Cayman still in dark ages

Thanks again for this honest editorial about modernising the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

If one holds to the viewpoint that the work of law enforcement in bringing criminals to justice and the establishment of human rights legislation for the protection of both suspects and law-enforcement officers are incompatible elements that cannot and do not work in tandem, then you might find the answers to your editorial questions somewhere in that concept.

It would seem as if this is the societal approach taken in the Cayman Islands for generations now and which leaves the Cayman Islands lagging behind in the ‘dark ages’ of police procedure and interviewing of criminal suspects.

This societal blight will continue to cause embarrassment and leave loopholes for successful appeals of convictions until the Cayman Islands understands and accepts the importance of human rights legislation and its influence in the legal system of the United Kingdom and most other jurisdictions of the developed world.

A police officer’s main priority is the prevention and detection of crime and a suspect’s human rights under detention is not the officer’s priority at the time unless the law dictates differently.

This is an element that is never emphasised by any senior member of the RCIPS when addressing societal questions regarding police procedure in the Cayman Islands as having to follow main guidelines set in the UK.

They do not inform the media or public that PACE is totally in sync with the Human Rights Acts 1998 as dictated by the laws of the United Kingdom and that all police procedures are supervised by this law and when found not to be in compliance, are investigated and prosecuted as breaches of this law, like any other.

Until societal modes change regarding this situation, the CC will have to ask the questions asked in the editorial many times over in the future, given the rise of serious, violent crime in the Cayman Islands.

Please do not expect the RCIPS to be society’s leader in the protection of the rights of both suspects and their own police officers. That is not their job but the authorities in the UK who set police procedure for the Cayman Islands have no obligations to follow the human rights legislation that is law in the UK but not in the Cayman Islands in doing so.

How many overturned convictions on appeal, particularly in serious cases, will it take for the Cayman Islands to accept that they are still living in the ‘dark ages’ in this respect?

Ricardo Tatum

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