UK cops will ride with RCIPS

Northwest England bobbies already taking heat

Jon Murphy Merseyside Cayman

Veteran police investigators from northwest England started arriving on Grand Cayman on Thursday after their commanders spent the week with Royal Cayman Islands Police Service brass hashing out the best ways to use them in the fight against surging gang violence.  

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Jon Murphy said during a Friday news briefing the group of 20 officers – to be paid for by the Cayman Islands government – had an initial six-week contract and that the team wasn’t planning on staying much longer than that.  

“The officers come out here, they’ll be very professional, they’ll do their job and they’ll come home in six weeks,” Mr. Murphy said Friday. “I’m clear this is a short-term assignment. I need those officers in the UK. It would have to be exceptional circumstances for [a longer stay] to happen.”  

The circumstances surrounding a spate of five deadly shootings in nine days last month on Grand Cayman could indeed be described as exceptional. The attacks – at least three of which were directly related to one another – killed Robert Macford Bush, Andrew Anthony Baptist and Preston Rivers in West Bay, Jason Christian in George Town, and Asher McGaw in East End. A sixth man was also struck by gunfire in the attack that killed Mr. Christian, but he survived.  

The oldest of the victims was 28. The youngest two were only 18.  

RCIPS Police Commissioner David Baines, who is from the north of England himself, said the UK cops won’t be used as ‘first-responders’ at the scenes of crimes – if anything further should occur. Rather, they will be deployed as secondary investigators – basically partners – for RCIPS detectives out in the field investigating the killings.  

In the weeks immediately after the five homicides, RCIPS has made one arrest directly related to the shooting in East End. Other arrests made prior to that were largely for suspicion of gang-related activities. No charges were filed in any of the earlier arrests.  

“They will be split into groups and put into the existing investigative teams,” Mr. Baines said. “Their initial investigative role is to support the murder investigations. Secondly … if we’ve got investigative skills in other enquiries … they’ve had a missing from home that’s still an active enquiry and we’ve also got some armed robbery offences … the idea is that every officer will work alongside a local officer.  

“It’s about skill sharing and experience sharing,” Mr. Baines said. “The lead individual of any pair will be the local officer … because in six months’ time or a years’ time or two years’ time, we’re not looking to send those officers back out and give evidence. In cases where we do need them … as primary witnesses, then fine.”  

Mr. Murphy said the 20 officers are mainly experienced detectives, but a few have specialist skills in the areas of preparing evidence and witnesses for court, handling evidence exhibits and the like.  

“They will make assessment of crime scenes, judgments around the forensic opportunities, about house-to-house enquiries, about securing witnesses, about what intelligence sources they might be able to exploit. The difference is, they will be doing in partnership with a Cayman officer,” Mr. Murphy said. “In terms of being put in harm’s way, that won’t happen.” Just last year, RCIPS had to call on similar assistance from West Midlands Police in England following a separate spate of gang-related killings. Twelve officers spent about a month in Cayman during that trip, after which the Islands recorded no homicides for about a year.  

Toward the end of the six-week contract for the current UK group, Mr. Baines said some of the officers now being recruited on a permanent basis by the RCIPS will begin coming on board. The commissioner said local police had received some 200 applications for 50 local officer positions. However, since most of those were specialist roles, Mr. Baines said it was unlikely any rookies would be hired.  

“We’re keeping a list of those for future recruit classes,” he said.  

Mr. Baines said Governor Duncan Taylor was also looking at recruiting a forensic evidence specialist and a legal advisor to help assist local police in preparing criminal cases, but he wasn’t aware that anyone had been placed in those posts yet.  


Sun and heat   

Mr. Murphy and his Chief Superintendent Tony Doherty, who also appeared at Friday’s press briefing with Mr. Baines, were the subject of an extensive story in Saturday’s Daily Mail in the UK titled: ‘The Snorkelling Squad’. 

A photographer from the newspaper had apparently followed the men around Grand Cayman and taken pictures of them on a boat trip, sunbathing, eating and generally taking their ease.  

