CoP probed over NYD arrest

| 09/01/2014

(CNS): A spokesperson for the RCIPS has confirmed that the involvement of the Commissioner of Police in the arrest of a robbery suspect is under investigation. David Baines reportedly rammed the getaway vehicle in which three men accused of holding up a George Town jewellery store were trying to make their escape on the morning of New Year’s Day. In an interview Baines gave to the UK press, Cayman’s top cop said that when the suspects got out of their car he continued the pursuit in his Chevy Trailblazer, while they were on foot, pinning two of them against a fence while the third man ”slipped ” under his truck. That suspect remains in hospital but the authorities have not yet confirmed what are understood to be severe injuries.

Baines told the UK’s Daily Mail, “I went after them and hit two of the guys up against a fence. One slipped beneath the car.”

Although Baines, who was listed as an OBE recipient in the UK New Year’s Honours list just the day before, was lauded as a hero locally and in the British media when he helped to foil the suspected robbers' escape, there wereconcerns raised that going after the men who were on foot in his vehicle may have been excessive. 

Following the submission of questions from CNS and other media houses, the police released a short statement on Wednesday evening about the incident, in which Christopher Myles and James Mclean as well as an unnamed third man were arrested following the daring daylight hold-up at Diamonds International on 1 January.

Speaking about the involvement of the police commissioner, an RCIPS spokesperson said, “This is being investigated separately, from both the accident and use of force perspective. Once [the investigation is] completed the file will be sent to the legal department for their feedback.”

The statement came on the same day that Ezzard Miller, the independent member of the Legislative Assembly for North Side, had called for the same vigorous inquiry into the circumstances of the arrest and the use of force in this situation, as was the case against a local officer who was charged with assault following an off-duty arrest..

Caymanian officer, Rabe Welcome, was suspended and charged after he broke the arm of a suspect armed with a machete during an arrest at a gas station while he was off duty. Welcome was eventually convicted but then acquitted by the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, but by that time he had already lost his job.

“The police need to exert a certain amount of force to combat crime. But I was concerned when a Caymanian officer was convicted and dismissed before eventually being acquitted over the use of force in an arrest, so I hope we don’t have a double standard here,” Miller said. “The governor needs to state whether or not there will be an investigation and if there is, it needs to be as robust as that carried out in the case of the Caymanian officer and it needs to be made public.”

The police confirmed that the third man, who remains in hospital, has now been interviewed but he has not yet been charged. The RCIPS spokesperson also confirmed that access to him by his family had been limited because police had been unable to interview him. It is understood that the man’s condition prevented police from talking with him.

“At the initial stages of enquiry there was limited access to the suspect due to the fact that he had not been interviewed by the police, and there were concerns relative to evidence collection and contamination," the spokesperson stated. “His lawyer and family were aware of this. The subject has since been interviewed (Tuesday) and the family has visited him at the hospital,” he added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am a serving UK Police Officer, and I'm just in the throws of applying to the RCIPS, but having read some of the posts relating to the courageous actions of Commisioner Baines, I'm now questioning if the Cayman Islands is right for me?

    We (The Police) carry out our duties with the consent of the public; in the UK, the job, which I have done for 20years is becoming increasingly difficult with daily bureaucracy, and the minority who appear to put criminals rights before decent hard working people, having the voice in the country, and seem to influence the direction my job takes, I am now more worried about covering my backside, than doing my job.

    I joined the job to make a difference to decent peoples lives, and lock as many bad people up as I can, the UK is making this more and more difficult, I hoped the Cayman Islands might be my answer, I'm not so sure now.

    I have only read the posts on here about Rabe, and have no prior knowledge of the incident, but I am shocked he lost his job, for arresting a criminal, I hear some people saying the criminal  had had a machete, but had put it down when he was confronted by Rabe, how did the officer know he didn't have another weapon concealed?

    i wouldn't mess around in this situation.

    it is very easy to dislocate an arm, especially trying to handcuff someone who is resisting.

    in similar circumstances in the UK, the officer would have been possibly suspended and an enquiry held, as long as it wasn't a deliberate act to dislocate the suspects arm, he wound be re-instated. He may even receive a commendation for his brave actions.

