Premier blames opposition for CoP’s costly departure

| 29/03/2016 | 65 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin, Chief Officer Eric Bush and Police Commissioner David Baines

(CNS): The premature departure of the police commissioner has proved an expensive exercise and compounded leadership problems, the premier has said, as he pointed the finger of blame at the opposition benches. Alden McLaughlin said he had been in discussions with the governor regarding matters of concern at the RCIPS but public criticism and the opposition’s action have made the challenges even more difficult and will cost the public purse a year’s salary to pay off David Baines.

“It is unfortunate that the recent motions filed by members of the opposition in the House concerning policing have put us in this predicament,” McLaughlin said in a short statement released by his office following the governor’s announcement that Baines is leaving in May, a year before his contract expires, but is being paid his full contracted salary.

“Essentially, government is going to have to pay Mr Baines for the remainder of his contract while the Cayman Islands has no commissioner of police in place and, given the reaction of the opposition to Mr Baines, we may find ourselves in difficulty in filling the role quickly,” McLaughlin stated.

He pointed to the anticipated departure of Deputy Commissioner Stephen Brougham, who is scheduled to retire from the service in September, leaving a hole in the leadership of the RCIPS, which the premier said would present “a real challenge” until the top two jobs are filled.

“The irresponsible actions of the opposition have made the task more difficult,” McLaughlin added. He said government would continue to support Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis, who will act as commissioner in the interim, and work with the governor to ensure Cayman remains one of the “safest and most secure jurisdictions in the world”, a sentiment that has been called into question recently.

Despite blaming the current opposition for undermining the RCIPS, the premier stated in a release from his office on Thursday afternoon that government had concerns about the recent failures of the RCIPS with respect to a range of matters and has consistently talked with the governor about these concerns.

“We believe a review of the services is necessary to address these issues,” said McLaughlin but he said the community could not blame crime on the police service as a whole or on any individual.

“Criminality is a problem of society and its causes are complex. We must, as a community, work with the police service to eradicate crime and as a government, we have a responsibility to ensure that the police have the necessary resources to combat crime. This we have done,” he said.

McLaughlin said government was also working to create opportunities for Caymanians  by growing the economy, working with the private sector to create jobs and to get unemployed Caymanians back to work, including those who may be structurally unemployed and need extra support.

“Unemployment among Caymanians is at 6.2 per cent, compared with 10.5 per cent when the now Leader of Opposition was then premier of these islands,” the premier stated. “Under my government, this is the lowest unemployment among Caymanians has been since 2007,” he said, as he claimed that the economy had vastly improved under the current PPM administration compared to when McKeeva Bush was last in charge.

“Given the improvements this government has helped bring about because of the work we have done, Mr Bush and members of the opposition have very little, if anything at all, to truthfully complain about with regards to our achievements,” McLaughlin said, as he accused the opposition of “grasping at straws” and attempting “to stir up the community by politicising events unnecessarily” and disrupting the work of government.

Although McLaughlin had said that the motions would not be dealt with before the 25 April, Government Information Service (GIS) confirmed Monday afternoon that there would be a meeting of the LA on the 13 April. The premier said that the motions were not urgent and noted that the opposition members would not be able to form a quorum on their own and therefore could not hold the meeting without the government’s agreement.

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Comments (65)

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  1. Clarence Ebanks says:

    Well how much did it cost the Cayman public purse to keep Debbie Drummund and Angela Martins on “leave” for a number of years at 6 figure salaries each? So just because these are born Caymanians, and female no one jumps up in the air over this? Fair is fair and right is right. Folks have very short memories these days

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about we ask the Premier to resign?..I think most Caymanians would be okay in paying him a years salary..It is quite obvious he doesn’t give two $hits about his own people or for that matter the many expats that live here and expect to have the security and peace of mind that our country has always been known for..

    Alden, I voted for you because I wanted to see change, just not the kind you have brought..Your lack of care and concern for your people coupled with your arrogance and in particular your total disregard for the majority of the people that have brought the concern of the lack of leadership of the Police to you amazes me.

