Baines still in line of fire

| 12/12/2014

(CNS): Although the police commissioner escaped being the subject of a no confidence motion in the Legislative Assembly this week after the premier managed to persuade opposition MLA Bernie Bush to hold fire until he discusses Baines’ position with the governor, the top cop is by no means out of the firing line. East End MLA Arden McLean has called on the premier to allow all of the MLAs to meet with the governor to express their concerns. While the recruitment of a murderer to the RCIPS has shocked many, the MLAs have broader concerns about the head of the RCIPS. During another crime focused debate this week, the quality of policing came in for heavy criticism from the MLAs.

The recruitment of a murderer to the RCIPS from Jamaica, however, has caused wide concern in the community and for some it is the last straw. Tyrone Findlay was allegedly recruited to the RCIPS on contract some two months before he was charged with killing a man during a police investigation into a robbery. Once charged, Findlay, who had been serving in the Uniform Support Group, the armed branch of the RCIPS, was placed on leave and remained on the payroll until his conviction last month.

Since then the RCIPS has confirmed that it will be reviewing recruitment practices and the appointment of new officers from Jamaica have been placed on hold. Findlay was said to have glowing references from Jamaica and Baines has claimed that they were not aware he was under investigation for murder.

Baines has denied that he was able to dismiss the officer once he was arrested, despite his short period in the job and the serious nature of the allegations. Baines told CNS that because the officer was recruited in 2011 on a three year contract and there was no probationary period he remained on payroll throughout.

He said the two year period in the police law relates solely to officers who are brandnew recruits with no prior experience.

“The police law alternatively permits the appointment of experienced officers from other jurisdictions for short term contracts and without the probationary period being applicable to them,” he said, adding that it was a misrepresentation that he could have been discharged as a probationer at any time.

“The application of the law has been equally applied to both Cayman and expatriate, as evidence of that and the application of the Public Service Management Law in the case of a local officer convicted of demanding a bribe, sentenced and permitted to appeal … remains on the payroll pending the outcome of that appeal. Regardless of any personal position, that is what the law permits rightly or wrongly,” he said in defence of what many have said is indefensible, and as the head of the organisation Baines should take responsibility.

Findlay was on required leave for the large part of his time on contract but he was brought back by the commissioner in March this year. The RCIPS has said he was working behind a desk at the Marine Unit. Other sources have told CNS this was not the case but we have been unable to ascertain exactly what he was doing until his trial last month.

There is no sign that Baines will be falling on his metaphorical sword, despite the calls for him to go from the independent, opposition and even government benches, as well as the wider public. Baines told Cayman 27 that he would be staying for the next two years until his contract ends.

“I come to work every day and put my efforts into professionally making these islands safer and indeed that is why we are the safest island in the Caribbean," he said. "I understand the concerns that have been expressed and I also understand politics, so it is a matter for the governor.”

He said the comments about him on CNS were regrettable but he was professional enough to get over it. “What is more concerning is that people who should know better are repeating some of the ignorance that is being put on them.”

The commissioner said he accepted the blame for failings of the police when it was their fault. “I don’t accept failings of parenting, failings of education and failings of rehabilitation,” he said, as he took aim at other areas of government. “I merely pick up the pieces … We need to give people a purpose, a plan, and support when they come out of Northward  because, guess what, if we don’t they are going to do it again.”

The premier has made no comment on whether he believes the commissioner should remain in post, despite being the home affairs minister. He has said only that he appreciates the strength of feeling held by members and the wider public. Although the political arm of government has no say in police issues, including recruitment, the demonstration of a public lack of confidence in Baines by a united parliament would be difficult for the governor and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ignore.

However, McLaughlin is opting for a very private closed door approach and denied a request from the East End member that all the members meet with Governor Helen Kilpatrick and impress upon her their concerns or that any opposition MLAs could be present, in the first instance, when he discusses the issue with her.

He said that when he does meet with the governor, he will express the desire of members to meet with her about the issue. McLaughlin has raised his concerns that the matter is dealt with thoughtfully. He said the public purse has paid out enough money already to departing senior police officers because of hasty actions.

The governor, who is currently in the UK, is expected to return to the Cayman Islands this weekend but the premier has not stated when his meeting with her will take place.

It is clear, however, that the commissioner feels he has nothing to resign over, so if the public wants a new commissioner, they will need to put pressure on their MLAs, especially those on the government benches, so they in turn make it clear to Kilpatrick and the FCO the wishes of the Cayman public.

