Third top cop in three years

| 05/11/2008

(CNS): The departure of Acting Commissioner David George, as reported on CNS, was confirmed yesterday and the Governor announced that Royce Hipgrave, a former Commissioner of Police in St Helena, will arrive in the Cayman Islands in two weeks. Despite the obvious concerns throughout the community about the uncertainty within the service, the Governor said he was confident the handover would go smoothly.

During a day when rumours that Stuart Kernohan, the existing police commissioner currently on required leave, was to be re-instated were denied by sources close to the Governor’s office, H.E the Governor Stuart Jack said he had informed Cabinet earlier that George was leaving at the end of November and Hipgrave, who has also served as Chief Superintendent with the Sussex Police Service in the UK, was on his way.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank David George for his hard work and enthusiasm over the last seven months.  He provided a much-needed stability for the RCIPS that enabled officers and staff alike to get on with their job of ensuring the safety and security of the Cayman Islands for all of us,” he said.

George made his own announcement regarding his departure earlier on Tuesday when he explained that he had only ever intended to serve in Cayman for 6 months.

“In August of this year I announced to the Governor that I would be leaving the post of Acting Commissioner at the end of November. My reasons are quite simple, when I agreed to take over the post it was for a temporary period of up to six months. At the end of November I will have been here for eight months, I therefore need to return to the United Kingdom to continue my life both professional and personal,” he said.

He said it had been a very positive experience and he had both worked with and been supported by professional and conscientious officers and staff who had continued to work very hard under trying circumstances.

“I will miss them all,” said George. “I have also found the people of the Cayman Islands to be friendly and very supportive of what we, in the RCIPS, are trying to achieve. I thank all those who have supported us during my time here and I urge you to continue offering your assistance, cooperation and support to the fine officers and staff who work so hard to ensure the Cayman Islands remain a safe place to live, work and visit.”

He said that over the last six months, the Gold Command team (police management) has devised a clear strategic plan designed to help shape policing over the coming year.

“This plan, which is linked to key activities and tasks, has been developed through consultation with our partner agencies and the community at large. Resident’s views and priorities have been taken into account so that policing priorities reflect the needs of the community. This work will continue throughout this year and into next and I have every confidence that the RCIPS will continue to go from strength to strength,” he said.

George acknowledged that his departure may place a further burden and degree of uncertainty on the RCIPS but he was confident they would deal with the circumstances.

“However, I am sure the men and women of this fine organisation will be able to rise above this and support my successor in the same way they have supported me. I am confident that their hard work will not falter and I offer them all the best for the future,” George noted.

The Governor said there would be a professional handover from George to Hipgrave and the consistent implementation of the new strategic plan will provide the continuity that is needed.

"I understand that officers and staff of the RCIPS, and the public at large, are concerned about uncertainty in these challenging times.  I am confident that a professional handover from David George to Royce Hipgrave and the consistent implementation of the new strategic plan will provide the continuity that is needed," he said.

Hipgrave was the Commissioner of Police in St Helena a very small British overseas territory in the South Atlantic with a population of 5,000, situated half-way between Angola and Brazil.

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  1. Very Concerned says:

    I think one of the most important questions to be addressed by H. E. the  governor is the situation with the former Police Commissioner.  What exactly is happening with him and will he be returning to Cayman to complete his term and if he remains on "leave" will the country continue to pay his salary?

    With the proposed change to take place where does Mr. Kernohan fall in all this?


    • Anonymous says:

      Wow this new COP is in for a shock- he is used to policing 5000 people. How is he going to police 60,000?

      Who is chosing these people- first an Judge with no judical review experience brought into to hear  the most important judical review case in years and now a Police Chief whose challenges in his past job must have been finding ways to keep his very small force busy.