Cayman cops arrested most often

UK stats may be misleading

Cayman Islands police officers have been arrested more frequently in recent times than their counterparts in any other British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean.

That somewhat surprising statistic was revealed in a response to a parliamentary question asked by UK MP Andrew Rosindell last October.

Mr. Rosindell asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Chris Bryant how many police officers have been arrested for criminal activity in each of the Caribbean OT’s over the past five years.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office found six Anguilla officers had been arrested, nine British Virgin Islands officers were arrested, two officers from Montserrat were arrested, and three from the Turks and Caicos had been arrested.

The Cayman Islands had 13 officers arrested during that five-year period.

However, the numbers don’t tell the full story.

The UK foreign office points out that each arrest did ‘not necessarily translate into successful prosecutions.’

In fact, the Caymanian Compass could only find two instances in the past three years where Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers had been successfully prosecuted for alleged criminal offences.

It was also not clear whether the UK statistics included recent corruption probes that involved three high-ranking RCIPS members who were investigated, but never arrested or charged. All three men; current Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis, current RCIPS Superintendent John Jones and former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan were cleared of any wrong-doing in connection with that investigation.

Other possible cases of RCIPS officers being arrested include:

Burmon Scott – the former RCIPS inspector was arrested as part of a corruption investigation by UK Metropolitan Police officers in Cayman. He was later cleared without charges and is currently suing the Cayman Islands government for damages. It’s also not certain if Mr. Scott was included in the UK’s count as he was not a serving officer at the time of his arrest.

Rudolph Dixon – the RCIPS deputy commissioner was relieved of duty on 27 March, 2008 during the Operation Tempura corruption investigation. He was found not guilty during a Grand Court trial last year and is awaiting a decision on disciplinary action from the department.

Richard Hanna – the former North Side community officer was sentenced to a 15-month prison term in January 2008 following his conviction on theft charges. Hanna was accused of taking cash and cheques donated for North Side Primary School Year Six students.

Rabe Welcome, Adrian Clarke – These two RCIPS officers are facing charges stemming from a late night brawl at a George Town gas station that injured a civilian. The two are due to appear in court in March.

Paul Dewing – Mr. Dewing was also not a serving officer at the time he was charged. He was accused following a court-room outburst at the end of the criminal trial in which a man who had struck Mr. Dewing with his vehicle was acquitted of all charges. Mr. Dewing was later cleared of any wrong-doing following a lengthy trial.

Keith Nathaniel Guthrie – Guthrie pleaded guilty in 2007 to taking $500 from a man he had stopped for various traffic violations.

Incident from 17 January, 2009 – The police officer involved in this incident, where a woman’s car was smashed with a department-owned patrol vehicle, has never been named publicly because he was not charged. Police Commissioner David Baines declined to respond to questions later in the year about whether the officer had been dismissed from the police service.

Incident from 18 September, 2005 – An off-duty police officer was arrested on this date after being seen participating in illegal gambling at a bar. No charges were ever filed in the incident.

Questions about the arrests made to the RCIPS had not been returned by press time.