Category: Crime

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I find the island to be fairly quiet of brutal murders and shootings during Baine's time in charge.  Yes the robberies happen here and there and they are horrible, and the burglaries are many.  But i still feel better that there is less brutal murders and shootings, because those are very shattering to one's peace of mind.  As for burglaries, homeowners and businesses just need to be more aware of how to better secure their home or businesses.  In the night, if you don't have dogs in your yard running around freely, then make sure every window including the bathroom window is securely locked when you go to bed, or when you are not home.  Don't take any chances with this.  They look for open windows to get in through, especially the bathroom windows as they know alot of people are slack about locking up their bathroom windows.  Secure your premisesmore wisely.  For businesses, get grills for the business doors/windows, or hurricane shutters that you can lock in the nights or when you're not open.  It's worth the extra money.  We need to stay one step ahead of the burglars and outsmart them.  As for the robbers/muggars, alot of it happens in Central George Town.  Don't take it for granted to walk through Central Town after 9pm in the nights.  Know that they are out there looking for whom to strike at.  If you're trying to get to your car from a Bar or whatever, make sure there is a Security Guard in the parking lot.  Don't park in lots where there is no Security.  You know, just think a little, that's all it takes, just a little extra thinking and caution, and that will decrease the chances of the robbers/muggars being able to strike.  Be aware and be wise and take nothing for granted.  Everyone needs to do their part.  The police are not babysitters.  There are things the public must do for themself, to not take stupid risks or chances, to be wise, be alert, demand Barrooms to provide Parking lot security, stop blaming the police for everything that goes wrong.  Alot of it could be avoided if people would act a bit wiser.  Blame your own selves sometimes or others for their foolish risks they take, and stop blaming it all on the police.  They are not your babysitters.  If you have to walk the Town streets late in the night to get home, then buy your own car or call a taxi.  Your cel phone is worth alot more than a taxi fare.  Be smart and spend a little money sometimes to get you home safely.  The police can't babysit your every move.  Robbers/Muggars are opportunists, they look for opportunities to strike.  Police can't be everywhere all the time.  Do your own part in keeping your own self safe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The records will show that not a single Jamaican police officer has ever been convicted of a crime whilst serving in the RCIPS. Findlay was a unique case, and he for an incident which occured previous to his enlistment in the RCIPS, and which saga is not yet over. To suggest that there is a problem in this area is ignoring the facts and falling for the red herrings which are being thrown around to cloud the real issues. On the other hand, we have had Caymanians, Canadians, UK and other police officers committing crimes in office. Some have been prosecuted, whilst others, mainly UK, are allowed to leave before prosecution to distant lands, such as Australia or simply to resign and return to Canada, UK or where ever. 

    For the haters and racists who claim otherwise, put up the evidence or shut up. There is a real debate required on the ineffectiveness of the RCIPS. Do not discolour it with your prejudices. 

    Processes are always in need of improvement. What have always worked well, might not work so well in current times. For example, the government keeps pressuring to do more with less. Might this be responsible for the fact that we no longer do thorough background checks? Have we sent investigative teams to do background checks as we usually do, or were we told that this is too costly? Would we authorise this today? We blame the managers of the RCIPS for no Traffic Department, but why was this done? Would it have anything to do with the constant drive to reduce the budget? Where do you think the resources are going to come from if you reduce the budget? Clearly one would have to reduce the level of activity.

    The RCIPS was a burning aircraft in 2009 which required putting out the flames and repairs whilst still in flight. That cannot be accomplished without changes in how business is done, and there will be mistakes. If everyone stops shouting and listen to the arguments you will soon hear clearly who is talking trash to advance their own agendas and who is talking sense. Clearly not much of thatis being done in this forum, but never-the-less, the RCIPS is being torn apart. Guess who loses in the meantime?

    • Anonymous says:

      One of the reasons RCIPS started to fall apart in 2009 was the fact that Baines failed to recognise Operation Tempura/Cealt for the disruptive fiasco it really was and shut it down.

      Instead he let it drag on for another year costing $millions and encouraging a number of highly experienced officers to quit the force.

      Whether or not you can blame him for this is debatable because it was always an FCO operation but the fact is that the mess he is currenty trying to clear up was created on his watch.