    Enjoy your last year because I don’t think the good people of George Town will be placing an X for you..I hope Kurt is seeing this and stand up and says something. I actually expect better from him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A year paid vacation! That’s a sweet deal.. for him! Just shows character of a quitter or someone who just doesn’t care! I maybe wrong but even though he was under pressure he should have stuck it out to save face & respect/honor, maybe even proven his worth and turned the general conception of him around. Very dishonorable move.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Totally agree with what Richard Wadd says
    29/03/2016 at 8:58 pm

  5. Anonymous says:

    We need a Caymanian to step up and be our own Sheriff JOE. With only 60,000 people the problem is that we KNOW these criminals and should run them out of town, but instead blame the police. Give every crook 90 days notice to find a job or move or we get our own

    CNS: But you should probably also read this

  6. Anonymous says:

    We have 2 full months to find and recruit a replacement. Let’s get to work on that short-list. We need to hire someone that can correct the many internal organizational problems at RCIPS and with the sophistication and training to understand and confront the international and domestic threats we face. Most importantly, people need to feel confident that when they need help in an emergency, they have a reasonable chance of getting it. Criminals need to feel exposed. The police need to be already routinely dispersed in the community enforcing our laws for a timely dispatch to occur. Oh, and let’s replace the IFR helo pilot asap.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That’s Alden – has to blame someone else. The question is: if Mr Baines choose to resign why is he being paid? We need to see his contract. If he was asked to leave then say that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Something is not right here. Why pay a man for a year not to work and leave the police force without an anchor man when he could be kept in post while you look for a replacement. It stinks and makes no sense at all. So now tell us the real reason Alden?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Only in the CS that someone gets rewarded for poor performance. Shame and disgrace.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fingers crossed for a replacement from England.

    • Anonymous says:

      It doesn’t matter where they come from – only that they are considerably less smug and comfortable with our place in the Caribbean crime statistic hell. We don’t want to be using that as our performance yardstick.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anthony Ennis has been dis-engaged for some time now. Find out what is troubling him, get him re-engaged and active and you will have the perfect Commissioner. You will not find anyone, anywhere who is more capable than he is. I worked with the man when he was Anthony Ennis.

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      9.50AM I agree with you completely, been there also, BUT, he is a wise owl who got a taste of what life at the top can be like years ago (Remember the Net News fiasco), and has obviously decided to peg his ascent, and survive intact to his retirement. I honestly wish he would get the job, but I do not think it is going to happen. PITY.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes someone who is disengaged sounds perfect for the top job. Get a grip.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Premier’s hypocrisy never ceases to amaze! Yes, there are times in politics that “playing the field” is necessary, yes there are times when diplomacy is necessary and if one must, deflection is utilized . However, the present Cabinet under this Premier has repeatedly expressed its displeasure of Commissioner Baines to the Governor and approached the subject of his termination which Her Excellency repeatedly rejected. Among other issues, a primary cause for concern were significant costs to CIG (many hundred$ of thou$and$ over the past couple year$$) resulting from unsound dismissals from RCIPS under Baines. I say unsound not to criticize the dismissals but the processes which have been successfully challenged.

    How on earth can Alden now reasonably blame anyone else when the Governor HE decides to send Baines a year early, or complain about his termination costs??!! In compensation for what CIG will have to pay him, let him recompense CIG for the costs he incurred for his policies!!

    Alden is just playing politics with our public safety. That is totally unacceptable from a Premier!!!

    • SSM345 says:

      You know what the main difference is between Alden and Mac? Mac was always away gallivanting around the world so never addressed any local issues / public outcry until he returned or when it suited to launch his next election campaign.

      Alden however is in Cayman the majority of the time and fails continuously to address anything in a timely fashion when the public are calling for it, the very people that put him where he is, and then we he finally does, he points his finger and casts blame on the Opposition? Or more alarmingly, just blatantly ignores everything and claims he was dealing with it “behind closed doors”, well that’s reassuring and so transparent.

