Cayman top cop to lead BVI police probe

| 16/02/2015 | 13 Comments
Cayman News Service

David Baines, RCIPS Commissioner of Police

(CNS): The Cayman Islands police commissioner has been appointed to an internal police corruption probe in the British Virgin Islands. An RCIPS spokesperson confirmed Monday that David Baines would be heading up the investigation involving the BVI’s police force. Operation Lucan began formally last November in response to unconfirmed allegations that police officers may have been taking money from drug dealers.

The UK officers recruited to undertake the probe were answering to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force’s (RVIPF) own commissioner, David Morris, and the territory’s director of public prosecutions but it appears that, due to questions over the independence of the enquiry, Morris has requested the BVI governor to restructure the leadership of the investigation.

As a result Baines was appointed as the Gold Commander of the internal probe as of 11 February.

The appointment comes at a time when Baines has received significant criticism at home after a number of questionable situations have arisen regarding the management of the RCIPS. It also comes during a surge in gang-related killings. While police have charged 22-year-old Justin Manderson for the murder of Victor Yates on 3 January, no one has yet been charged with the second murder of the year on 23 January, when David Ebanks was gunned down outside a restaurant in West Bay.

It is not clear how much time Baines will be away from his substantive post as he heads up the RVIPF probe. The details of the BVI enquiry, not unlike the ill-fated Operation Tempura investigation here in Cayman in its early days, have remained largely under wraps. According to the BVI media, the UK officers began the independent enquiry in August last year but no details have been made public. However, unofficial reports allude to police officers being accused of stealing drug-dealers’ cash and entire units of the force being placed on leave. The existing commissioner has also been accused of interference in the probe, which is being paid for by the BVI tax payers.

While facts about the enquiry are limited, what is clear is that this is not likely to be turned around in a few weeks, leaving questions regarding the management of Cayman’s own police service.

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    some of you just have a personal dislike to Mr. Baines, but not one can point to any evidence of corruption on his part. I don’t know him but I also cant find him to be a bad person. Lets just admit it People don’t like authority. he commands over 400 staff the largest department in the CIG. this cant be an easy job. Yes there is room for improvement but tell me which department o organization IS? Stop the darn complaining . Ezzard , Arden does enough for all . ahaha

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has been complainant about the man for the longest ever,right? now he will be gone for a while, appoint whoever you had in mind as acting commissioner and wait and see if he can do it any better. Sometimes you have to be careful on what you wish for….

  3. lady in red says:

    He should start with an investigation into his own police force

    • Shhhhhh. says:

      Yeah? Well how about we start with a release of the Tempura Report as per the Information Commissioners directive? That would be a good ante!

  4. Cayman Reader says:

    The blind leading the blind mann we is in a real mess!

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s worth checking out the BVI Commissioner David Morris and some of the recent stories posted about the RVIPF.

    Morris left South Wales as an ACC (Assistant Chief Constable) in 2009. Part of his responsibilities were Professional Standards. In fact his background in UK policing is so similar to Baines it seems an odd move.

  6. Frustrated says:

    “…unconfirmed allegations that police officers may have been taking money from drug dealers…”

    If we want to make a serious dent in corruption, then take a large chunk of money away from the criminals by legalizing, taxing, and controlling drugs. Yes, all of them.

    There is a huge amount of money in the drug trade. Corruption affects all government workers, from the low end police officers to heads of state.

    I watched the movie Key Largo the other night. The gangsters in the movie were bemoaning the fact that the end of alcohol prohibition killed their business.

    Alcohol is an addictive and mind altering drug. We have legalized it, taxed it, and controlled it for years. Yes, there are social costs to alcohol, but at least we have the tax revenue to help clean up the mess it causes.

    Let’s convert all of the criminal drug profits into tax revenue so we, as a society, can have the money to help clean up the mess that drugs cause.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree that Cayman is at too critical a point for the Commissioner’s attention to be taken up with such a serious probe in another territory. While it may be a feather in his cap to be chosen, I question the wisdom of allowing this at this time. For the Tempura probe, officers were brought in from the UK; the BVI could have made a similar arrangement.

  8. Anonymous says:

    OMG, Cayman has no leadership as it is! Please Governor and Government, give this country a chance. Get a new Commissioner! Turks and Caicos – check, Cayman – check, now they are after BVI. We can surely see a pattern here.

    • Shhhhhh. says:

      Make it a permanent appointment!

    • Iamnotapirate says:

      I can see a pattern of corruption, theft, and lying by the Governments in question especially here with the UK having to be the one to try and fix it all. I can also see that the people here are happy with what the Government does no matter how bad and scared of the UK for good reason. But that’s just me.

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