Local survey finds 79% think Baines should go

| 24/03/2016 | 55 Comments
Cayman News Service

David Baines, Cayman Islands Police Commissioner

(CNS): After just four days of polling for a local survey created to assess public opinion about the police commissioner, more than 500 people have responded and 79% of them say David Baines should go. The results of the survey so far, which asked six questions on the performance of the top cop, do not bode well for the beleaguered commissioner, who is facing a barrage of criticism and lack of confidence. The public online straw poll created by local activist Kent McTaggart on Sunday night has revealed that only around 20% of those who took part appear to have any faith in the commissioner’s ability to manage the police service and fight crime.

Asked if people felt Baines had the best interest of the citizens of the Cayman Islands as his highest priority, more than 300 people said senior police management was effective at preventing crime and fewer than 15% of people said that most of the time police respond effectively to reports. Only 12% said they thought David Baines was doing his best while 65% said he was not performing , incapable of serving the needs of the Caymanian community adequately or wasting money trying to cope with problems that he can’t fix.

The poor approval rating comes in the wake of more negative pressure on Baines: the opposition members of the Legislative Assembly have called for a special sitting of the House to debate a no confidence motion on his performance, a list of complaints has been filed against him by West Bay MLA Bernie Bush and therer have been calls for the review of his handling of a search-and-rescue operation to become an independent public enquiry.

Baines’ contract is understood to finish in around 12 months but the calls for the senior cop’s head are coming thick and fast and it now remains to be seen whether he will step down as a result of the increasing lack of public confidence or remain on the job with the support of Governor Helen Kilpatrick until his full contract expires.

Take the survey about the commissioner here

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Police

Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    He wasn’t the man for the job in the first place, he’s being protect by the governor until the spotlight on her then she’ll leave him hanging to save her job lol!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can you all note that the leading officers in operational policing on this Island are Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton and Superintendent Robert Scotland. The Commissioner put these leading Caymanian officers in that position, yet is supposed to now take sole responsibility for an percieved anti Cayman approach by the RCIPS. Get real people. Problems run deep that even the best of Cayman officers are clearly struggling with. Only those with an agenda are joining this witch hunt.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As much as I detest Baines professionally, the two Caymanians named by a poster as alternatives – ex-CoP and ex-Deputy CoP – are worse. Everyone knows their background!!! Our colonial masters knew why they got rid of them!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Blaming Baines for every crime in Cayman is like holding Mac responsible for all the criminals in his kingdom of West Bay. If Baines is to go, then surely Mac must follow.

      • Anonymous says:

        You know 8:23 your twisting of the issue does not help our situation so please shut the fork up. The Commissioner of Police, yes the present one is charged with maintaining law and order, he is not doing that when his station is robbed right before his very eyes, he is not doing that when his lack of police patrols allows criminals to traverse at will and rob at will, he is not doing his job when he comes up with lame excuses and continually seeks more funds and tells us crime is down but we have unprecedented robberies in the district of Nort Side. What in tarnation is he doing right. Mac or any other MLA does not control the works of the Pilice, he and Her Excellency do.

        Sadly by the Quuens Representative smothering the Commissioner with Britisk LoooVeee, we can expect that things will get worse and not better, UNLESs we rise up and say HES GOT TO GO. Full stop, period.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Now picture someone in the Honorable for life club in charge of the police here.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The mentality behind an expat CoP is that it limits the problem universal in the Cayman Islands which is conflict of interest.
    How would the supporters of a Caymanian CoP respond to this obvious problem?

    • Anonymous says:

      You see it would not matter as, if he was local Her Excellency would have him removed long ago. The problem is if we have a local head the RCIPs it would be a pressure pot for him as the politricksters would be interfering non stop and if he is from the UK it appears they always complete their contract regardless of their performance. You see, no one wins, we all loose. All i want is someone qualified with integrity to head up the law enforcement agencies that are determined to apply our laws across the board. Remember qualifications are just that, and do not prove the quality of the individual, Education, experience yes, but quality of the individual must be a top priority.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny you might bring that up. Perhaps for a change we need someone with a vested interest in this community. Someone who doesn’t see a bunch of dumb natives or someone who doesn’t think that hey this is a good place for my retired mates to boost their pensions.