    If the Police aren't allowed to do there job, and yes sometimes, people get hurt getting arrested, the streets would be over run with criminals, I wish we had more leaders like Commisioner Baines, he is a credit to the Police, especially considering he was off duty.

    So I now have the dilemma of what to do, jump from the frying pan into the fire, and join the RCIPS, or is it different, going by Comissioner Baines example, I am still tempted to make the leap.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well done Commissioner Baines.  Thank you for doing your job.  Clearly, what we have been doing is not working.  XXXX  Give the man a damn medal.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    We need to leave the police alone and let them do what thet are paid to do. The criminals act with impunity, we call for commish to go. Commish is caught up in a robbery, takes action we cry foul. What do we want? Honestly. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you elect to engage in an act of crime, armed robbery no less (regardless if the gun is real or not), creating fear and putting others in harms way you are fair game.   As a small business owner in town, and a former victim of business robbery, this infuriates me to the bone.  If I had the opportunity to chase down those persons who robbed my store the theives would have wished a person with Mr. Baines' training and restraint was behind the wheel instead of me XXX.  Mr. Baines must be congratulated XXX

    Putting it quite simply there is nothing to discourage criminals from robbing each of us anytime they wish – so if they began to fear the public maybe, just maybe they would think twice before acting.  Until thatday comes we are all equally at risk…every criminal knows we are easy pick'ns. Just put on a mask, pick up a machete, a toy gun, a real gun or just say you have a gun, walk into ANY store, ANY time of day, ANYWHWERE in Cayman, demand cash, walk away and never, ever get caught – unless you are a blundering idiot XXXX

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ok let me start with everyone discussing the police office Rabe and Baines cases.

    Rabes case was that a man aprouched with a machette, then went backed to his car and when returning to vebally shout at the two officers didnt have a weapon, Rabe then dislocated this persons sholder, this is exessvie force…

    Baines saw a robbery in progress wih a firearm, he acted in my opion, Baines saw someone with a gun threatening people in the store, and when persons leaving the scene still with a firearm were a threat to the general public and himself, therefore he used reasonable force.

     Now regarding the investigation, i am sure Baines reguesed that he be investigated as he feels that he made the right choice.

    I am 100% sure theis investigation will show he did.

    All I can really say for the RCIPS you are dammed if you do and and dammed if you dont.

    • Anonymous says:

      OK Let me start with everyone.   It looks like everyone believe that Mr Baines is doing a goo job, I do too . But lets all remember that alot more have to be done to clean up all crime in Cayman . I say keep up  the good work and get rid of the crime .

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you know Baines saw anything of the robbery? Where you there?

      Apparently CCTV footage from outside DI doesn't show any evidence of a weapon being waved around before or after the car was stopped. I'm not criticising his actions but at the same he is, at some point, going to have to justify them in the way same that anybody else would.

      Right now what really concerns me is that there is no procedure in place to investigate such a senior officer. Are we seriously being asked to accept that a local Chief Inspector can do the job?


      • Anonymous says:

        Please tell us how you know what is shown on the CCTV footage? This hasn't been released to the public and I think we would all be interested to know as I would imagine the police would have secured the CCTV so the likes of you can't see it. Or are you just lying? I think I know which it is!

  6. Anonymous says:

    what exactly did you want mr Baines to do? get out of his car and shout "stop" stop" please?

    run after themand tickle them till help came?


    get real you idiots he is a hero

    • Walter Kovacs says:

      And yet, that is exactly how the British Police model has worked for almost 200 years..Officers weren't armed, they relied on the community to assist them and in this case, this is exaclty what the community did..Baines is no more of a hero than any other police officer who goes out and does his/her job UNARMED every day…

  7. Anonymous says:

    As a professional police officer, one of the first rules that you learn is that you can not commit an offense to prove an offense.  Although his attempt to capture the suspects is appreciated, next time he should use a gun, not a vehicle. 