       

          

       

  3. Anonymous says:

    Consider that Baines isn't just our CoP, he is the President of the Association of Commissioners of Police for the Caribbean.  His policing style is looked at as a template for enforcement, and echoed throughout the region.  His sudden recent awakening to the issues of border control will no doubt cause some alarm within the dark economies of the region, and they will look for any number of reasons to expell him.  Regardless of Baines' future, whoever succeeds him should continue to focus resources on interdiction and closing the marine trade routes.  Those that are yelling loudest now for his removal should have their motivations scrutinized.

  4. Cayman first says:

    Jordanian been calling in the Commissioner to  go from 2 years he only one look for caymanians 

      

  5. Anonymous says:

    IT'S OUR $$ & we have a right & we are not getting our $$ worth having you!! all govt departments $$$ are being cut besides RCIP! I bet you haven't did a check on your own Brits? you have contributed to crime due to narrow sight &  incompetence by bringing in criminals in these islands!!!! PLEASE GO!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not your $$$$.  It belongs to the MLA's to gamble on the slots, take the freebie rides abroad and generally hand the money out to the churches and voters as they please to curry votes at the next election.  Where on earth did you get the idea it was your $$$$$?

  6. Anonymous says:

    So convenient for the Trolls to suggest bame-sharing; when the cop hasn’t allowed free responsibility for ages now-yet the calls are always in for accountability

  7. Slowpoke says:

    Unfortunately, it is a feature of Caymanian social and organizational culture to find and blame an individual, when something goes wrong. 

    But, when it comes to human behaviour (including crime), things are inevitably considerably more complex.

    There is no simple quick fix.  Firing an individual will solve nothing.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Baines is deflecting here.

    He is the head of RCIPS and hired a Cop that was under investigation for a most grevious charge (murder).

    If the vetting procedures were/are lacking than Baines has the responsibility to sound the alarm and ensure the needed changes.

    Yes clearly we have many short comings is Cayman (as in other places, including the UK) but deflecting about those short comings such as education and social ills has nothing at all to do with RCIPS hiring an officer who was under investigation for murder.

    If RCIPS CoP has no better relationship with the Jamaican (next door to us) Powers that speaks volumes of RCIPS ability to properly Police our Islands! 

    • Anonymous says:

      The hiring process is run by the Deputy Commissioner who oversees the HR Dept. Last time I checked that wasn't Baines but a Caymanian. Seems like we have a blame game going here.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but the new rampant nationalist re-named UDP party needs to foment anti-British sentiment as part of its independence agenda.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don't think we need to be on a witch hunt for Baines for the hiring of this officer, however yes the buck stops with him but he doesn't look at every application for employment.

    what we should be questioning is what he and his deputy has done over the last few years within the force like disbanding the traffic dept, stopping foot patrols and of course what have the bosses really done to fight the increase in serious crimes.

    one thing I can't not understand, some years ago and female chief inspector who really can't speak English was removed from the district of west bay and now has been promoted to superintendent, this person has made officers reisign and transferred officers from the port. In speaking to police officers she is one of the reasons besides the commissioner and his deputy the force is in such chaos.

    baines and his deputy haven't done a good job and personally I think it is time we need him to leave, unfortunately we can't demapnd this as the uk controls this position…

    • Anonymous says:

      Shouldn't they be pointing the finger at HR, clearly he went through several screening processe if protocol was followed, or did someone do hin a Caymankind favor?

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        HR is headed by Ennis – can't criticise a Caymanian for the failure.  Plenty to criticise Baines for, but this isnt it.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Governor and CoP share a very cozy relationship so another useless ineffective solution by Alden. I am not as bothered by this latest infraction by the CoP as I am about the findings of his behavior during the McKeeva trial. There he clearly showed a contempt for the people of these islands and his true allegiance to the UK even if it proved detrimental to us.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You never hear anything about some MLAs so they want or need a headline and attack Police Commissioner Baines and blame him for the ills of the society.

    Some voters and the talk radio crowd may believe this but anyone with a brain knows this is just attack politics.

    Why not go after the court system that struggles to get a conviction?

    What about the families making these criminals? Oh I forgot they could be voters.

    Where would the politicians put the criminals they want the police to arrest, Northward is full.

