CoP admits ‘abject failure’ over home invasion

| 22/03/2016 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines

(CNS): The increasingly beleaguered police commissioner admitted that the RCIPS had completely failed a victim of a burglary in North Side at the weekend after police took more than 14 hours to respond to a serious crime report. David Baines has reportedly apologised personally to the victim for the “abject failure” and a disciplinary inquiry has begun into why this failure occurred and to take action to remedy the matter, a police spokesperson said.

Two burglars broke into the holiday home where a regular visitor to Cayman and his son were sleeping in the early hours of Saturday morning. The homeowner awoke and chased the suspects off his property, but when he called George Town police station, twice, he was told that a car was not available to deal with the situation.

The police have admitted that this was in fact wrong and now say that the matter is all the more disappointing because a patrol car was in the vicinity at the time and had stopped to deal with suspicious individuals, oblivious to the call made by the homeowner. As a direct result of this vehicle stop, a person is currently in custody assisting with inquiries.

Although the homeowner made at least two calls to the station in the immediate wake of the crime and more later on Saturday morning, the crime report was never logged by the member of the RCIPS who answered the calls.

“This has been a complete failure of the RCIPS to receive, record and respond effectively to a call for assistance. A disciplinary inquiry is ongoing to identify why this failure occurred and to take action to remedy the matter. Commissioner of Police David Baines spoke to the victim on Saturday and gave an unreserved apology for this abject failure,” the spokesperson for police management stated in a release to the media on Tuesday afternoon, adding, “The RCIPS regrets any failure by its members to respond appropriately to calls from the public for assistance.”

It took more than 14 hours and the intervention of the district MLA, Ezzard Miller, before anyone finally attended the homeowner’s property to take the details of the crime.

According to police, at around 2:30am on Saturday, 19 March, as the homeowner and his son were sleeping, two burglars gained entry to a residence in the vicinity of Rum Point Drive in North Side through an open rear window, and stole a number of electronic items.

The man awoke and saw two men, both of dark complexion, as they were leaving the residence. One man was between 5’7” and 5’9” and weighed about 200 lbs, with a tattoo on his right arm and a tight scarf (a “doo-rag”) on his head.

The incident took place very near to where another owner and regular visitor to Grand Cayman, while sitting on the porch of his home at sundown earlier this year, was assaulted by a burglar, who stole electronics, cash and jewellery. A Bodden Town man was arrested, charged and remanded in custody in connection with that aggravated burglary.

But according to Miller, these are only two of many more burglaries that are happening in the popular tourist areas of his constituency. Since his return to the Legislative Assembly almost seven years ago, the independent member has been publicly complaining about the complete lack of police officers in his district, which he said was increasingly targeted by criminals as a result.

The latest failing by the RCIPS in response to crime comes on top of a catalogue of other issues, including the recent controversies over the handling of a search and rescue operation, in which two young boys and three men were lost at sea, the ongoing thefts from the police yard and the evidence locker, as well as a significant complaint by West Bay MLA Bernie Bush, in which he listed numerous failings relating to the management of the RCIPS.

A public opinion survey posted by Kent McTaggart less than three days ago has already attracted more than 400 respondents, with less than 15% appearing to give approval to the way Baines is running the RCIPS.

But despite the constant criticisms, the continued complaints as well as the alleged behind the scenes complaints from the elected arm of government, plus public condemnation of the commissioner by opposition members, Baines shows no signs of resigning and the governor no signs of asking him to.

Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick has persistently offered her support to the commissioner, even after it was revealed he had recruited a murder suspect, who has since been convicted, to the RCIPS. Although she announced a public inquiry into the handling of the search and rescue and has said she will be handling the complaint from West Bay MLA Bush about Baines, her office has failed to respond to enquiries by CNS about what her plans are regarding appointing a person to lead the enquiry and her response to the list of allegations.

Anyone with information about the North Side home invasion is asked to call Bodden Town CID at 947-2220.

Related story: Survey seeks public opinion on CoP

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Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Baines will agree to criticism now only because he’s on his way out of Cayman, his contract expires sometime in 2017. Senior Caymanian Police officers such as Kurt Walton need to be very careful that they are not used as messengers for a message that the public cannot swallow. Walton and others like him will get the tainted for selling the public unbelievable stories that will be seen as covering up for the incompetence of the Police. Careful guys. Baines, like the Governor, will remain here to ride out their last days before heading back to the UK to become non entities in a UK population of around 65 million.