    All senior officers should be armed, it's a tool that should come with the job.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with you, the world has come to being a cess pit. Take [suspects] down any way you can.

      That is the problem,  the world over, a group of bleeding heart putting [suspects] back on the street….and of course the group that do not like Baines.

      Congrats Baines!!! XXXX what ever it takes to bring them down!!


    • Anonymous says:

      He was off duty. You can't be armed off duty. And please don't quote me on what cops do in the USA because the gun laws there are very different to here – off duty cops can carry a firearm because Joe Public can carry a firearm – they are licensed to carry a concealed weapon – and carrying a gun around on your day off is no fun – you can't leave it on the beach when you go for a swim and you can't have a pint of caybrew when you get off the beach! Firearms officers volunteer to be firearms officers – so who would volunteer to do it when you make them carry a gun on their day off? 

      You may also wish to go back to training school as police officers commit offences everyday in the execution of their duties. Everytime you use force is an assault on the recipient, but if it is reasonable in the circumstances then it becomes lawful.

      Section 154 of the Police Law:

      A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or in assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large.

      Into the remedial class for you my friend. As a professional police officer one of the first rules that you learn is assume nothing, question everything and believe no one – including you! 

  8. Anonymous says:

    As usual, something was done about a crime but people always find a problem with it…..XXX What was he supposed to do tell them to stop and wave his hands at them. He did what a good cop should do…Improvise…XXXX  People need to back the police. You either want them to do a job or you don't. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    When a home owner shot and killed a robber who was wearing a monitor and another home owner took a machete and chopped a burglar in the head as he tried to break and enter into his home, I immediately hoped and trusted that they would not be prosecuted for defending their home and possibly their lives. Perhaps a few us felt that it was one up for the home owner for a change. I certainly did.  Now im doing the same for Baines and trusting and hopeful he will get past this. XXXX

  10. Anonymous says:

    From what I know of this situation it seems the CoP did his job.

    At the same time I agree with Mr. Miller. And I expect the CoP to agree also.

    After all a proper investigation (which is standard procedure in most jurisdictions properly carrying out the law) will only prove that the CoP did so.

    And will set an example for others!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not a particular supporter of Baines —  the relationship with a daily newspaper turns me off; it has a distasteful aspect.

      However, in this case, it seems he intervened to block  the escape of persons allegedged to have been involved in very serious crime.  I don't like these types of criminals to get away and to strike again.

      Nevertheless, an investigation into his intervention should still be done and we should wait to hear the outcome.

      Let's not beat up too much on the Comish right now.

      what I find fascinating at how the Commissioner appears to be in the right place at the right time.  Did we not have him intervening in a similar situation not too lo ago.  Seems he has a nose for crime.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I really couldn't stand Baines until now…

    It looks like he is starting to earn his pay and yes XXX he did a good job.

    The citizens of the Cayman Islands are tired of being terrorized by the scum bags waving a gun in their faces, property stolen and being frightened for their lives.

    Baines acted on impulse just like a smart thinking cop would do and maybe, just maybe this will send a message to these criminals out there that 2014 will be a year where RCIP will be cleaning up the streets of Cayman.

    We complain if they do nothing and now that RCIP is trying to their job people are complaining.


    RCIP, your job will be a hard one but stay focused, may God Bless you and clean up Cayman and put us back to where people don't have to fear leaving their homes.


    God Bless usall in 2014.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am a concerned Caymanian and I am applaed at the crime in Cayman; however I believe the Commisioner provided EXCESSIVE FORCE, by chasing the crimials and pinning them against a fence with his vehicle and where another one somehow slipped under his vehicle. This is not upheld by the RCIPS and he knows that very well and if any other Officer had done this, then they would have been suspended, pending an investigation or even fied.

    Commssioner Baines needs to be suspended and placed out of Office until the invesigation concludes. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re appalled with the crime you say? I hope you’re prepared to be disgusted as I am reading your stupid post.

      With the RCIP catch and release system and hotel Northwood in a lands where the criminals seem to be protected for want of a better word, it’s going to get a lot worst.