      One doesn’t have to arrive here conflicted. But after a short time when a really small social circle develops and one figures out that what really counts is keeping the guys who attend the ball or the guys who invite you to their nice cocktail event happy, then presto…you have a nice little conflict…just as bad if not worse.

      So keep hiding behind this idea that a Caymanian CoP is the only one conflicted. If you look at the social habits of most of the senior management, then it isn’t hard to discover conflicts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where are the responses to the 6:43 conflict of interest statement? Certainly the dislikes and the trolls can respond.

  6. Sharkey says:

    CNS can you please launch an official survey on whether Mr Baines should go or stay , so that the Government and the Governor can see how the people of Cayman Islands really feel about the CoP and his leadership , and the crime issue ,

    • Anonymous says:

      An intriguing suggestion, but not sure exactly what “an official survey” means. Are you asking the government to formally stand behind the results of a CNS poll or what?

  7. anonymous says:

    Let us all be honest. ALL of management in the RCIPS should have been sacked from the incident with the missing drugs. That my friends will never go away. BAINES clearly stated that he had corrupt officers but to this day no one has been charged…. this is crazy. Baines and his management team all got together and blatantly LIED to us about the missing drugs bcoz they did not want to look incompetent to the public… the office of the governor should have never sanctioned this lie to the public… then to top it off 2 recent break in within a week, stealing bikes which obviously have had to leave thru the gate…. if these 3 incidents were not reported to the media by members of the public, we would have nver known the truth. However, let a Caymanian do something, and they have it headlines in the newspapers…. such double standards, but we allow it to happen.

  8. Caymanian voice of reason. says:

    The survey is still active so the results may change . It is likely that those who completed the survey first are the ones that want to find a scapegoat for everything that is wrong with the island.
    I acknowledge that there has been done disturbing incidents involving the Police but if we are to hold the Mr. Baines responsible for some of his incompetent staff then we should do the same throughout Government as there is incompetence everywhere.

    Mr. Baines needs to look at his recruitment strategy. He has recruited too many officers from a certain country where the culture is to look the other way. Mr.Baines please make your officers more accountable by enforcing a response time standard and have someone monitor the number of calls that each officer attends during a shift. Weed out the incompetent officers and replace them with well trained professionals .

  9. Anonymous says:

    typical caymanian attitude… looking for the quick simple fix……
    if you think baines is the problem….you are part of the problem….

  10. Anonymous says:

    24/3. 12:02 The top cop set the policies and procedures if they are not followed he is responsible. The total effectiveness of the RCIP, yes it is not a SERVICE NOR A FORCE rest on his shoulder, just securing his retirement! Remember when the public heard about the jam cop being wanted at home, he still defended his decision on the hiring, how much more bewildered can he get.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The problem with the results of this survey is that it was not officially organized, and whilst the person organizing may have had the best of intentions, because it is not official people like me and many others did not vote. The people who voted appear to be those that want lynch mobs to decide the rule of law and that cannot be good.

  12. Anonymous says:

    He’s not the man for the job, because if you don’t have love for island how can passionate doing your job. Bracka.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Baines should tender his resignation forthwith if he has any self pride. As far as another caymanian commissioner of police I do not see anyone capable of doing the job.We have had some excellent commissioners in the past from the U.K. We just need someone who will listen to the communities and act on the intel given. Baines is sorley lacking in leadership abilities.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We need to bring back seasoned indigenous multi generational Caymanian officers like Buel Braggs and Rudi Evans to run our RCIPS. But our colonial masters got rid of them both for some reason.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Most of us are left to wonder how bad it needs to get until there is an overhaul of the entire RCIPS apparatus. It’s a tad facile to pretend it’s just a “Baines” issue. RCIPS was running poorly for years before he came along and slotted himself into the top of the hierarchy. That’s the unfortunate truth. There are 400 menial-grade cops that manage never to be around when needed – bumbling without flash lights at night, or without pens to take reports. Although I agree that Baines should resign, a replacement will not automatically alter the organizational structure and performance expectations of the organization so it works for us – and that is what we need. A complete service overhaul.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen, Amen..thank you for that observation. I would like to add that the UK and their colonial ways simply do not fool anyone. They insert themselves at the top and below them are for the most part clowns found in a recruiting drive in the region. Sometime we get a bloke on murder charges to go along with it. Old saying you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

      The time has come to get a purely professional police force. One that pays CI 75,000-CI 100,000 per officer. One that has officers trained in first world policing with swaths coming from Canada, NZ, Australia and a total retaining of the Caymanian/Resident officers to the highest standards. I’m talk law degrees and or degrees in Criminal Justice and performance bonuses for the officers doing their jobs.

