily - the likes of DS Angus Brown and Raimondo Harrision.
Craig always had the ability to focus intensely on the task at hand and always throw all his energy into it.
At home he was also very busy as a husband to Beverley and father to two young daughters Whitney and Michele all of whom he absolutely adored. However, his obsessive-compulsive personality was evident at home as well as at work by his conversion of the family home into a giant fish Tank! Not satisfied with boxing, shooting, dog showing and basketball – and probably a few other hobbies that have not been disclosed - Craig took to raising tropical fish in a big way. He founded the Bermuda Friangle Club which is still in existence today and the Police Fish Club. Long suffering Beverley confided in me that he had more than twenty aquariums throughout the home. The only place she banned him from placing them was in the bedroom…. “Creepy with those fishy eyes watching you sleep”!
In 1992 Craig left Beverley and the girls to clean the fish tanks themselves while he went off to live in Kent for a couple of months for Detective training. Funny thing in the police, if you have demonstrated great detective abilities consistently for several years we reward you by sending you on an overseas course to teach you how to be a detective – BASS AKWARDS if you ask me!
After more than 8 years in CID making his bosses look good and still no promotion, Craig put the cat among the pigeons by requesting a transfer to Training School – a move that was strenuously resisted by a long list of supervisors who had come to rely on him for so long. A compromise was reached: Craig was moved to the intelligence division and then promoted to Detective Sergeant with effect from 29 July 1996.
By now his salary had ballooned to $44k per year and with the extra money he had made in his second job working for Tropical Fish World and his new aquarium maintenance hustle he could afford to underwrite the cost of another obsessive hobby by stuffing his garage with collectible motorcycles. You are an angel Beverley!
Craig woke everyone up at Intelligence with his trademark energy. He founded a publication calls the CRO’s Nest Crime circular and completely overhauled our surveillance capacity, training and equipment. Merit Awards followed and also a Commissioners Commendation from Colin Coxall for Craig’s work towards solving the Vincello Richardson murder.
On 30 May 2001, Craig’s former Sergeant – now Commissioner Jonathan Smith was pleased to promote him to Inspector and send him out to Central Uniform. Suddenly Craig was in the big money with a salary of $63k and the possibility of looking for a new hobby – maybe off-roading adventures in a Land Rover!
Looking for dirt in Craig’s file was a real challenge – slim pickings as they say. Craig received perfect attendance awards for several consecutive years but he obviously was not in attendance at the Officers Mess dinner in December 2002 and that didn’t go unnoticed by Commissioner Jonathan Smith who wrote to him (and a few others in this room!) to let him know quite pointedly that he had missed a great night! However, Craig was back in good books again by July 2003 when he received a Commendation for the excellent work he did leading the Police Support Unit and a letter of good work for his efforts towards creating a new vision statement supporting the Strategic Plan.
Commissioner Smith knew he was onto a winner with Craig’s diligent work ethic and keen eye for detail and so he persuaded him to work in the Service Inspectorate as the CALEA accreditation manager. He also acted as a reference in Craig’s application to study for a Master of Science degree in Police Leadership & Management with one of the UKs oldest and most well respected universities at Leicester. Craig was admitted to the degree of Master of Science in July 2006.
It is no secret that, since taking the reins of the Service in 2009, the current Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva has deeply valued and protected his relationship with Craig. Craig has been a trail blazer in the development and reform of Service policy including the appraisal and promotion systems. His work has impacted positively on so many areas of the BPS that his contribution will stand as his legacy for many years to come. In that sense the organization will not soon forget him. But Craig is also memorable for so many other reasons. At first glance, he has always been a hard worker, a man of integrity and intellect, But beyond that, he is a man of such diverse interests that it becomes impossible to type-cast him – He is at times a boxer, an analyst, a detective, an aquarist, an advocate against discrimination, a dog fancier, a motorcyclist, a fitness expert, an international explorer. And it appears that he doesn’t view retirement as an opportunity to slow down – just check out www.bermudarover.com to see what he has planned next as an internet blogger and off-road Land Rover expeditionist!
But above all, what you see is usually what you get with Craig and as I look at him now I see a proud family man so committed to Bev, Whitney and Michele with much to be proud of in his policing career and now with new horizons ahead of him. Congratulations Craig! "
Editors note - As mentioned earlier, Craig left Bermuda on 30th March 2014 to embark on his retirement trip across Europe and Russia, visiting 24 countries over the next 5 months. We will ask him to keep us updated on his adventures from time to time, but you can also follow him on his journey on his blog at www.bermudarover.com.