      Even if they are caught and held, they are released without spending anytime for their crime like the 6 month sentence for a man that rapped his child for 2 years.

      I was robbed over Christmas one week day, and during the same week they came back a second time to see what else they can make off with.

      It’s good to be a criminal here, the benefits outweighs the risks XXXX

      If Baines had gotten out his car to chase the [suspects] running away with a gun in their hands and he got shoot by the cornered criminal in the process, I wonder what the comments would have been like (Oh he should have stayed in his car and follow them perhaps?)

    • Michel says:

      Dear concern Caymanian

      Oh really ???and what would You have done ? Its about a very busy cruise ship morning with bystanders everywhere.Please give credit where it's due !


      • Anonymous says:

        Probably ordered another beef patty and continued not seeing a thing, padna.

  13. Anonymous says:

    CNS, does anyone know how serious the injuries are and who is paying the hospital bills?

    • Anonymous says:

      They don’t even know if the gun is real much less what the hell is going on in this country and how the criminals are destroying it, so my guess willbe a no

      • Anonymous says:

        I think they were waiting for an expert to confirm the gun was real. This is important because the court needs it to be tested before they can accept it is real. You seem to be of a negative disposition so I am sure this won't please you, but if it wasn't done I'm sure you'd be the first to moan and berate the police for losing the case (wheras I would say congratulations for doing it by the book!).

        In response to the destruction of this country by criminals, I think you should contact the police department and offer your opinion on areas they can improve. I hope you get put through to their voicemail:

        Hello, you have reached the Police Department’s Voice Mail. Pay close attention as we have to update the choices often as new and usual circumstances arrive. Please select one of the following options:

        To whine about us not doing anything to solve a problem that you created yourself, press 1.

        To inquire as to whether someone has to die before we’ll do something about a problem, press 2.

        To report an officer for bad manners, when in reality the officer is trying to keep your neighborhood safe, press 3.

        If you would like us to raise your children, press 4.

        If you would like us to take control of your life due to your chemical or alcohol dependency, press 5.

        If you would like us to instantly restore order to a situation that took years to deteriorate, press 6.

        To provide a list of officers you personally know so we will not take enforcement action against you, press 7.

        To sue us, or tell us you pay our salary and you’ll have our badge, or to proclaim our career is over, press 8.

        To whine about a ticket and/or complain about the many other uses for police rather than keeping you in line, press 9.

        Please note your call may be monitored to assure proper customer support and remember ….we’re here to protect you, not hand out warm hugs!

        Thanks for calling your local police dept. and have a nice day.



    • Anonymous says:

      I don't know how serious the injuries are, but anybody who has a health insurace policy pays for those who don't.

  14. Anonymous says:

    No matter what the situation Miller will bring the "us" vs. "them" into the dialogue. Ezzard can bring more ill will into the national conversation than any other man in the country.

    I do not say this with any pleasure but for the good of the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is sad but so true,

      If certain people ever get any real power in this place heaven help us all,

      • Anonymous says:

        Why not? The RCIPS already has a clearly defined 'us' and 'them' command structure so how much more damage can his comments do?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Lets see which politician has the cahoonis to thank Mr. Baines in public for a job well done.

    If that was his private vehicle, it might have that clause on the insurance that say it cannot be used for work purpose or something similar. So I guess the country owes him a new Bainesmobile.

    The funny thing about this is that the same people that are pretending to use Rabe as the excuse to  critize Baines, would be the same people that would complain if Rabe was back on the force. This is a good time for Mr. Baines to step back a bit and start backing his officers , since now he has first hand experiences that what you train to do and what you do on the spur are completly different. I bet he never learn that in his training guide.

    Mr. Baines you need to tone it down on the officers, give them some support., Not confronting them and harassing them each time they pull in a criminal. The local police know how to handle their own criminals. Just like the UK officers know how they handle the criminals from UK in Cayman. with a lot of mate and chap talk. UK officers are also allowed to make a lot of descretionary calls. Local officers are being reprimanded for each and every consideration call they make., Then you will see that you get support as well in keeping Cayman as one of the best places to be. Just like it suposed to be.

