Archive for November 20th, 2008

New Top Cop quits after less than 2 days

| 20/11/2008 | 9 Comments

(CNS): In a turn of events that makes the Cayman Islands law enforcement issues look increasingly bizarre by the day, the newly appointed Acting Police Commissioner has already resigned. According to a statement released by the Governor’s office on Thursday afternoon, Royce Hipgrave who arrived in Cayman on Tuesday has said that there is an unacceptable aspect to the role and he no longer wants the job.


H.E the Governor Stuart Jack said in his statement that Hipgrave who had been selected to assume the position of Acting Commissioner of Police for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force informed the Governor that he had decided to withdraw from the position after being on island for one day.  “There was an aspect of the job that was not acceptable to Mr. Hipgrave,” the Governor said but did not say what that ‘aspect’ was.

The Governor went on to state that after further discussions whatever it was it could not be resolved. “This is a setback for the RCIPS,” the Governor noted without irony, given the rather long list of setbacks to the RCIPS over the last 8 months. He went on to say that steps have already been taken to identify an interim replacement as Acting Commissioner until such time as a permanent Commissioner of Police is hired.

CNS was unable to confirm the speculation that the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) lead by SIO Martin Bridger and Operation Tempura were the “aspect” in question but a number of people close to the situation seemed to believe that was the case.

Until an another acting commissioner is found to replace the newly resigned acting commissioner, Hipgrave who was supposed to replace the out going acting commissioner David George, who had stepped in for the suspended but now sacked commissioner Stuart Kernoahn, the Governor confirmed that Deputy Commissioner, Anthony Ennis will assume the role of Acting Commissioner.

Ennis said on Thursday afternoon in the wake of the government’s statement that he would not however, be applying for the vacant post of Commissioner of Police,  but remained steadfastly loyal to the RCIPS, its members and the Cayman Islands. “I will do everything to ensure that the RCIPS remains a fit and capable organisation to meet existing and emerging challenges and I look forward to the appointment of the next Commissioner of Police,” he said.

He explained he was happy to serve in the role until an interim Acting Commissioner was found and accepted it as his duty and professional obligation to the RCIPS provided that the process progresses in an efficient and timely manner.

“I, like many of my colleagues, have invested a lifetime of service into the RCIPS and we are committed to consistently striving to enhance its services to the law enforcement and criminal justice communities. To achieve the efficacious outcomes, we shall need the support and goodwill of all law abiding citizens that share the common goal of ensuring that our beloved Cayman Islands remain a safe place to live, work and visit,” he added.


He said that he was confident that George had been effective together with the Gold Command Team in establishing clear strategic frameworks, including a service-wide policing plan. “I wish to publicly thank Mr George for his personal sacrifice that took him away from his family and for his outstanding contributions to the RCIPS and the Cayman Islands and offer him best wishes for the future.”

David George said he had worked with, and been supported by, some extremely professional and conscientious officers and staff who have continued to work very hard under trying circumstances. “I will miss them all,” he said. “It is unfortunate that Mr Royce Hipgrave will not be taking over the post. This is undoubtedly an unsettling and uncertain time for the RCIPS, and for the community as a whole. What is certain, however, is the commitment of the management team to ensure that business carries on as normal. Mr Ennis will be Acting Commissioner until a temporary replacement can be found and he will be supported by the wider Senior Management Team.”

He said he was confident Ennis would fulfill the role in a highly professional and competent manner. “The management team which supports him is strong and I do not doubt that the service will continue to go from strength to strength,” he said. “It is with regret that I must leave the RCIPS under these circumstances. When I agreed to take over the post it was for a temporary period of up to six months. I informed the Governor in August that I would be leaving in November and unfortunately, I have plans in place that I cannot change.”

He said he was leaving with very positive thoughts of the Cayman Islands and the RCIPS.

“The service is a contemporary one which is made up of many dedicated and hard working individuals who are committed to keeping the Cayman Islands as safe as they are. The service is undoubtedly one of the best in the region and should be cherished by those living in these Islands. Residents should not become distracted by other events and should remain proud of the men and women of the RCIPS. The men and woman who make up this fine organsation deserve all the support and assistance you can give them,” George said.