     I would like to hear something posiitive out of these politicians, maybe soon come. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Baines, but bad example stated. Why then was Rate terminated before his appeal (successful appeal at that).
    Baines is full of beans.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Successful appeal based on a technical point.  Basic facts – Welcome provoked the encounter by inappropriate remarks to a woman, then beat the living daylights out of the boyfriend after he dropped the machete – completely uncontested.  So – you think our policemen should be doing that sort of thing?  Really?  

  13. Kenny says:

    i remember when we were having killing every other night in west bay. gas stations robbed everynight, banks being robbed. But that is gone now. Thank you Mr Baines – stay the course we need you in Cayman

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      Your comments are nothing but BS.the killings have stopped because te gag members have killed themselves. As fr the robberies of Banks stopping who can say that it will ever stop. If Banks haven't leared teir lesson on how to protect themselves then  what.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Don't worry Baines.  When all the criminals gang up on you like this it only means that you are doing your job.  And they of course don't like it.  I'm sure many of them have a bottle of rum that they are just waiting to open when you leave the island.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hang in there Bainsy, the mere fact that they are trying to get rid of you means that you are doing a good job!  Bernie, the one that needs to go, that is the root of all our problems, that started 30 years ago, to name a few, Turtle Farm Albatross, Stan Thomas Deal, Glf Deal, Cohen Deal, Chinese Deal, Casino Gambling Government Credit Card Fiasco, The Government Hand out Mentality, and the countless other blunders that has cost us, the poor taxpayers billions of dollars to date and only God knows how much more we'll have to pay before dust settles on these bad decisions. Every single problem that exists today can be traced back over the last 30 years, before that the Island was trouble free. So you see Mr Bernie, you're after the wrong man.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Do you all see what’s going they’re slowly trying to take over Cayman, look at most govt departments! Stand Strong & Most Important (Stick Together Caymanians!!! Ppm Bracka

  17. Fred the Piemaker says:

    the public wants a new commissioner, they will need to put pressure on their MLAs   except of course the majority of the tax paying public have no MLA or rights of representation, and can be completely ignored other than as a source of revenue.   

  18. Anonymous says:

    Arden is the guy who led the moves that got Derek Haines sacked. I suspect a hidden agenda here, I just wonder who's pulling the strings?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      My advice to the Commissioner is to keep his mouth shut.  Every time he opens his mouth he puts his foot in it and just riles people up more.

      No one is asking you, Commissioner, to accept any responsibity for parenting, etc.  no thank you, in fact. True enough, Cayman had its share of problems — but no where as much as your own country.  So please stop that.  All we want u to do is to do is a good job as head of RCIPS.  And recruiting a murderer is decidedly a major misstep because it shows poor vetting ( relying on references? Seriously, now!) of police officers from a very dangerous country.  And you don't think we should be upset and deserve more than a lame defense from the islands' top cop?

      And as if that was not adding enough insult to injury, you are still insisting you and your HR directors did not have the grey cells to find a way to terminate this now convicted criminal who put you and the RCIPS and the Cayman Islands in this Godawful mess?  Come on, man! Do better than that. Findlay was obviously deceptive if he did not disclose that this matter was pending.  He had to have been.  And if you could not suss that put, where is your investigatory nose for criminal behavior?

      And please shut down the Compass PR agency work.  It is embarrassing.  They are taking you for a ride.  They know nothing about PR — that is not their job.  So they are messing you around and at the same time selling out the public that has a right to fair and impartial reporting that they are not getting in this case. 

      As the chair of the anti-corruption Committee you should know better.  The press must be left alone to do a fair and objective job rather than being manipulated by your power.  Otherwise, what do we have? You got it — Corruption. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I am sure Mr. Baines will heed your advice. Good job we all know so much more than he does about his job. Where would he be without us?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Get over it, CNS.  The Commissioner and his force are a credit to the Islands and do wonderful work.  David – thanks for your service to these islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes the RCIPS are so good, that now when houses are broken into people don't bother to report it, because the RCIPS is useless.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, "David," is it?  Good for you.  Fortunately, the rest of us are not so chummy that we cannot see the danger that carelessness in recruiting has placed these islands, or impact of the obvious failures in his leadership on the effectiveness of the RCIPS.  

      Anywhere else he would have had to step down, but here he gets a pass at the top and from the chummy cliques around him.

       

  20. Anonymous says:

    These MLAs should be calling for an explanation of why one of them very publically verbally and racially abused his chief officer on Wednesday and what the premier is going to do about it. But no. Silence

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, CNS for posting this from 11:16. It's all over the Government Administration Building. Is there going to be the usual cover-up? Will Alden do anything? Will another civil servant be put on full pay until she retires? Something needs to be done..