    • Anonymous says:

      Put a uniform on an uneducated man. And call him a policeman stil leaves you with an uneducated man.
      Baines’ force , ordinary cops, is comprised of low paid employees who are expected to act like professionals.
      That explains a lot, as well as why the Europeans get the desk jobs…they can read and write.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My house is protected by God and my gun..break in and i will introduce you to both…

  3. KeepUrTwoSense. says:

    I remember back in the days people use to complain about the RCIPS keeps wasting the governments money doing useless patrols and this and that….Look how the tables have turned.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman does not do Law enforcement. Only Crime cleanup. Barnes has stated that most of his officers time is spent on finding and making criminals already caught to go to court. Only to find they aren’t ready for them yet.

  5. justsaying says:

    When you leave the island for an extended period, leave bear traps inside your propety and lace alcohol with lethal poison. No harm to anyone unless your propety is being broken into. There were precedents in other countries and the owners were found not guilty.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Exactly how many internal inquiries are Baines conducting into RCIPS – stolen drugs, stolen bikes, poor response to missing boaters, poor response to home invasion, etc., etc. That should say something to Baines and his protector Lady Governor herself!! How many internal inquiries into failed RCIPS performance does it take to prove Baines is a waste of our money and should go??

    I was told by a Cabinet Minister that the Governor is concerned about the cost to CI if his contract is terminated!!! How absurd!! XXXX

    CNS, please FOI this info!!

    CNS: We are a very small company and FOIs are very time consuming. However, if you do the FOI request and the response is newsworthy, we will happily publish it.

    • Anonymous says:

      But be careful. Based on Baines FOI track record in the UK you could end up getting labelled ‘vexatious’.

  7. Whisky bravo says:

    Grand cayman needs to get like texas, everyone has a gun and no one will do a home invasion because they know the resident has one. And when the police takes 14 hours to arrive the dead perp will already be in the morgue. 🙂

    CNS: See Texas crime rate here http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/txcrime.htm

  8. Anonymous says:

    At least they not a reject failure, enough employed there. From the top cop on down. Excuses, need more money and not enough men. You have to hand it to them they are the biggest scam in the Cayman Islands.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You all don’t understand, and will never understand because a lot of you have never been on the inside of the Police Service. What is taking place is that there is a major moral problem and it stems from MOST of the UK officers having office jobs and the locals and Caribbean officers on the beat or simply on patrol. Until Baines is out of here and we get a commissioner who treats all equal there will never be a service that is united. I am sure there will be the haters that will not like this post but I don’t give a darn. However I would like to ask one question and that is, if you worked in a company that one group is given coffee and snacks every morning and you only have the luxury of a glass of water tell me if you would be incentivized to do the job?
    This BS has got to stop and stopping it means Baines Gone.

    • Anonymous says:

      The RCIPS has a glut of menial-pay shift workers who work odd-hours and take reports for insurance adjusters, filing them in the great silo of unsolved mysteries. There needs to be a paradigm shift for actual crime solving and proactive crime interdiction to take place. We need fewer, higher skilled (and commensurately higher paid) officers, working with a coordinated intelligence (that doesn’t currently exist), they need to know the laws they are charged with upholding, and be familiar with correct procedures to secure evidence for successful prosecutions. They also need to show up.

    • SSM345 says:

      10:45, your excuse is absolute BS. They are employed to Protect and Serve the Public. End of story. Bitching and moaning that someone gets snacks or is treated better does you no favor whatsoever and most likely makes it worse for you in terms of how you are viewed at work. If they are unhappy, go somewhere else and ruin their Country. Until then, man the f**K up.

      • Anonymous says:

        AMEN brotha!! Couldn’t sum it up any better 11:56am. Too many chips on the shoulder forgetting they are here to work.
        Many persons in the private sector also don’t get snacks or pie, but geesh if that bothers you that much go Cost U Less and buy some for yourself but leave the petty excuses out of the issue. Usual Caribbean mentality! See it everywhere. I have worked in the US, Bermuda and of course here (born Caymanian) and trust me the Caribbean mentality is give me everything you got I will give you the most I feel like on each day but not everything.
        MAN UP! or WOMAN UP!