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LIME to give kids holiday gift

| 20/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): This holiday season LIME employees have opted to donate money that would normally be spent on their Christmas Party to the children in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. In a LIME release, Cayman Islands Country Manager Tony Ritch said, “We decided to bring some Christmas cheer to the Children of the Brac and Little Cayman after the devastation that many residents have suffered at the hands of Hurricane Paloma."

He continued, "We all appreciate how difficult Christmas will be for many people on our Sister Islands this year and we want to make sure that the kids still get to enjoy a great Christmas. LIME will therefore organize a party for all the children on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and provide them with presents and other treats as well. Our promise at the launch of our new brand (LIME) was to create a different place, a better place, a better company – better for customers, better for the communities we serve and better for the Caribbean. By donating funds that we would have spent on a party for our colleagues to the children in the Sister Islands, we are delivering on that promise.”

Details of the Sister Islands LIME Christmas Party, date, venue etc will be advertised in local media in the very near future.

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Dark days for Hedge Funds

| 20/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(Bloomerg): The $1.65 trillion hedge fund industry is enduring its worst period in at least eight years as global declines in stocks and commodity prices led to investment losses and customers withdrew a net $62.7 billion from the funds last month. Assets may fall to about $1 trillion by the middle of next year, analysts at New York-based Citigroup Inc. estimated in a report published earlier this week. Go to article.

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Wind farms threaten sea life

| 20/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(Radio Netherlands): A Professor based on the Dutch island of Texel has been looking into the issue of wind farms and their impact. He says is worried by the 200 decibels of noise generated by hammering the foundations’ 4-metre-diameter concrete piles into the seabed. "We’ve measured the sound generated by the construction of the wind farm off the coast near Egmond aan Zee. Porpoises could die as a result of the noise experienced up to about one kilometre away," he said. Go to article.

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Access to the past

| 20/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A new website is will allow people to compare Cayman’s past with its present. Created as a resource to inform educate and entertain people will be able to see how a given area once looked and whether things have improved for the better or worse. Changing Cayman is a collaboration between Planning and the National Archive.

The website contains scenes of Grand Cayman from the past, and allows website visitors to compare a historic scene with its contemporary counterpart. Developed by the Department of Planning’s Policy Development & Research team, this tool was intended not just to entertain, but also to inform and educate the department said.

“As we move forward towards a sustainable future for the Cayman Islands, it’s critical that we not forget our past,” said Director of Planning Kenneth Ebanks. “These images are also critically important as a resource tool for risk management, and adaptation strategies for climate change”.

Planning Officer Darren Enns, who has been coordinating the project, observed that the past 30 years has seen an incredible amount of change on Grand Cayman, which can often feel overwhelming. “What we wanted to do with the Changing Cayman website was to allow residents to look into Cayman’s past, and help them quantify what has changed, for the better and worse,” he added.

The Planning Department is now in the preliminary stages of reviewing The Development Plan, Grand Cayman’s long range land use policy. It is hoped that tools such as Changing Cayman will empower the public to become involved in this important process.

The website contains historical images from the public and the Archive which are also available for purchase as prints by contacting the office at 949-9809. For more information, or to submit your own photographs, please contact Mr. Darren Enns at the Planning Department at or 769-1508. The Changing Cayman website can be accessed from the Planning Department homepage at

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Rockets and planes shouldn’t mix

| 20/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS:) The Civil Aviation Authority Cayman Islands (CAACI) says that organizers planning firework displays for the coming season need to be aware of a requirement for coordination to prevent potential threats to aircraft operations when the displays take place near aerodromes. The Authority noted that rather than the potential physical damage it is concerned with the flash and dazzle.

“Firework displays can vary from the small-scale garden event to a major commercial or ceremonial occasion.  The associated risk is increased when such activities take place in the vicinity of aerodromes, and particularly during such critical phases of flight as approach and landing,” the Authority said.

 The hazard reportedly comes from the unexpected dazzle rather than ocular or physical damage to aircraft the CAACI said but it did note that the risk of actual injury should not be discounted.

“Coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority is required to mitigate such risks: for all firework activity that takes place within 3 miles of the airport or under the approach departure paths; and for firework activity outside this area where the display will exceed 200ft. above ground.  Diagram showing these dimensions is attached for reference,” it added.