    And Mr. Baines, please do not let the few bloggers get you to think that Cayman does not appreaiciate what you did on New Years Day. (notice i said new years day). Follow through with the investigation. You could have been possesed by the old seamen that are celebrated in that area. Im sure the Judge can understand you were not in your right mind fully. Go all out if you want. after all you could have so much stress and the incident has made you sleepless and need some time to relax. You have nightmares (or nightstallions) of what you did. And you did discharge a dangerous weapon on or off duty, well you get the picture. wink wink.

    Then we can complain that you getting paid and out on vacation. KMT. (kiss mi teeth). 

  16. Anonymous says:

    The only wrong here was the fact the Welcome lost his Job for doing what police are expected to do, Come On excessive force against someone armed with a machete….They should hire him back and give him a metal. Gezz we need more cops like him, how many others would have intervened during their off hours or for that matter when they were on the clock.. 

    Miller has a good point this time, and I usually don't agree with him..

    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is that Welcome initiated the altercation and also could have walked away from the altercation he initiated.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Err … no thanks, I would rather stick with the police we have.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Is the other local officer happy to appear at a re-trial?

  18. Anonymous says:

    It so funny how all of these posters want to bend the law and turn a blind eye when they think the outcome is "just" 


    • Anonymous says:

      Armed robbers terrorizing people working hard in a store.   I manage a store and am in constant fear of "am I next".  XXXX  Enough is enough.    

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ignore the Daily Mail; trouble-making rag. Well done to CoP Baines. The UK just acquitted gun cops for shooting dead a man who had disposed of his gun up the street before they intervened, & whilst they were probably justified to shoot a scumbag, how can the UK media criticise Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      "Up the street before they intervened"????  What else do you want to just make up?

  20. Anonymous says:

    What a pile of BS. The saying is so true, damned if you do and damned if you dont. If the [suspects] had gotaway and in  the process killed someone with their vehicle then it would be another story right? It would be, where was the police to stop this? People get your head straight XXX

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well done sir, they were lucky they weren't shot. Whilst an investigation is appropriate, a witch hunt by local do gooders or nationalists isn't.

    CoP Baines is leading from the front, shame some of his officers can't get out of their cars and follow his example. 


    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with your post….all except "a witch hunt by local do-gooders and nationalists".

      All Mr. Miller is asking for is the same standards be applied to the CoP (which leading from the front should include).

      A little research will show that such is standard procedure in locations that speak so much of Good Governance and all it entails.

      The CoP will hopefully welcome a robust and impartial investigation. And so should we all!

    • Robocop says:

      This is one time I agree 100% with Mr. Miller.

      The double standards must cease and all must be judged by the same standards in the RCIPS

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, lets start reviewing every allegation from 1980 onwards if we want to make it a fair and level playing field.


      • Anonymous says:

        Why didnt miller rally for that officer??Why wait now and fry Baines??

        We as a people have to stand-up, rally or protest whenever one gets in these predicament. Stop bringing up old tales to compare one another. XXXX

        Thank you Baines!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes the means are justified.  Don't do an armed robbery if you are worried about getting hurt.  

    In Cayman we are mad as he'll and can't take it anymore with these domestic terrorists.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Domestic Terrorists???

      Means justified???

      Lets just become a full military dictatorship then and have the government remove all ills, going by your rhetoric.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oops, no military. Perhaps Cayman could call upon the West Bay militia who are armed to the teeth and oh so brave, (as long as their victims are unarmed and vulnerable).

        If Cayman doesn't get a grip on their youth gang membership and general criminality, a military coup will be the least of your problems.

        And yes, if disaffected citizens indulge in armed violence against their own people, it is perfectly reasonable to refer to such people as domestic terrorists. Not all terrorists wear Irish nationalist flags or wear black turbans in Afghanistan, some are amongst us and care little for the rights of their fellow citizens to walk unmolested. XXXX

        It will be interesting to observe the reaction of Caymanians if one of their home grown cowards is shot dead by police whilst carrying a firearm for criminal gain. I'm sure Ezzard will have an opinion, especially if the firearms officer is non Caymanian.