Mr. Murphy had been in Cayman since 3 October, essentially to help Commissioner Baines and the RCIPS generate a plan for how they would use the incoming group of UK officers. He returned to the UK on Friday.  

Back in the UK during an interview with Sky News, Mr. Murphy accused a Daily Mail journalist of ‘spying’ on him and reportedly said he “suspected [the journalist] didn’t have the proper Visa to do that”.  

The Mail reported a similar story last year that depicted former members of the Operation Tempura investigative team enjoying some fun in the sun. The paper labelled that group ‘The Sunshine Squad’. 

Tony Doherty

Mr. Doherty

Jon Murphy v

Mr. Murphy

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  1. If these gentlemen do not impact the crime rate in 3 months then they should reimburse the State for all their expenses and pay for wasting time. This is not a vacation spree.. there must be seriousness such that these guys are required to perform.

    Also, this tactic is only a remedy for the short term; is Government spending the same amount to deal with this problem in the long term? I am speaking about re-building the family, community, etc.

  2. I suppose there are 3 sides to every story (mine, yours and the middle ground) but come on Compass…you sure made it look like Cayman is going to get good value for money with the folks from the UK. I know they did some work but it looks like almost 1.5 days relaxing out of 4 days total (not sure of the exact days involved) That’s a sad and it shows once again how Cayman seems to always get the short end of the deal. What happened to the 5 day week?
    You know even if you guys think that the reporters from the Mail are just low life bottom feeders, Cayman should be extremely grateful for this service because at least the UK cops might now be concerned about image and getting down to some work and not play. I really don’t see a downside to the publication of the Tourist antics. I am sorry that the Compass chooses not to cover more of the story or perhaps can’t legally carry it or maybe it would offend some people. Whatever the reason I am amazed at the impressive and glossed over picture the Compass choose to paint….Oh well, as I said before there are 3 sides to every story and I guess I will have to try to understand that Cayman will get fantastic bang for the buck right? But don’t hold your breath!

  3. Baines what eo you mean that in 6 months time or a year those officers will not be giving evidence?! You’e saying that this is a hood wink, this is a vacation for the uK officers until they can do better or you’ll let them stay on, we know the game. So how is the case going to be properly handled if a UK officer is partnering with a local officer on a case and the next excuse in court will be that the UK officer is not here anymore so the criminal goes free again? Is this some kind of game obstructing Public justice?

    Then here’s another slap in the face and another hood winking statement:-
    The difference is, they will be doing in partnership with a Cayman officer, Mr. Murphy said. In terms of being put in harm’s way, that won’t happen.
    Sso the UK officers are AFRAID OF OUR CAYMAN GANGSTERS!
    and will notg be put in harms way?!So what are police for but to be put in harms way if they are really crime fighters. Thanks for telling us that they are really YUR PERSONAL BUDDIES on vacation and dnot really police officers.
    This whole scenario seems like a movie I saw played before……No More Beach Bums Posing as Police Officers?!

    Jesus, Mary and joseph, deliver us from these FREE LOADERS!

    Don’t say we were not warned:-

  4. I had hoped to see that the UK police would help with prevention, but it appears the focus will be on after-the-fact investigation. Perhaps consideration should be given to bringing in assistance from a police force that has had a good level of success in the prevention of gang crimes and the shutting down of gang recruitment amoung youth.

  5. I’m going to lay some known and confirmed facts before the forum readers…and some opinions…and let the reders decide the merits, thereof.

    Cayman has had an institutionalised problem from way before my generation…that problem is a lack of cohesive analysis of problems that are directly related and coming up with cost-effective way to solve the collective problem; the ability to kill more than one bird, with one stone.

    This problem has and continues to cost Cayman millions and millions of wasted tax-payer dollars and this RCIPS/Merseyside police operation is only another. glaring example.

    The Merseyside police have been successful in quelling gang activity and violence on Merseyside because they know the area and people and gang-members very, very well.