Display organizers for events in what is considered a risk area should discuss their planned activities with the CAACI who can provide them with a copy of the form “Notification of Outdoor Laser, Searchlight or Firework Operations”. Contact information for the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands is as follows: Air Navigation Services Regulation Division, Unit 2 Grand Harbour, P.O. Box 10277, Grand Cayman  KY1-1003, Cayman Islands, Tel: (345) 949-7811

Fax: (345 949-0761, Email:


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Police to face the people in Eastern Districts

| 20/11/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Starting on Monday 24 November at Bodden Town Primary School people living in the eastern districts will have the opportunity to meet with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) Area Commander, Chief Inspector Richard Barrow and his officers. All members of the Cayman Islands community are also being invited to a special seminar on how they can help ‘design out crime’.

Barrow said he encouraged all residents to attend to attend one of the three eastern meetings in order to hear an update on policing in their community, voice any concerns or ask any questions they may have. Barrow will also be taking members of his team to the United Church Hall in East End on Wednesday 26 November and North Side Civic Centre on Thursday 27 November. All meetings begin at 7:30pm and are expected to last until 9pm.  

Given the recent increase in violent crime, on Saturday, 29 November a joint venture between the RCIPS and the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) will spread important safety messages and address issues around fear of crime within the community by offering a free presentation to all members of the public. Although mainly targeted towards the business community and home owners, all members of the community would be sure to benefit from the seminar.

Devised by RCIPS Inspector Anthony White, who holds a PhD in Criminal Justice, the two hour presentation aims to increase awareness of crime prevention measures, highlight to companies, businesses and home owners what they can do to protect themselves, their customers and their property, and give all Cayman Islands residents some general advice on how to stay safe and protect themselves.

“There is much we can do to help protect ourselves and those around us,” said Dr White. “Some of the steps we can take are relatively simple and low cost but can have a large impact upon how safe people are and how safe they actually feel. It is true that the fear of crime often outweighs the chances of becoming a victim of crime and addressing how safe people feel is key to improving people’s quality of life.”

UCCI have offered their facilities and services at no cost, stating that it’s important these messages are disseminated into the community as wide as possible.

“We all have a duty to take personal safety seriously,” said UCCI President, Dr. BrianChapell. “After some of the events that have taken place recently this is an opportune time to get some of these messages out and the UCCI is more than happy to help facilitate this. The more people who attend, the better.”

The presentation covers many aspects of ‘designing out crime’ covering topics from environmental design to situational crime awareness. Members of the community are encouraged to attend one of twofree sessions. Those wishing to attend are asked to register in advance by sending an e-mail to with the words “fight crime” in the subject line and indicating a preference for the lunchtime or evening session or they can call Leigh Smellie on 526-5045.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Former top cop to fight on

| 20/11/2008 | 9 Comments

(CNS):  Despite the announcement by the Governor on Tuesday accusing the Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan of severing his own contract and ultimately sacking him, on Wednesday afternoon the top cop made it clear he would fight on and intended to pursue damages over the entire affair which has seen him placed on required leave for 8 months as a result of a mystery investigation.

David Legge, spokesman for Stuart Kernohan, said on Wednesday 19 November that the former Commissioner had confirmed receipt of a letter of dismissal on Tuesday afternoon from  Governor Stuart Jack, which came through his attorneys. “Mr Kernohan rejects in their totality theassertions made in Mr Jack’s correspondence and will pursue all claims and entitlements, including damages, through the proper legal channels,” Legge said on Kernohan’s behalf.

The formal announcement that Kernohan had been dismissed came in the wake of the release of a letter which had been sent to the Governor in early October asserting that Kernohan had committed no crime and that the Governor’s actions in keeping him on “required leave” were for no good reason.

Kernohan’s attorneys, who sent the letter, said that the Governor had lied to the public about the circumstances surrounding the Special Police Investigation led by Martin Bridger as it related to Kernohan, as well as breaching the Commissioner’s contract of employment, an unlawful and irrational exercise of the power of the Governor and depriving Kernohan of his job. The letter made it clear that the top cop was seeking reinstatement, a public apology and damages. (See  Kernohan accuses Governor)

Although the full details of Operation Tempura, the investigation led by Bridger, remain a mystery, a ruling by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, which was leaked into the public domain several weeks ago, regarding an application made in February of this year by Bridger for warrants to search the homes of Kernohan and Chief Superintendent John Jones (who is also still on required leave on full pay) indicated that neither officer had committed a crime.

