Call comes for Cayman cops to register interests

| 11/09/2012

New-York-Cop-Selling-Ice-Creams--92685 (251x300).jpg(CNS):In the wake of news from Jamaica that 18 cops have been charged with breaching that country’s corruption prevention act after they failed to file statutory returns or declare their assets, a local attorney has called for the introduction of a register of interests here for senior law enforcement officials, the attorney general and the director of public prosecutions. The only people required to reveal their assets on a formal register are politicians, but there are no consequences for MLAs who fail to comply with the Register of Interests Law. The Standards in Public Life Commission has, since its creation in January 2010, pushed for legislation with teeth but at present there is no enforcement regarding potential business conflicts and any of Cayman’s public officials.

Peter Polack, an outspoken member of the local legal profession, said Tuesday that during his inaugural speech the governor had promised an era of transparency, which should, like charity, begin at home.

“Senior government officials such as the attorney general, the director of public prosecutions and the RCIPS commissioner should declare their financial interests and value both locally and abroad,” Polack said. “This has been a useful anti-corruption tool worldwide and should be easily embraced by those charged with maintaining public order and integrity.

“Jamaica has a Prevention of Corruption Act that requires all members of the police force to file a financial return. Recently the fearless and bright Jamaican DPP dragged 18 members of the police force before the court, including a senior superintendent. The RCIPS would go some way towards restoring public confidence by voluntarily adopting such a requirement in anticipation of speedy legislation to implement such a necessary and ubiquitous formality.”

The issue of potential or perceived corruption in high places in government has been highlighted in a number of reports, such as those from the auditor general as well as the standards commission, which has also suggested expanding the idea of a register of interests to other public officials.

However, so far only one lowly civilian staffer in the RCIPS has been charged under the Anti-corruption Law, while the Anti-Corruption Commission has been conspicuous by its silence and its failure to keep the public informed about the work it is doing to deal with the allegations made to it.

Although Edlin Myles, the former deputy of the National Housing Development Trust has been charged with fraudulently selling insurance policies to trust tenants, he has been charged with theft under the Criminal Procedure Code and not the Anti-corruption Law, despite the fact that the prosecution claims Myles used his public role and position on the board to sell the policies.

See article relating to Jamaican police here.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They should also have to register membership in the LOdge/Freemasonry -as  the officials do in the UK

  2. Chris says:

    all public servants should be made to declare their interests on a public register.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That's a funny picture. Thanks, CNS, for starting my day off with a chuckle!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a surprise!  No there is no consequences for MLAs failing to declare their interests.  Again it seems that the Government governs for self interest first and not the interests of the increasingly beleaguered people of Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Will this include the officer who has a parking lot refinishing business and comes by in uniform and a squad car to check on his workers?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some icebergs are made of water, clean and fresh and pure. That is not the case here. The iceberg of institutionalized corruption in Cayman is of the vilest and most putrid concoction of an unrivalled toxicity.

    • P E Dant says:

      But water does not putrify and if the metaphorical stinking lump was made of something else it would not be an iceberg. I am confused.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I support you Mr. Polack……This should have been done ages ago before the major increase in corruption here began but better late than never.  All Police, Customs, Immigration Officers, judges, attorney general, MLA's, speaker, should be included. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    In a police force where senior (and not so senior) officers have in the past either owned or had a large financial interest in everything from bars, nightclubs and restauarants to private security companies this could be fun.

    But it needs to be applied to all public servants, particularly customs and immigration officers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree 100% and I would like to see Mr. Polack advocate that all of his fellow attorney's be required to do the same as well. 

    • Anonymous says:

      His fellow attorneys are not holding public positions which affect us all. It may be intriguing to know but is a little off point.

  10. Pagan of truth says:

    That should include any membership in certain secret societies! Good luck with that some can't even past a basic lie detector test in the RCIPS how do you honestly expect them to tell the truth?

    • Huh says:

      what secret society? 

      • SSM345 says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Masonic lodges, apparently rife here. I have been subjected to many funny handshakes here…understood what we were dealing with at once. In the UK, there was a scandal involving the Masons and the Police years got cleaned up very publicly and the correct procedures and watchbodies in place to ensure it could not happen again. Maybe we need to borrow that here?

        • Comon says:

          The Lodge ??? really ??? I thought you would have been more creative than that and perhaps name the Illuminati or Al Qaeda. My dear old uncle is in the Lodge and I really do not think he is part of any sinister plot.


        • Anonymous says:

          It was pure paranoia createD by the Labour GovernmEnts Minister