Cops bring HR class action against RCIPS

| 01/02/2016 | 28 Comments
Cayman News Service

(L-R) RCIPS Training and Development Manager Inspector Kevin Ashworth, Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis, Commissioner David Baines and Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Association and 13 named officers have filed a human rights petition in the Grand Courts against the police commissioner and the attorney general claiming the enforced retirement of some police officers at the age 55 and others at the age of 60 is discriminatory. The association also claims that officers recruited from the UK are being treated differently when it comes to retirement and that any officer who continues on contract after retirement is forcibly demoted, which is also a breach of their human rights.

The difference in retirement ages is as a director result of changes to the police law, which means that anyone below the rank of chief inspector who joined the RCIPS before November 2010 has a fixed retirement age of 55, while their colleagues joining any time after are not forced to retire until they are 60 years old.

The RCIPA well as the serving and former police officers who have filed the action said that officers from the UK are also being given special treatment, since even those who joined before 2010 are not being forced to retire and are retaining their ranks passed the retirement age while their local and Caribbean colleagues are being demoted.

According to the petition, the police association claims that the requirement, imposed by section 21(7) of the current police law, that serving police officers retire at just 55 is not just discriminatory but it interferes with the right to a private and family life, claiming that as they said ‘private life’ encompasses the right to develop relationships with other people, including those of a professional nature.

“It is in the course of their working lives that the majority of adults have the opportunity to develop personal relationships,” the police association stated in the legal action. “In the case of police officers, the nature of their occupation is such that many of the relationships formed during their working lives are particularly close and significant. Members of the police force form a small and close knit community where members provide each other with mutual support … The requirement to retire at age 55 has tangible consequences for the material and emotional well-being of the individual officers and their families.”

The RCIPA has also raised the concern that officers who are being forced to retire are able to continue to serve post retirement but all of them are demoted.

“The requirement that any re-engagement must be at a reduced rank of Constable or Senior Constable necessarily affects those of higher rank by their loss of status and professional reputation,” the police association said. “By contrast with the Caymanian officers and other officers recruited from Caribbean jurisdictions, officers recruited to the RCIPS from the United Kingdom before November 2010, and who are British by nationality and non-gazetted officers are not required to retire at age 55. Alternatively, if they are required to retire at age 55 they have in practice been re-engaged without loss of rank.”

The police association said the advantageous treatment of British officers directly discriminates against their non-British colleagues. As a result of this discrimination, the rights of non-UK officers under section 9 of the Bill of Rights have also been breached, the lawsuit stated.

The petitioners describe the action by the police management as “unlawful, irrational and disproportionate”. All of the officers involved in the class action claim they want to continue serving until they reach the age of sixty and at their attained rank, and where officers have been required to resign and accept a demoted position on contract, they did so “in reasonable mitigation of their loss” since their personal relationships with work colleagues had been adversely affected by the reduced rank.

The petition is asking the court to declare that the relevant section of the police law is incompatible with sections 9, 16 and 19 of the Bill of Rights and are seeking damages for financial losses arising out of their demotion.

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Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This sort of argie-bargie shows the UK either needs to step up and take proper control of its territories or force them into independence.

  2. Allar says:

    Come on Baines explain this one to us

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the result of Caymanian political interference in the police and the fault lies with the politicians pushing their nationalist Caymanization agenda to the detriment of the organization of the police.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s an outright discrimination against local and caribbean officers in the RCIPS today.

    Remember what happened a few years ago between Inspector Richard Harford at a RCIPS disciplinary hearing held by a U.K Deputy Commissioner of Police ?? (well publicized case) No misconduct was revealed on Hartford’s part and it was later ruled in a judicial review that he was unlawfully convicted and demoted by the UK Deputy Commissioner.

    Harford was completely vindicated and is now the Chief Marshall at our courts.

    The RCIPS UK Management should not forget what happened in the Eastern Caribbean several years ago with a certain UK Commissioner and an officer from that region, relevant to discrimination. (I’m not suggesting or implying this course of action)

    If you don’t know about this case, then I suggest you do your research. It shows what can happen when you come to the caribbean with a John Smith attitude.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The RCIPS needs to be formally run from London and have a British hierarchy parachuted in.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So that’s why all the cops have disappeared from the streets, all along I thought they were in the company of cake and donut purveyors.