      Alden, grow a pair, you are the effing Premier of our Country, perhaps you should try acting like what is expected of a Leader?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Every politician in Cayman is to blame for this whole scenario. If they worked on fixing Caymans problems half as much as they work on pointing fingers at each other, our police force may be competent, without corruption and our streets may be safer. The end.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Did the Premier ever come out to tell the people on these Cayman Islands that he was in discussions with the Governor concerning the RCIP. I remember him always coming out and supporting the COP even while he consistently failed our people. Mr. Premier why all of a sudden you are now alluding to these discussions. Is this now just a figment of your imaginations? Is this now just a rouse? I think it a little too late for your comments the cat is already out of the bag.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It appears to be custom and practice to hound police officers out of their jobs if they are English. Well, congratulations Cayman you may soon be getting the police you deserve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please leave the racist comments out of it. You all are happy to recall how Mr. Braggs as the only CoP was ousted from office. I can think of other Caymanian officers such as Mr. Rudi Evans, and Mr. Rudy Dixon who was acquitted of all charges against him. Some English officers have been hounded from office because of corruption known to the FCO but they were never prosecuted just allowed to leave quietly.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can this Government (not matter if PPM, UDP, VIP whatever) get their heads out of their self inflated backsides and start doing something that goes beyond running their mouth and pointing fingers?

    Our country is FALLING APART!!! Crime, poor education, no enforcement of any laws whatsoever, neighborhoods dilapidating, ever increasing health insurance cost, completely antiquated labor/employment laws, completely failing immigration dept, completing failing police dept,…………..the list goes on and on.

    Stop the codling of the people and clean up the civil service and for f….sake, DO SOMETHING that actually is to the benefit for the residents of this Island!!

  17. Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

    I have to disagree with our Honourable Premier on this. The opposition did not cause this, they simply gave a voice to what was a huge groundswell of public discontent that has been growing for some considerable time and needed to be addressed one way or another. How can you compare one year of Baines salary to another year of criminal activity undermining our invaluable tourism product, as well as public confidence. All the fancy statistics do not negate the fact that crimes against householders, tourists, and businesses have escalated to alarming proportions and are not being effectively countered. It is time for a change!

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe we should do a survey on our thoughts of The Premier resigning. How can you blame the opposition for the police’s cover ups? The opposition didn’t rob the container with the drugs and hide the fact, the opposition didn’t rob the bikes right under the police noses, the opposition didn’t have anything to do with the moron who took the call about the house getting robbed in North Side and didn’t log it in, the opposition didn’t have anything to do with the police not responding in a timely manner on the boat search. So hence, Alden how can you blame the opposition????Oh yes and is it the opposition’s fault you had so many of your people jumping from ppm to another party?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Sir! I agree 100%

  18. Allar says:

    Alden for a man who I cast my vote for you are the biggest ball less inhave ever seen, you have the guts to tell us that you blame the opposion forbthis costly matter yet you sat there and said nothing to us the public in the midst of all that has takennplace? You should be shame of yourself, for the premier of these Islands you need a redress. We need to get rid ofvyou and your governor. May be the opposition can get that started. Well done opposition well done!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Premier. These attacks always ends badly. Who will want to be our Commissioner now? Which Caymanian will want to apply for this job?

    People stop and think please it’s not a crime to think. What purpose will this motion serve? Who will benefit ?

    The Cayman people has lost a Comissioner who stood up against corruption who is responsible for northward being full who foiled a robbery alone and took on robbers armed with guns. Who has oversaw a reduction in crime.

    This is how we treat someone who has done all of that for us. The brave men and women of the RCIPS does not deserve thiese attacks.

    Thank you Premier from standing up for justice and taking a stand against corruption

  20. Ezzard Miller says:

    So Mr. Premier the motion moved by Mr. McLean and seconded by me got rid of Baines as Chief of Police, we certainly gave you enough opportunity to do something about the state of policing in the eastern districts and the wider Cayman.
    Now I challenge you to publish the clauses in Mr. Baines contract that forces you and the Governor to pay him one year salary because he resigned. If he did not resign then the Governor must have fired him. Contracts of employment usually state the notice period for termination of contract other than for cause or un-satisfactory performance which is usually three months not one year.
    If as the letter to his employees, the members of the RCIPS, in public circulation is in fact from the COP, which says he asked the Governor to conclude his contract by the end of May, then he resigned and is not entitled to one year salary. If his notice is the normal three months then he should not be paid for May in absence of the correct period of notice.
    I hope it was not you who offered to pay him one year salary for him to leave.