    • Jotnar says:

      Wouldn’t I be incentivised to my job by my salary and commitment to the service rather than expecting snacks, or thinking I should have a cosy office to sit in when the real police work is on the beat or on patrol. Seems to me your real issue is that you are not senior enough to qualify for the AC office and the coffee service, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m ashamed to say that after 30 years as a police officer serving a real country will real issues, you are a disgrace.
      Your petty minded and jealous diatribe is typical of a small island mentality whose playtime police service is full of wannabes and cry babies.
      Stop whinging about what you haven’t got and get on and do your damn duty, which by the way is to protect every single person and every single inch of property on these islands. Being on the beat is your job, these are your people, get out and defend them from others in your communities who appear intent on doing them harm.
      If you don’t have the balls to get on which your job and the integrity to fulfill your allocated tasks, then get another job that’ll put up with your snivelling.

      And the point that you don’t give a damn speaks more about your fortitude, integrity and honour than your pathetic issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon @ 10:45am – You are a disgrace and indeed your petty argument about needing coffee and snacks every morning as an incentive to do your job is the problem. You should be proud that you get to go out everyday and protect your people and your island (regardless of your nationality, this is your home now). Who cares what nationality is sitting at a desk? You are all supposed be working towards the greater good of providing a security to the people of this island. Do your job and man up or get another job!

      Btw, if you think any other industry is different in segregating locals and expats then you will have a very rude awakening. It happens in all areas of industry across the board, in varying degrees. Stop acting so precious!!

    • Anonymous says:

      This may have something to do with having the computer literate in the right seat.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why not just call 911 in the first place? I mean it was a home invasion, that counts as an emergency.

    On the other hand, when I called the WB police station to make a non-emergency complaint (loud music at 3:00am) they refused to take a report and told me that I would have to call 911.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This would not have happened if such a response would not have been usual and customary. This is how RCIPS does things. Period. All these investigations and apologies are an utter nonsense.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lets be fair. Mr. Baines is the CEO of this business and it is a failure. High expediture, and repeat failed performance. They cannot even prevent their Headquarters of being burglarized. But, Mr. Baines is not only to blame. The RCIP is loaded with dead weight below him and one can only do so much. A new CoP is desperately needed as there is just too much crime under this Command, but you will find that unless the CI Government is prepared to terminate at least 30% of the RCIP and make no mistake we the people will pay handsomely for this in settlements of unfair dismissals, breaks in contracts etc. you will find that the current situation with a poor quality Service will only ,if we are lucky, become marginally better. The RCIP, is not despite the promotion of Education, hiring mature people etc, an empowerment of commonsense, and work ethic. There are only a few that process the ability to deliver a real improvement. I guarantee you that this will hold true no matter the best intentions of the Head Figure.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Most police departments in the U.S. and Canada have civilian workers doing the “inside” work. All trained police officers belong policing their assigned neighborhoods, not sitting in precinct headquarters. On several occasions when I visited the Boddentown police headquarters there were always at least two officers working inside.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL, have you ever tried to deal with the semi-literate civilian workers they put on reception in GT police station? Please don’t wish that on us!!!!!!!!!!

  14. KR says:

    The entire police force should be ashamed of the way this situation & many more have been handled. If they had received a call to say that a boat load of drugs was on the way or someone had an ample amount od drugs in their house, they would have found themselves there quick, fast & in a hurry. There needs to be a complete clean up with the RCIPS & it should start from the very top!

  15. Knot S Smart says:

    Mr Baines can only be as good as the people who are working to carry out the tasks of the Police. To give an example – this morning I was stuck on West Bay Road for 45 minutes. At the intersection of Lawrence Boulevard there was a lone Caymanian Police, waving traffic towards George Town on West Bay Road.
    After another 20 minutes I finally made it to Captain’s Bakery where there is a total road block. All of the cars then had to turn around and head back to the intersection by Lawrence Boulevard and turn right and then continue on Esterley Tibbets Highway.
    At Lawrence Boulevard the Policeman was still directing cars heading into Georgetown to go towards Captain’s Bakery.
    If that Policeman had any sense he would have told the people coming from West Bay that the road is blocked ahead, so they need to detour towards Esterley Tibbets Highway.
    Instead he was directing them to go towards the road block…
    Thats just one small example…
    Any COP can only be as good as the people working under him…
    We need to clear out the non-thinking, not so smart, dunce, lazy, failures from the Police Force… In other words 90% of the force…