  7. Pecker F Newton says:

    All the people who could or would stand up in the RCIPS are all gone. all left are YES Boys and would be wanna be’s even the professional agitators and instigators are now in other government departments causing problems.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hope this goes on to mean that all expats can claim a ‘right to a personal life’, a ‘ right to a family life’ and the right not to be discriminated against due to their religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.
    No, thought not, just more Cayman double standards.
    As for UK cops, well you can be assured that they are thoroughly well trained and have far superior experience than any home grown or Caribbean recruited officer. I know who I’d want turning up to a serious incident, not some wannabe who can’t even drive according to the law, let alone enforce it.

    • DJ says:

      Point made about UK officers having more experience but I would argue that their experience may not, and often does not, translate to real life Caribbean experience and situations. Culture makes a huge difference when working with citizens of any country and many of these officers have received training which is similar to and of even higher calibre than some of the UK officers. Why should someone from the UK who is retired, and collecting pension in their country of citizenship be paid more and ranked higher than persons who have dedicated their life to the RCIPS, who have raised their families in Cayman, who have sacrificed family life and who are in fact Caymanian, although other comments would disagree. Fair is fair, discrimination is discrimination. This has been going on for years and not only in the police force. It’s time we fought for our own.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmm, have you been to the UK lately. You do realise that it is one of the most multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and diverse nations on the planet?
        No, thought not.
        The U.K police services probably know more about Caribbean culture than any other country in the world, including most Caribbean countries, after all, we probably deal with more serious Caribbean based crime on our streets than this island would see in a life time. In fact we definitely have more people of Caribbean origin in our major cities than on most Caribbean islands.
        However, I do agree that local discrimination needs to stop, but make sure you don’t stop with just the police, after all we are all entitled to equality under the law, even us expats.
        From a personal point of view, I just don’t recognise the picture you paint of these dedicated Caribbean or Caymanian police officers. Most of those I meet on a regular basis are seriously under educated and woefully lacking in personal and professional skills. And let’s be honest, the majority of the population are non generational Caymanian anyway, so the cultural excuse just doesn’t wash.
        The Caribbean has never been a shining beacon in the world of law enforcement, perhaps if you actually witnessed what a police officer in a major UK city had to contend with on a daily basis you might not be so full of your ‘local’ bias.
        Oh yes, and this is also a UK territory so should a retired UK police officer with 30 years experience want to give this islands the benefit of that experience I say bring them in, more the better.

        • UK Driftwood says:

          Really does make you wonder the total mess government have made of this where were there legal advisors when these changes to police regulations were drafted. This does not fall at the feet of the commissioner but government they changed the rules and left the loop holes.

        • Anonymous says:

          There was once a senior UK officer who came to the scene of crime in West Bay. The victim had his throat slashed and a soap dish was pushed down his mouth.

          The conclusion of the UK investigsting officer at the scene, was that this was clearly a suicide. This is absolutely true, ask any police officer back in the day and they will tell you the name of the UK officer who declared it as such.

          A local officer then took over the case and one month later a juvenile was arrested and convicted for manslaughter. This manslaughter conviction came about after it was revealed that some sexual and suggestive behavior by the victim was brought on to the perpetrator, who did not consent to this type of activity.

          There was another case along South Church Street involving a prominent family whereby the victim was shot in the head once and twice in the chest. A team from Scotland Yard came to Cayman to investigate and concluded it was highly possible that it was a suicide. The suspected mastermind of this crime was upstairs the Central CID office being questioned, but was last seen drinking a bottle of scotch with the UK officers. That case still remains unsolved all these years and was even published in several overseas detective magazines.

          Can we forget Mr. Shields who the DCP of Operations in the Jamsica Constabulary Force and opened a highly publiscized murder investigation of a middle eastern or South African cricket captain/coach. After causing so much embarrassment in Jamaica over this grave crime in the territory, he became the laughing stock of the JCF after it was revealed by an autopsy that death was due to natural causes.

          I say if you can’t clean up your own back yard of hooligans in the UK (majority are homegrown) it’s hard to come to the Caribbean and tell me how to clean up mines.

