The majority of the corruption and misconduct related allegations reported to a special police team in Cayman during 2008 and 2009 have been investigated and concluded, according to a statement from Governor Duncan Taylor’s office.
The cases stemmed from public complaints made in the wake of an independent police investigation dubbed Operation Tempura. The specific nature of the separate complaints – made by some 70 people in the Cayman Islands – has never been revealed.
Police at the time said that accusations generally involved corruption or misconduct accusations made against certain Royal Cayman Islands Police Officers. In 2009 they were divided into another investigation apart from Operation Tempura; it was dubbed Operation Cealt.
According to statements released to the Caymanian Compass last week, there have been repercussions from the investigation formerly known as Operation Cealt.
“Some incidences have resulted in officers leaving the service and some allegations still form the basis of ongoing investigation by either the anti-corruption unit, the Anti-Corruption Commission, or the [police] cold case review team,” a statement from Governor Taylor’s office read.
Investigations by the police cold case squad are not related to corruption, according to the governor’s office.
Operation Cealt, which at one time was being conducted by a team of officers seconded from the UK Metropolitan Police force, no longer exists. All of the work previously being done by UK officers on that investigation has been passed to the RCIPS anti-corruption unit. Police Commissioner David Baines has said that a number of foreign-based officers have since been brought in to staff that unit. Those include a former consultant for the original Operation Tempura investigation team, Inspector Richard Oliver, who now leads the police anti-corruption unit.
“Operation Cealt was an attempt to understand more fully the concerns from the public about the conduct of the police service or of specific police officers…to try and restore public officers in the RCIPS,” the governor’s office statement read. “The RCIPS has, under the leadership of Police Commissioner David Baines, developed professionally and now enjoys greater respect from the public.”
However, the lack of details released in relation to the ongoing probe has led to some complaints, including one in a formal document filed last year with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by former Operation Tempura advisor Martin Polaine. According to UK press reports, one of the complaints involved “disturbing” allegations of police misconduct. “There is so much more that has never been put in the public domain,” Mr. Polaine said in an email to the Caymanian Compass.
Former Cayman Islands journalist John Evans, who found himself at the centre of the original Operation Tempura probe, also recently said that the RCIPS should bring the investigation regarding the other complaints to light. “This saga of half-truths and allegations is not achieving anything,” Mr. Evans said in a statement posted at www.caycompass.com. “The whole exercise is steadily destroying the public’s confidence in the RCIPS, it has already demoralised the force and encouraged many capable officers to move on.”
Both Mr. Evans and previously Mr. Polaine filed complaints relating to various aspects of the Operation Tempura probe. Mr. Polaine’s complaint to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office generally involved the behaviour of some members of the judiciary who were involved in the case; Mr. Evans filed a complaint with the RCIPS Professional Standards Unit that accused Operation Tempura officers of selectively investigating claims of criminality.