A judicial review granted in the wake of the arrest of Justice Alex Henderson in a matter linked to the investigation regarding search warrants obtained by Bridger, presided over by Sir Peter Cresswell, which he found to be unlawful, confirmed Smellie’s ruling and also inferred that none of the wrong doing alleged by Bridger had actually occurred.

So far Bridger’s Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) has spent more than $4million investigating an alleged unlawful entry into the offices of Cayman Net News by two of the paper’s employees, Lyndon Martin and John Evans, who as staff writers both had full and free access to the offices and would not need to break in.  The reporters were supposedly seeking evidence to support allegations that Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis was in a corrupt relationship with Desmond Seales, the paper’s Editor in Chief.

Bridger’s accusations against Kernohan and Jones hang on the premise that Kernohan encouraged this entry, unlawful or otherwise, even though he knew Ennis was not corrupt. However, it has been revealed that the Governor, the Attorney General, Sam Bulgin and Larry Covington, who has oversight for police matters in Overseas Territories, were also all aware of the circumstances surrounding the alleged entry. Ultimately it was Kernohan who called in an external team to pursue the allegations against Ennis, which the former commissioner has asserted he had an obligation to investigate.

Although Operation Tempura has been labeled an investigation of corruption within the entire RCIPS, it appears to be limited in scope. Aside form the removal of Kernohan and Jones from office, Bridger has charged Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon with two counts of misconduct which relate to incidences that took place in 2003 regarding two different arrests where Dixon instructed the arresting officers to free the prisoners.

Although Bridger and SPIT have been in Cayman since September 2007 it is believed this is as far as the investigation has reached. No other areas of the RCIPS has yet been revealed to be under investigation.

At the beginning of this month, the elected government made a public announcement requesting that Bridger wind up his investigation and leave Cayman as given the evidence of what Bridger had done so far, they were not convinced that his investigation had done anything more than bring the islands into disrepute.

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Accused paedophile given bail

| 20/11/2008 | 18 Comments

(CNS): Local activist Sandra Catron has raised concerns that Marden Hernandez Kirkconnell, one of two recently charged with the rape of a five year old child, has been released from Northward prison on bail. CNS has been unable to confirm the bail conditions but it appears that last Wednesday, Kirkconnell, 26, was released by the courts. “I am so outraged by this situation that I think the public needs further information on the grounds that bail would have been granted,” Catron said.

“Given the serious nature of this offense and the potential flight risk involved, I am shocked that any judge would grant bail. Also, the public manner in whichMr Hernandez Kirkconnell conducted himself in his last court appearance – by waving at the cameras and giving the peace sign makes me truly question any level of regret at even being accused of such a serious crime,” Catron added.

Having declared that she will name and shame all convicted sex offenders on a specially designed website that would host a local register, Catron has become something of a flag bearer for raising awareness of this kind of abuse, campaigning for tougher punishment and protecting the children exposed to these predators. With Kirkconnell now released in to the community, Catron said she was not just concerned for the original victim but other children as well.

“I’m afraid that he could have access to any child,” Catron said emphatically. “I understand that this particular child has been removed from that home, which I hope is true as social services has an obligation to make sure that this child is now protected from any further harm. But what are the conditions of his bail? Is he allowed to be around other children? Granting him bail seems very illogical and I would be interested to do know who made this decision. He’s a flight risk and poses an obvious danger to children.”

She added that when it comes to child offenders, perpetrators should not be given bail.”Precisely because the molesters are normally somehow closely related to the child and can often have access to them,” she explained.

Considering the issues surrounding child molestation as a priority Catron added that she believes people in the Cayman community want something done. She warns the public however against sitting back and waiting for the political arm to do something about it. “I think that the recent cases have highlighted that fact that this is not something that is going to go away on its own but instead we have to be willing to lift the veil of secrecy on this issue. I think people have become more comfortable discussing the topic as a number of victims have come forward and spoken to me.”

Catron has now created a website and is seeking signatures for a petition to take to government to create a sex offenders register officially, but she says she is still willing to do it herself if government won’t act. Anyone interested in signing can visit


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