        Live by the sword, die by the sword, Mr Mark Duggan learnt that to his cost.


  23. Anonymous says:

    and people wonder why theRCIP officers are hesitant — they dammed if they do — dammed if they don't — I hope he gets his SUV repairded by govt —

  24. Anonymous says:

    Baines should be dismissed. First and foremost, the quality of policing under his watch has become less than 3rd world standard. Secondly, the judiciary cannot make fair of one and foul of another. If Welcome lost his job, then so should Baines. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Or reinstate him.  Police are supposed to be alert and ready, but our problem here is, too many are hired to make up the numbers but not to carry out the laws of the land.  They fail to get involved with what's happening around them.  Stop turning a blind eye on criminality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jeez, If I was the Commissioner I would turn around, get my hat, switch the lights off and walk out and shout 'Do it your selves then'!

      Lets leave all the disgruntled ex super cops and armchair detectives to run it themselves.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is a bit slow in coming. As a former senior UK officer Baines should have known better than to start mouthing off to the press before his officers could launch an investigation and before the extent of the injuries were known.    

  26. Walter Kovacs says:

    and who exactly is going to head up this "Investigation"???  Are we, the public, expected to believe that anyone in the RCIPS is going to do a fair and impartial investigation of their own BOSS???  The RCIPS needs to state who is conducting this investigation and quickly if they expect to retain ANY semblance of trust from the community..

  27. Anonymous says:

    The CoP should be given additional medals for what he did, and not be investigated for the arrest. XXXX Well done, Commissioner Bains! Hopefully this "investigation" will be put to rest and the manpower being wasted on it put to better use.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would be more concerned if there was NOT an investigation.  That would make us just another lawless country.  The CoP did what he felt was necessary on the spur of the moment  to stop the [suspects] whilst protecting himself….afterall it was an armed robbery. I applaud him for his actions… XXXX

  28. Anonymous says:

    This us utter nonsense, you are questioning the police for doing their duty and apply excessive force, in some countries they will shoot [first], I support what Mr Baines did and will support any other cop who will do similar things to keep my country safe XXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Two words – Rabe Welcome. Baines certainly shafted him for doing his job. No one supported him.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because he started the altercation and failed to walk away. His lack professionalism and judgement lost him his job, not Baines.

        Two words, tough luck.

  29. Anonymous says:
    New Year, New Rules!
    The only thing we have in excess around here is crime. Let every single police officer follow the lead of their chief and prevent the commission of crimes, and apprehend [suspects], by whatever means necessary.
    I'm willing to take the bus and give my truck to ANY police officer who runs over a [suspect] holding a gun in his hand, and who is about to committ, or had just committed a crime.
    A lot of people probably think that it is "excessive" to cane people for chewing gum in Singapore as well, but on the streets of Singapore you don't have to worry about stepping on gum.
    I look forward to the day when criminals in Cayman will become as rare as gum on the streets of Singapore.
  30. Anonymous says:

    baines deserves a medal not an investigation…..

    as usual ezzard is wasting his time on more nonsense….

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Complain all he wants.  We need solutions, not complaints, especially when criminality is changing our landscape.  

  31. Anonymous says:

    only in cayman…. will a police officer be investigated for stopping [suspected] armed robbers getting away………

    just another day in wonderland…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually the police are subject to the rule of law in any civilised country and may be investigated if there is any suggestion of excessive force in effecting arrest. It happens all the time int he U.S., Canada and the U.K. I am not of course making any comment upon the present case.  

    • Anonymous says:

      No, not only in Cayman. In the UK any incident involving injury to a member of the public has to be investigated and by an officer of at least equal rank to the one involved. That requirement is in place to avoid 'command influence'. Quite how RCIPS are going to deal with it remains to be seen but using Nicola Williams would seem to be the logical solution.

      Baines work in the past included Professonal Standards so he knows the drill and if he's done nothing wrong he has nothing to fear. A proper investigation also protects RCIPS from future legal action.

      This is proper policing – accept it.