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mr Baines. I backed you 100%. Dont back down. Coninue to do the good work. Dont waste your time answering to persons who have no power over you. Continue to use your time to fight crime. The thiefs are out there trying to distract you for the christmas.

    This too shall pass sir. God bles you.

  22. Anonymous says:

    witch hunt…stand strong mr baines….

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    You can bet your pension that the Commissioner has acted as per the laws and procedures of the land as they are written.  Those calling for him to resign should perhaps concentrate on changing these laws and stop trying to deflect public attention from government corruption/mis-management/failings with this witch hunt.  

  24. Anonymous says:

    I hope that the MLAs are listening with intent to the public out cry.  We need better management of or affairs.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I want a CoP that can appreciate that we must close our illicit marine economies to tackle our crime and social ills.  It's not rocket science.  Additionally, policing the community should not consist of a seasonal, temporary, and limited-impact crackdown.  

  26. Anonymous says:

    During every sitting of the LA, some law or other is subject to amendment. It might be time for MLA's to review the Police Law and amend (for the better) any sections which may have contributed to the Commissioner's actions (or excuses) in the matter of reference, and any other appropriate sections while they're at it. 

  27. C'mon Now! says:

    Why just Jamaica?  Clearly the recruitment process at the RCIPS is severely flawed and we could be getting bad apples from Canada, UK, Timbuktu etc. not just Jamaica.

    Story in the Compass this morning is equally bothersome as it appears Baines has turned himself into a Lame Duck by announcing his intention to step down at contracts end. I suspect this is posturing at the advice of his lawyer to maximize his ultimate severance but it would have been better to say he "stands by his record and looks forward to continuine to serve the people of the Cayman Islands" or something else he didn't really mean.  Announcing when he wants to go just makes him more useless than ever.

    And by the way there are likely a few others in the "leadership" of the RCIPS that should go as well.

    Anyway with a bit of personal honour and professionalism associated with this mess should offer to resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should he get any severance when he is employed on a fixed term contract?

    • Anonymous says:

      09:01 How thick are you?

      If he is stepping down when his contract ends, then there is no severance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe Mr. Baines will be leaving in 2017 as stated! Perhaps he like his friend has been offered a cushy job with Mr. Dart.  

      Just a thought!

  28. Dirty Harry says:

    Bringing more foreigners again ain't going to help his cause either.This destablization program of fulling our police service up with other nationalities is having and enormous impact on a lot of things in Cayman We have now gone from 5 abuse complaints to 121 says it all. The jamaican Police force is notorious for both brutality and corruption why in the world would we continue to recruit from there. The criminal links between Cayman are even stronger than ever the benefits and reasoning for their presence are not valid drug seizures down stolen property being transhipped has increased. The diversity population mumbo jumbo just doesn't not hold water either. Why haven't other jurisdictions not followed this hocus pocus theory or is their a darker side to this policy by the UK and its police advisor.

    • Cass says:

      Yup, hear hear!

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally, it's all the fault of the UK so please no issues when they call for an end to domination and infiltration by the Jamaicans, okay?

      No cries when the UK steps in and agrees to deportation, limits on their period of residence and work permits, so I agree it's the UK's fault so be quiet when they deal with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      When I see that we have developed a culture of cravng education, and responsibility of parents is to be PARENTS and not just baby-makers then I only after that will turn to blaming police for crime.

      The crime is an indication of socio-economic problems, not anything else. Politicians too share some of the blame. Only because they should be facilitating the advancement of society, instead of just themselves and a few.

      Baines is not responsible for bad minded people acting out.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank God for a voice of sanity. Well said, whoever you are.

    • Anonymous says:

      Time for a little bit of truth. You have foreign Police Officers because it increases the experience and allows for those among you who constantly ask for a non Caymanian officer to deal with your issue because you believe it will be done so more fairly. Whether that is a correct belief or otherwise it is what you, the public, ask for. You have Foreign Police Officers because not enough Caymanains who would pass the qualification process in other jurisdictions apply, instead preferring a much better paid job in the finance sectors. You employ people from around the world to do the jobs that you don't want to do for many reasons. Police, Prison, Servers, labourers just to name a few. Get over this victim/ entitlement mentality and work with all the people on this beautiful land to make it a place to be proud of.