Opposition wants explanation of police polygraphs

The Cayman Islands opposition party
leader publicly asked Monday for an explanation from government officials on
the reasons polygraph tests have been administered to dozens of RCIPS officers
in recent weeks.

“I don’t know what is the truth of
it,” George Town MLA Kurt Tibbetts said in the Legislative Assembly. “But
certainly, I believe we all need to have a clear understanding of that
situation.”

Mr. Tibbetts said the longer
government delays an explanation, the more rumours will circulate and the worse
stories about the situation will become.

To date, neither the police
commissioner’s office, nor the police officers’ association, nor the Portfolio
of Internal and External Affairs have offered an explanation for the testing.

According to information obtained
by the Caymanian Compass, A number of Royal Cayman Islands Police Service
officers have been required to take polygraph tests.

The reason the polygraphs –
commonly called lie detector tests – were being administered was not given by
Police Commissioner David Baines’ office.

”It is not RCIPS policy to comment
on our vetting procedures,” read a statement from the commissioner’s
spokesperson that was issued in response to questions from the Compass.

Both current and former police
officers that spoke with the Compass on background confirmed that the tests had
been administered to dozens of officers within the department and that a number
of those tests had been failed.

One source indicated that more than
40 police officers had been administered polygraphs.

Police department brass declined to
respond to questions regarding the specific numbers of those who had taken the
polygraphs.

Some officers indicated that RCIPS
staffers had been told their positions with the department could be in jeopardy
if they refused to take the tests.

Commissioner Baines previously
indicated that RCIPS officers within the new police anti-corruption unit would
be subjected to polygraphs as a condition of their employment in the police
service.

In November, the commissioner told
the Compass that skilled veteran investigators handling complaints against
RCIPS officers would be given polygraph tests by US law enforcement agencies
prior to being hired.  
 

Some of the complaints against
RCIPS Mr. Baines referenced were made previously under the corruption
investigation dubbed ‘Operation Cealt’ by former Acting Police Commissioner
James Smith.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. What the commissioner is not saying is what Mr Kurt Tibbitts and the opposition should be requesting.
    that is:

    How many officers are from the UK that are being tested (British)

    How many Canadian
    How many Jamaican
    How many Caymanian
    How many Barbadian

    we want to ensure there is no racial or national discrimination in the works.

    Please proceed to publicize the figures on these various demographics. It is necessary.

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  2. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office at it again!

    Still trying to establish their theme of CORRUPTION and pin it on the Cayman Islands, so they could have grounds for declaring their full British Rule upon us like they did to the Turks and Caicos Islands, dissolving their LA and taking over their treasury for their own interest…

    But of course, before they can do that, the Commissioner of Police must have grounds to bring in more British Officers. Of course, CORRUPTION IS EVERYWHERE.

    The history books are full of her deeds in other British territories.

    All to say, I have no problem with polygraph testing, because it is not accurate. What I have a problem with, is the MOTIVE behind the testings.

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  3. Section 30 of the Offender Management Act 2007 specifically excludes, in the UK, the use of polygraph evidence in UK courts.
    With this as a precedent, The Commissioner of Police is on very dodgy ground and it is likely that if he dismisses any officer for ‘failing’ a lie detector test, he will face a challenge under European Human Rights with the liklihood that the challenge will be successful.
    As I have suggested previously, the Commissioner’s use of such a device suggests that he is not comfortable with the current/pevious vetting procedures the RCIPS has/had in place.
    At the very least, he or the Governor MUST explain the rationale behind introducing these tests (which do not have the backing of the scientific community) and must show how they are being used.
    The reluctance to engage in dialogue on this subject will lead to speculation that they do not have a sensible (or legal) rationale.

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  4. Not only do we need numbers on the various officers’ demographics but we need to see the results of the polygraph tests:

    How many British passed or failed
    How many Caymanian passed or failed
    How many Barbadian passed or failed
    How many Jamaican passed or failed
    How many Canadian passed or failed

    That’s going to tell the tale really. This is interesting.

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  5. If there had been any committment to clean up Cayman’s system from its historical and institutionalised culture of covert corruption, the chance that Stuart Jack provided by ordering Operation Tempura would have led immediate results.

    That chance was spurned by the PPM government, as well as the chance to get a proper Constitution in place, without the many loopholes and loose ends that remain in the document that was finally agreed upon, all without public scrutiny or input.

    Now you have a COP who is trying to use a questionable method to deal with the results of Operation Cealt that he, himself, refused to make public.

    Even a one-eyed man can see that the polygraph testing of so many serving RCIPS officers has another purpose than the one given by the COP, which is supposed to be vetting new officers for the Anti-Corruption Unit of the RCIPS.

    Does the COP take everyone for fools ?

    But….when the COP refused to make public the findings of Operation Cealt, there was not a murmur of complaint or opposition from the PPM or general public, was there ?

    What is hidden in darkness, must come out to light sooner or later, one way or another.

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  6. Why can’t the opposition comment on something worthy. Whilst safety certainly is important to the Cayman Islands, surely it’s not our major concern. Pardon my directness here, (we all realize crime has risen in the Cayman Islands, but so has the amount of unemployed Citizens, and expats are leaving – surely that speaks loudly?).

    Do people feel unsafe? Whilst I hope not, what about the other every day matters that no opposition or media outlet cares to comment on.

    Yes we hear about what has happened, or what’s been spoken about at the dreaded LA, but what do REAL people REALLY think? That means you and I? I haven’t heard anyone say a great deal, they’re all too scared.

    Does anyone care at all? Are we all afraid to say what is on everyone’s minds? Have we lost the ability to speak freely and openly for the greater good or has the fear of retribution sealed our very lips?

    This country lacks the ability to speak freely, whether Caymanian or expat it makes no difference, we all fear something bigger than ourselves.

    Speak up.

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