Met officers paid $3M

Spending records for police investigations released

A total of $5.6 million was spent on investigations into the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service between September 2007 and early June 2009, according to records released under a Freedom of Information request made by the Caymanian Compass.

For the first time, government officials have specified, at least to a certain extent, what that money was spent on during two separate probes into misconduct and corruption within the RCIPS.

The figures’ release was approved by officials within the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, members of which are on a committee that is overseeing police team operations. The United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police force had earlier refused to divulge the information because they said it might ‘put officers in danger.’

The expenditures over the 20-month period include:

*$2.9 million for ‘professional fees,’ including the salaries paid to investigating officers.

*$1.8 million for a lawsuit settlement and legal fees surrounding the 2008 arrest of Grand Court Justice Alexander Henderson

*$520,340.75 for ‘lodgings’

*$115,518.73 for car rentals

*$134,469.48 in miscellaneous office expenses

*$64,463.49 in office space rental, an additional $45,577.57 in utilities, and approximately $28,000 in rental or purchased office equipment and janitorial services

*$24,770.04 in airline flights

The expenses are not the total of all money approved for the operations of the police investigative team. An additional $1.5 million was approved for their budget through the first four month’s of government’s current fiscal year.

The officers on the team are serving as special constables of the RCIPS, however all of them hail from the United Kingdom originally and some are still employed by the UK Metropolitan Police force.

The Cayman Islands government has paid for all the expenses listed above.

In Legislative Assembly meetings held in June, Cayman Islands lawmakers tried to determine how much longer the two probes, dubbed Operation Tempura and Operation Cealt, would continue.

The answer remains uncertain.

In June, Police Commissioner David Baines, who is in charge of the committee overseeing the investigations, indicated the investigation would have to ‘run its course’ and that the public was likely to continue hearing about it for the next six months to a year.

‘There’s little I can do about that,’ Mr. Baines said.

Auditor General Dan Duguay is expected to release a detailed analysis of spending by the Met team at the end of this month, in part to determine whether officers’ expenditures amounted to good value for money.

‘My concerns are just to the costing, nothing else,’ Mr. Duguay said in January. ‘There was a growing realisation there was a need to look into this.’

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