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      Question time in the LA whenever they reconvene! Totally agree with the Honourable Member from NS.

    • Tellme says:

      Thank you Ezzard!!!! I for one would like to see his contract if there was a clause that said he should be compensated for resignation and or if fired for poor performance. Let’s see!!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Alden is 100% correct, McKeeva is still costing us money and the police service is going to be a mess for a couple years until we can get good new leadership in place.
    Thank you McKeeva, wrong and strong as usual.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not a fan of McKeeva by any means (probably the opposite really) – but really why is he getting the blame for this. If you ask me; ALL self serving politicians are to blame. Instead of making the work they do speak for themselves they are too busy politicking “telling” us what they have done and pointing fingers of blame to the other party!!!

  22. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another day in Absurdistan

  23. Sharkey says:

    I think that the premier should stop acting like a spoiled boy , blaming opposition for everything . Maybe the money that government would have to pay for the remainder of the contract , might be the best money government ever spent in century, for sure he should not have been payed to sit in his office and continue to watch crime and criminals destroy the Islands .

    I hope that the new replacement CoP see what is required to be done for the job, and I wish him all the best..

  24. Anonymous says:

    On what basis do we have to pay him for the remainder of the contract? If there’s no notice provision and there are insufficient grounds to dismiss him for cause, just fire him anyway and pay the statutory unfair dismissal compensation.

  25. Hulk says:

    “Criminality is a problem of society and its causes are complex” Mr. Premier the causes are not complex. You have been in government for years please read just one of the costly reports your government and mr Bush government has commissioned. You will see that crime can be reduce and/or in many cases prevented.

    You mentioned that unemployment is down. The lowest since 2007. What you have not told our people is that welfare is up. It’s costing $50 million a year. Please tell our people that the cost per prisoner is also up $70,000. Teenage pregnancy is up, 50 babies are born to mothers between 13-18 per year, mental illness is up approximately 10,000 people diagnosed. We have no long term facility.

    I can go on and on. Your and Mr Bush arrogance and stupid political games have divided the country. You both could solve crime or at least come up with a better plan yet you constantly waste time on attacking each other. Social issues can be reduced, yet you pacify the people with more welfare and plans to implement a programme that is not best practice and will cost tax payers $1.7 million to experiment.

    As a citizen I have no confidence in you or mr bush as leaders of this country. Th longer you stay in office the worse our social issues will become. You both are an embarrassment to our people.

  26. Driftwood says:

    More rhetoric and political posturing to deflect from what’s really going on by a weak government. The poor leadership and lack of accountability is partly why Cayman is becoming paradise lost.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Alden McLaughlin is in complete denial how else can we explain his utterances?

  28. This must be Alden last term says:

    How many settlements has the Govt paid to avoid lawsuits for police messups? Answer that Premare

  29. Anonymous says:

    Cant blame the man for quitting cayman is in total chaos and denial No help coming cover ups of the truth everywhere. Gangs doing as they please. crime out of control
    The US is going to announce for all us citizens to leave very dangerous and you all keep sugar coating it

  30. Richard Wadd says:

    The FACT is that the parameters that are now used to ‘measure’ the level of crime in the CI were altered in order to make the reports look ‘better’ to the public …kind of like ” putting lipstick on a pig”.
    It is not simply to say that Crime has now risen to unacceptable and almost uncontrolable levels in the CI, it is that it has done so during a time when the RCIP have been given the most resources that they have ever had at their disposal.
    Closed Circuit Cameras, Helicopter, over 400 officers, a Marine unit with their own ‘base’. North Side and East End now have their own Police posts, and yet crime comtinues to grow unchecked because there is no fear (respect) for the Law.
    Drugs and guns stolen from the central Police Station right under the nose of the Police and no-one held accountable? Motorcycle ‘gangs’ riding the streets at will on unlicensed bikes which they steal (again) from the RCIPS impound yard, not once but TWICE in a matter of a few days?
    Tourists being assalted in ‘home invasions’, and your excuse is that we still have the lowest rate of crime in the region?
    We are an island community of 60k people, we should have the lowest crime rate IN THE WORLD!
    Statistically, we have a crime rate that is higher per capita than JAMAICA (except murder).
    That is a FACT.
    I’m sorry, but if Baines departure costs us CI$150k, it is insignificant compared to the potential damage that keeping him here would cost us.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Alden has NO backbone!