    • Anonymous says:

      I have called the Police Station several times when accidents like this happen-why on earth would they block the road immediately in front of the accident when a simple directive or a Policeman with common sense could be posted at the nearest turn off?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Curious that Baines has admitted RCIPS’ failure to a visitor couple. Wonder why he and his clowns were so vociferously defensive about their “performance” towards the Mullings family’s concerns, families of victims of unsolved murders, disappearances and perhaps other local families who experience the same “abject failure” of RCIPS to do their job properly!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    The additional “abject failure” is Baines himself!! When will he and Her Excellency admit that !!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Mr baines need get off this island , he’s gonna be the death of us
    all, after all he aint doing his job ,wasting the public time and money,

  19. Anonymous says:

    “Although the homeowner made at least two calls to the station in the immediate wake of the crime and more later on Saturday morning, the crime report was never logged by the member of the RCIPS who answered the calls”

    Is it possible this is also what happened the night the calls were made to report the missing people ?

    • Jotnar says:

      The police admit having received the late night calls and made a deliberate decision not to deploy, so no. Unless what you are referring to are the calls that were made the following morning and faked to look like they were made the previous evening?

  20. Baron clinkerhoffen says:

    You can have the best there is at the top, if a vast majority of what is below do not want to work, cannot do the job or are just simply missing, the situation remains the same.

    • Jotnar says:

      Except that being at the top and in command, you get to discipline or change those beneath you. If you do neither, or cannot do either because you are politically restrained, then you should resign. In my army days I was told that part of the privilege of command was that you got the praise for your subordinates success, but alongside that came responsibility for their failures, since command meant you created the environment for both.

      • Anonymous says:

        As an ex soldier myself, you will agree that there was nothing recruited that could not be trained.
        You cannot polish something that cannot be polished!

  21. The Turtle says:

    Here we go again. Someone else is to blame.
    You are the boss.
    You have chased a massive lack of moral in the RCIPS
    You blame everyone
    You have never blamed your deputy but junior officers
    You have no idea how to police in the Caribbean
    You need to go!!!?

    Also as written before did they call 911 or central.
    If 911 Julian better be given some sh $t as well.

    • Jotnar says:

      “but when he called George Town police station…”

      do try and read the article before posting.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow that why ppl don’t call the Feds when anything is happening.

  23. Randolf says:

    Maybe this is how things are done or managed in the uk? By the way was this 911 or central?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman Compass report states the homeowner “called the main number at the George Town Police Station, rather than the 911 Emergency Centre. The person who answered the phone at the police station stated that “a police car was not available” and did not log the call into the police system and alert 911 as required, a statement from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service noted.”

      Pretty clear that this was not a 911 call.

  24. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Its very simple we have 400+ RCIPS Cops.

    Why can’t the eastern districts and I mean East End and North Side have at least 10 officers on the beat at any given time. And I don’t want to hear that BS about short of resources.

    Traffic cops need to stop busting people balls for broken tail lights & tint and do real police work.

    • Anonymous says:

      400. But they don’t all work at the same time.

      Subtract out the specialty units who don’t do street patrol such as the Air Support, Financial Crimes, Scenes of Crime, and Family Support Units, etc…. A few are on the Sister Island and not readily available for street patrol anywhere in Grand Cayman.

      Of those doing street patrol on Grand Cayman, break them up into shifts. And you get a lot fewer than 100 to spread around the island. A LOT fewer.

    • Anonymous says:

      These districts combined have less than 5% of the population. That does not merit any more policing levels. Although those that live out there always want special treatment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thats only voters. There’s enough non Caymanian people out here to deserve some policing . Actually I’d settle for 5 percent of the police.

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      Wrong! The police don’t “need to stop busting people balls for broken tail lights & tint and do real police work” they need to increase the number of routine traffic stops and increase their presence generally. Not enforcing all of the little things is what has lead to the problems we are having now. The criminals do not respect the laws and openly break them without any repercussions. I’m sure plenty of other things would be discovered during these routine traffic stops (that you think are a nuisance) that would take criminals off the streets and as a result crime levels would start to decline.