      The RCIPS is in shambles and the officers are revolting and suing their employer (people of the cayman islands) for discrimination by the British. This colonial system is falling apart; not business as usual.

      • Big Kenny says:

        Sorry, I am confused. You don’t want expats here or the present “colonial system” yet you are calling out for more to be brought in from NZ, Canada and Australia?
        Firstly, the NZ policing standards are very antiquated and need overhaul. Australia is heavily unionized within the police and Canada has a far better standard of pay, pension and working conditions.
        What are you going to do? Force them to come if they don’t want to and believe me, the list gets longer by the day of people who don’t want to come here.

        You have tried it with other countries before, just admit it, you will not be happy with whoever is here.

        Time I think for the Cayman Islands to step up to the plate and make their own people deal with their own problems and be responsible for their own problems.

  16. Just saying... says:

    The people have spoken. When is his plane leaving?

  17. Inspector Gadget says:

    …and the other 21% had their computers stolen and couldn’t respond.

    • Dr Kananga says:

      Actually, to break it down a little more –
      10 % were “checking by one yard” and will soon reach.
      10% left to “get me one soup” three hours ago.
      1% called in sick.
      The rest? nobody has heard from them.

  18. Knot S Smart says:

    Poor Lil Mr Baines…

  19. Clarence Ebanks says:

    The straw poll organizer Kent McTaggart has strong views against the CoP and wants his head on a platter. Shouldn’t someone who is neutral be conducting this poll ?????

    • Kent says:

      Have at it. The funny thing is, everyone has criticisms, ideas and suggestions, but nobody gets up and does them. forgive me for getting off my ass and doing something.

    • Allar says:

      2:52pm you same to be an avid Baines supporter and claims to be a God fearing man, why don’t you see that our Island is going to hell fast and in a hurry. Any self proclaim sensible God fearing man can see this. Do you know Bartemus? Well even to him can see this. Wake up Clarence you are in a dream

    • Anonymous says:

      Very good point. He is on a witch hunt. A very tough job with a lot of uncontrollable elements.

  20. The Parliamentarian says:

    500 people responded? Isn’t that about 1% of the population of the Caymans? Who conducted this poll?

  21. C'mon Now! says:

    I didn’t know 21% of Cayman was related to the CoP.

    Yeesh anywhere else with the sort of problems we have had, especially the drugs being stolen from the property would have seen the buck stop at the top and the CoP fall on his sword.

    Her Excellency should be asking him to resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:44pm He is not the only one who should resign. She should pack her traps and go as well. This situation will only get worse before it gets better.
      Could we have some space?

    • Anonymous says:

      I was taught at school that excellence is something you strive for. To me, she is Helen Kilpatrick.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think the AG and DPP need to go.

  23. Anonymous says:

    And how many of that 79% were Caymanians?.If you think things are bad, replace him with a Caymanian and see what happens.Who was directly in charge of security at the police compound, who was in charge of the police boat that damaged it’s propeller, who took the call about the break-in at North Side, just to name the latest problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who placed the order for river boats for the RCIPS? Friends always help out friends.

      • boats. says:

        These vessels are proven sea going vessels in use around the world with professional organizations.

        Free education for you: riverboats have very shallow drafts with flat keels. These vessels have deep V hulls for cutting through seas.

        And unless you got family in these overseas companies then there is no friends helping friends.

        Maybe you are used to using canoes and donzis but obviously have no experience in this area.

        You must always know what your talking about before you open your mouth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please hush David

  24. Anonymous says:

    79% may be a conservative estimate. I know some who support Baines’ dismissal who didn’t vote on that poll. So it may be closer to mid-80’s percentile!!

    Just terminate his contract. He and most of his Keystone Cops are useless!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      And I know some who don’t. Your comment is an admission of your lack of understanding of sampling (polling) methods.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the Cayman Islands needs an elected Police and Crime Commissioner like they have in the UK?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Fix immigration and you will fix a lot of crime. Baines cannot influence that aspect.

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