          Remember, the tab for Tempura is still operating like a run away train and Caymanians are sick and fuc$&@ tired of the U.K. so called experts.

          I have absolutely no confidence in these bunch of worn out, pub hardened rejects, who are exported to the Caribbean to play the role of John Smith to these so called uncivilized savages/natives.

          • Anonymous says:

            Something makes me seriously doubt the authenticity of this post and I believe it is just another Nationalistic rabble rouser looking to fill the self determination train.

        • DJ says:

          As a matter of fact, I am British and have lived in both the UK and the Caribbean for many years of my life. Firstly, many of these officers that deal with multicultural situations are based in the larger cities, mostly London to be specific, and within London, mostly North or East London as they arguably may be seen as the most ethnically saturated areas of the city although London itself is quite diverse.
          Knowing of Caribbean culture and experiencing it in real time are two different things. Dealing with persons of a certain heritage outside of the Caribbean is completely different to dealing with Caribbean persons within the Caribbean. The same culture we have in Cayman is not the same culture Caymanians will have or carry with them to the UK because at some point there will be assimilation and alterations. Generations upon generations will adapt and change traditions and mannerisms so experience of Caribbean culture in the Caribbean is completely different to Caribbean culture elsewhere even when dealing with someone of Caribbean origin. Also, different Caribbean countries themselves deal with culture differently. I don’t care if I’ve come in contact with 500 different nationalities on a daily basis, I know that when I go to a specific country, locals will not connect with me in the same way they would connect with another local, especially in a place like Cayman where the cultural, ethnic and social divide is very apparent.
          As I sit here on the train typing away I can tell you I see what UK officers deal with on a regular basis and my argument still stands.

          I don’t know what experience you have with officers today, I can’t vouch for them cause I don’t know them but these officers in question have been in the force 20+, almost 30 years and everyone will tell you the civil service back then was completely different to today, work ethic and practice included. Of course the argument for the suit also backs up the fact that the officers you’ve come in contact with may not be adequate for the job in question. By virtue of your last statement, I can only assume you yourself may be a UK expat or expat of their origins who has migrated to reap the benefits of island life. Why not encourage injustice? Why not encourage others to come and take what rightfully belongs to someone else?

          Let me clarify I’m not saying don’t bring the UK officers in, I’m saying don’t try to unjustly push Caribbean officers down or out while persons of other geographical origin comes in to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

          You work your way up for almost 30 years of your life to be forced to starts ll over all from the very bottom and see how it feels.

        • DJ says:

          I would also like to add, speak to UK teachers at the beginning of the school and speak to them at the end. Calculate how many stay and how many go and ask them the reasons why. Culture matters.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is this corruption? Has anyone been arrested?

  10. Cuthroat Island Police says:

    You know tings bad when those brought in to divide and rule are now complaining about ill treatment. Those pesky British they sure know how to deal with former slaves eh???

    • Anonymous says:

      Trust me it was clearly the Jamaicans brought in to divide and conquer and this is one of final moves XXXX Caymanians would welcome British cops over corrupt Jackson cops who refuse to police their own. Hmmm remember when the jacans claimed Caymanians couldn’t police their own? Ppm please wake up and take your manhood back! Put Caymanians and British in the police or We’ll be doomed!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Love to hear the Commissioner justify this one.

  12. Natural Mystic says:

    Those who sat back and let the Good and the uncorrupted be destroyed and devoured now cry injustice!!! because they have founded those who colluded with them weren’t really their friends but were merely using them to carry out their very own agenda. Who says there ain’t no justice?? Even their mentors and ringleaders have all left and gone elsewhere to cause strife and mayhem in other gov’t departments. Right Ya Patna!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    we need a 100% expat police force from uk/canada…

    • Anonymous says:

      We need fair and equal treatment of all police officers regardless of where they are from. With no preferential treatment shown to any one.

      • Anonymous says:

        True but jacans are in charge of hiring and they hate the British they tell me all the time

        • Cayman displacement program says:

          Yet they never for one minute hesitate to do their colonial master’s bidding especially when they stand to gain from it. The current situation before us now stands as a prime example of the repercussions of such despicable and kniving behavior which is widespread through out the entire civil service and various statutory departments.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is just another symptom of a deeply divided and dysfunctional police force.

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