  25. Anonymous says:

    We’ve received so much attitude and push-back over the years from the receptionist at GT HQ (when they bothered to answer the main incoming line after 5pm) that we now find ourselves calling 9-1-1 for non-emergency support, which appallingly, is the only way we get any action at all. I know 9-1-1 is not supposed to field these calls, but frankly, it’s the only way to get help – presumably because the call has been logged. The responding officers then $&@# it up all by themselves. Maybe we don’t need 400 menial RCIPS workers – when perhaps 50 quality hires might actually learn our laws and bother to enforce them and protect us. My $0.02

    • Anonymous says:

      When my in-laws were visiting, someone stole my husband’s motorcycle (which was locked) from in front of the house in broad daylight. When my mother-in-law called 911, the operator argued with her over the correct address for our building! She gave the name of the complex, the name of the street, the name of the cross-street and the apartment number, but the operator insisted it wasn’t a complete address and then “accidentally” hung up on her.

  26. Allar says:

    Here we go again, COP admits Abject failure. He is playing the old politician role again. Simple facts is Baines needs to go. Helen please see to his quick departure. Bye bye tat tat

    • Anonymous says:

      Baines doesnt handle 911 calls the blame falls on the women who answer the late night Emergency calls who could care less about the situation and more about your number and name personal address oh and then they say we got no available officers more often than tou think so Cayman cant have 400 actuall working police anyway

  27. Anonymous says:

    Baines, Baines… why are you so scared to suspend and fire the officers responsible?

    The head of CIAA stepped down after messing up Hyman’s schedule and rightfully so, but NO OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS AGAIN? Please!!! How difficult is it to check to see who was on duty, who should have been on patrol in eastern districts and whether they were busy doing police work, who was the Inspector and or Supt on duty, can’t we start there?

    The s##t hasn’t hit the fan yet but everyone sitting around thinking their walls will protect them, they must have model walls for Trump to be so cool because in couple of years Baines will be gone but we’re stuck with the cops who can’t get it right

    • Anonymous says:

      The call was made to the George Town Police Station. If, as it is reported, no one logged the report at George Town Police Station and passed on information to the officers on patrol in North Side then I would hardly blame the North Side officers. It was a failure of communication, but don’t blame the officers who never got the message.

      • Anonymous says:

        This was not a failure of communication. This is a total failure of the RCIPS in its entirety. The fact that it was even possible to ignore the call speaks volumes. When you call an ambulance or a fire department, you don’t get ignored. There are protocols for Pete’s sake!

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS, can you clarify if it was a police officer or a civilian member of staff who answered the call at the George Town Police Station?

      Your report cites ” the member of the RCIPS who answered the calls” but the Cayman Compass cites “A police employee apparently ignored a call…” and “The person who answered the phone at the police station…”

      A “member of the RCIPS” would seem to me to mean a police officer. “A police employee” or “person who answered the call” could be referring to an officer or a civilian member of staff.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Its not his fault that cayman is overrun by animals.
    Imagine if he wasn’t doing a great job how bad it would be?
    Even worse his replacement could be a Yardie or a Hondo
    then what even more chaos than you can imagine

    • Anonymous says:

      The racist crap that these people spout never fails to amaze me. So a jamaican or a honduran police officer is naturally worse than one from the UK? Lol. Dah wah you get. Dah fah lik ya.

    • Anonymous says:

      By your use of derogative terms to refer to Jamaican and Honduran Nationals I suspect you are xenophobic or racist.
      Let me remind you it is these same nationalities that work hard in the service industry, construction industry and many other areas that people like you could never do even if it was the last task on earth you needed to. You’re ignorant and if we do ever get a CoP from any of these countries- hope you don’t have an emergency that needs the input of that “Yardie” or “Hondo”.
      Born Caymanian, not racist or xenophobic and happy to welcome all Yardies and Hondos here- even as CoP

      • Anonymous says:

        Yardie is NOT a derogatory term for Jamaicans. They themselves call each yardies. My husband and his friends are yardies. They go home “a yaahd” thats why they are called yardies.

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