Complaints about cops fall but cases drag on

| 31/03/2015 | 3 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS officer at work (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): The RCIPS Professional Standards Unit received almost 400 complaints during 2012, 2013 and 2014, according to figures released under a freedom of information request. While new complaints fell in 2014 to 87 from 121 in 2013 and a whopping 171 in 2012, the police are still dealing with more than 100 complaints made in all three years in addition to the complaints filed during the first quarter of this year.

Police management is traditionally tight lipped about disciplinary proceedings, and with no independent complaints authority the police are still investigating themselves. The FOI request has revealed that there are currently 110 complaints from all three years that have not been resolved by the PSU but over the same period the unit concluded investigations into another 269.

The information also outlines the outcomes for concluded investigations, which range from fines to written warnings, but the majority of findings from the internal investigations into complaints about officers or police procedures were found to be “unsubstantiated”.

Over 50% or 137 of the 269 complaints that the unit has dealt with were, according to the FOI request statistics, dismissed.

Only four complaints from 269 resulted in officers being reprimanded, although twenty officers were reportedly fined and another two were given written warnings. Another 86 were given advice and counselling and 20 complaints were said to have had a “local resolution”, which was not explained.

The police have an accumulation of 110 complaints from 2012, 13 and 14 that have yet to be concluded in addition to the figures for 2015, which were not requested as the original request was made at the beginning of the year.

The fall in complaints about the RCIPS is in direct contrast to figures for the UK police, which were released in February and showed a significant increase. In 2014 there was a 15% increase on the previous year, the highest since the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was established in the UK over ten years ago. The need for an independent unit to deal with public complaints here in Cayman has long been accepted by the authorities. Even the police commissioner has said he wants to see an independent complaints commission established but there is still no sign of moves to create the necessary department.

While the Office of the Complaints Commissioner can take up complaints against all other government departments if their own internal complaints units don’t resolve the complaints or result in a satisfactory outcome for a complainant, the OCC cannot investigate the police.

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There is no Internal Affairs Division and they certainly wouldn’t want one.

  2. Road Victim says:

    On the 2nd of September 2012 The Cayman Sunday Observer wrote a article on this Useless department where Mr Brent Fuller pointed out the real deal with making complaints against police which go absolutely nowhere Some complaints weren’t even heard. This is because there is no Fair Police Complaints Authority to deal with such issues established. The RCIPS better try and deal with some of these ill mannered and very rude an obnoxious female Jamaican officers who stand up in the middle road at accident scenes insulting other drivers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Complaints have dropped because people have realised that it’s not only not worth the effort of complaining but talking to PSU often results in retaliatory action against the complainant by other members of RCIPS.

    Bottom line is professional standards needs to be taken out of the hands of RCIPS and dealt with by an independent body.

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