Tempura consultants hired by police

Two consultants who were brought to
Cayman to help with the ill-fated Operation Tempura police corruption probe
have been hired as full-time Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers, the
Caymanian Compass has learned.

The two men, previously employed by
the BGP consultancy firm out of the UK, were initially brought in to assist
Operation Tempura officers with interviewing and analysing reams of data collected
in interviews with civilians who had made complaints against RCIPS officers.

The men stayed on following the
departure of all remaining Operation Tempura officers last year to help tie up
loose ends in the probe, and are believed to have remained in Cayman on
consulting contracts.

Police Commissioner David Baines
told the Caymanian Compass in November that the two consultants were still assisting
in matters related to disciplinary hearings for Deputy Police Commissioner
Rudolph Dixon – one of the RCIPS officers removed as part of the Operation
Tempura case.

The men were also helping with
disclosure requirements in two lawsuits brought against the police service over
Operation Tempura by former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and former
Inspector Burmon Scott.

Those consultants Mr. Baines spoke
about in November – Richard Oliver and Dennis Walkington –are the same men who
have now joined the police service’s anti-corruption unit, the Compass has
learned.

The RCIPS released the following
statement on the matter:

“The Royal Cayman Islands Police
Service has recently undertaken an overseas recruitment campaign to secure the
services of specialist officers for specific departments within the
force. 

“A number of people from Canada,
Jamaica, Barbados and the UK were interviewed and some have been offered
contracts

“Some of the officers appointed
have previously worked with the RCIPS in specialist roles. 

“It would not be force policy
to discuss contract details of specific employees or to confirm if named
individuals have been offered employment by the RCIPS.” 

Mr. Oliver and Mr. Walkington were
expected to take up employment at the police service Monday.

Police would not confirm reports
that Mr. Oliver had been named as head of the police anti-corruption unit.

Operation Tempura was a two-year
long investigation into allegations of police corruption that started following
an unauthorised entry into the offices of Cayman Net News publisher Desmond
Seales in September 2007.

A lengthy investigation led to the
arrest or removal from office of several RCIPS officers and a Cayman Islands
Grand Court judge. In the end, two criminal trials were held and both
defendants – Mr. Dixon and former Cayman Islands MLA Lyndon Martin – were found
not guilty of public misconduct-related charges.

BGP contract concerns

Members of the Cayman Islands
Legislative Assembly, as well as Auditor General Dan Duguay, have previously
raised concerns about how the BGP consulting firm came to be involved in
Operation Tempura.

Mr. Duguay’s recent audit of
Operation Tempura spending noted that BGP apparently received payment starting
in June 2008, and that the company was eventually given some CI $585,700
without a contract ever being bid.

“BGP Training and Consultancy was
only established in 2007,” Opposition party MLA Moses Kirkconnell told the Legislative
Assembly in November. “That puts some flags up.”

Mr. Baines told the assembly he had
not heard of BGP, but had heard of similar law enforcement consulting firms in
the UK that offered similar services.

Mr. Baines said BGP’s appointment
in the Operation Tempura case did not surprise him, although he noted he was
not Cayman’s police commissioner when the decision to hire BGP was made.

The consultant company’s principal
owners were known to Operation Tempura’s former Senior Investigating Officer Martin
Bridger and UK Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, Mr.
Duguay said.

At one time, Mr. Yates was
overseeing the Operation Tempura probe and Mr. Bridger had significant input
into funding decisions for the investigation, Mr. Duguay’s report noted.

Mr. Baines said police
investigations occur in real time and opined it may have been that Operation
Tempura officers needed the consultants’ assistance immediately. The problem,
he told Legislative Assembly members, may ultimately be one of perception.

“How do you avoid the perception
that someone has brought in the old boys’ network,” the commissioner said. “I
think that question sits squarely with the Metropolitan Police.” 

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