  32. Lenny says:

    Really mr. Premier? It appears you only care about the Benjamin’s. What about the quality of our lives when compared against your economic growth? So let us forget our safety and our children protection for your revenue plan. Well done!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier.. all due respect. just stop and think for a second, or do you not have a brain to do that? Now honestly do you really think finger pointing really going to cut it and solve the problems this island has?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Alden has no balls. We need to get rid of this existing government. SO we cannot publicly criticize the CoP? Are you kidding me? What an ass kisser Alden is – real disgrace and reminds me of the house niggas back in the day! They still exist and he’s a perfect example of one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden please do us all a favour and leave with Baines since you are such a lover of the Brits. You are a total disgrace so please shut up. We should send you home as well and pay you twice as much just to get rid of you. When did you ever come out in support of a Caymanian like that Alden. Look at all the issues across the government departments and you are yet to come to a single Caymanian defense. You are a total waste of time. The next elections can’t come too quick to get rid of you.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have just described all the Caymanian elected officials in the Honorable for life club. They can’t do the job but you can’t vote for anything else. I guess you could put them all on paid for life leave and hire some off island help. Or just keep expecting third world answers to modern day questions.

  35. Anonymous says:

    SMH. Mclaughlin is the official errand boy for the UK

    • Conscience says:

      A sad day indeed when our Premier stands in the way of justice and fairness. Mr. Premier the black tea you’re drinking you need to throw away. Your attitude and your lack of respect for the people who electec you is nothing short of well tr that is a bit strong, put to put it mildly is a slap in the face.

      You will rue this day for the message that you are sending is that the people have no say while you and HE tete a te. Sir, consider yourself demitted from your lofty post effective April 1st 2017, with no come back.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:11 Why wait until 2017? Remember procrastination is the thief of time. Why leave for tomorrow what we can do Today. He has to GO.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, Alden is the pawn for the FCO. Remember, according to the Judiciary (our courts) he was exposed as one of the perpetrator recruited by the then Governor and the present Commissioner, to topple Mackeeva from leadership.

      Im not a follower of none, they all have the same ideology to sell us out and trade us off for new immigrants. This is so obvious, its hitting us all in our faces.

      Caymanians open your eyes and stop being shallow minded, especially you idiots that follow these party clowns.
      you guys don’t have a clue what your politicians are doing to your existence.
      , They set you up to hate and spread propaganda about the oppositions, while gaining political millage on your stupid rhetoric and hate.

  36. Anonymous says:

    More foolishness from the current premier who reminds us of that other premier from WB

  37. O'Really Factor says:

    Typical alden sucking up to his FCO masters with his usual memory of a gold fish.

    Did he really have the nerve to mention costly decisions or waste of money on any issue given his track record of financial mismanagement as Minister of Education and now Premier? I wonder if he blames himself or his ego for his costly vision of the CI$110 million high school in Frank Sound and the CI$30 million spent thus far on the abandoned John Gray campus project when experienced contractors warned him of the true costs? Those projects are his political legacy of failure, bad decisions and wasting public funds to satisfy his own delusions of grandeur. Explain that to the public Mr. Premier

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Clearly what few brain cells you have are incapable of remembering the tens of millions of dollars the CIG had to pay out on failed contracts a certain former premier negotiated.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor and the Premier are next on the agenda. Have you heard of tits on a bull? Well the poor calves are perishing and starving.
      When is the the flag of no Confidence going to wave. Alden has to go! The only thing he can do is open his Yabba, spewing nonsense to please who? If he wanted to speak about unfairness, and value for money, let the public know what he has done about the CCYVs that government paid millions of dollars for and the high prices at the gas pumps that were supposed to be priority come January 2016. What has happened to the 2016 promises? Alden McLaughlin we need answers. A vote of no confidence is lurking at your door.

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