    They know their people…and, the percentage of gun crimes and viciousness of Liverpool’s gangs are not at the recent levels exhibited by Cayman’s gangs; the Liverpool criminal culture is rooted in stealing…they are England’s worst notorious thieves and drug dealers but murder is not a regular occurence among that crew of gangsters; its simply bad for business.

    It seems like these Merseyside police are coming to Cayman to assist in investigative methods of crimes already committed and to give Cayman’s police some on-the-job training.

    For that alone, the CI Government will be paying an exhorbitant amount of money and if this does nothing to stem the current rate of gun violence and murders, this will be money wasted.

    The other area that is directly related of which I have personal knowledge and experience is the way in which the Private Security Law 2007 has been wasted and misused by entrenched elements within the RCIPS and major players in the security industry.

    To hear the opposition PPM call for what is basically an implementation of the the full clauses in that law gives me a sense of dejavue and unfinished busness.

    When that law came into effect, the RCIPS put out tenders for companies involved in training for security and self-defense purposes to present portfolios of training programs for which contracts would have been offered for the training of Cayman security personnell under a unified national curriculum, which would have been formulated from the best of these programs.

    The RCIPS have in their possession, taken from my business, one of the top training curriculums that has ever crossed their hands…they took the portfolios, kept them and scuppered any further plans for training and training contracts…

    And now you have MLAs calling for implementation of a law and programs that were ready to go, 3 years ago and for which the RCIPS has training programs taht have been gained by highly questionable means, to say the least.

    The point is, if these suggestions are moved forward in any way, it has and will cost Cayman much more to implement training for proper self defense/protection and the use of lethal and non-lethal tools than it would have, had the RCIPS implemented the full Private Security Law when those of us invloved in very high-level training programs had done all the ground work and were ready to go.

    It will be a very expensive prospect to move any of these MLAs suggesttions forward now because the levels of violence and crime have risen dramatically, whereas an ounce of prevention 3 years ago might have prevented the need now for a ton of cure.

    Talk about doing things, as the old Caymanians used to say, ‘AFUMOUS’! or, in other words, backways, and getting it totally wrong !

  6. Firey,
    I hope you were paid and if thee was any breach of contract that you were compensated. If there was any obtaining of intellectual property by deception, meaning if they are in possession of your instruction materials whether copyrighted or not, that you will pursue them on the grounds of them obtaining property or intellectual property that does not belong to them and therefore you should trash it out in a court of law.
    Caymanians have to be very careful off how they approach government. There are those that undermine the brilliant minds of our people among us. Secondly they will not pay our own for their professional knowledge and expertise but they can and will continue to bring in people from the UK who do not know our culture, do not want to know it and will never fit in. They will seemingly always try to get something for nothing, keep it for a couple of years then bring it back as though it was their original idea.They pay millions of dollars to Quacks to tell them what we already know and refuse to pay our people or give them a job.

    Bottom line do not ever talk business with government without an attorney at your side.

  7. Dubai

    Once this Private Security Law had been passed, it became unclear as to what its true purpose was, the further along the clauses that did not address licensing for the different segments in the industry, began to be addressed by industry members.

    My specialty is training and providing training services, so naturally, it was that section of the law that applied to my business more than the others.

    This had evolved out of a situation developed over a 5 year period of providing training seminars of the highest calibre for the RCIPS and private security personnell…it didn’t come about as a hurry-come-up situation trying to take adavantage of a new law but..

    For certain other of the larger security companies who wished to dominate the industry…it certainly was.

    These companies and personnell had never been interested or involved in training personnell specifically in Cayman’s context, except for those people who had a career history in the RCIPS…most security guards in Cayman are low-paid employees from other countries who have been hired on the background of past careers in the military and police forces of their own countries that has long expired.

    There is a small percentage of very good security personnell operating in Cayman with very current skills but these are only a handful and they are limited in the use of those skills by the law.

    The idea for a national curriculum was to qualify security personnell in a program specifically designed for Cayman and have certification in that program a part of the licensing process…at least that was the plan proposed for which the training curriculums were requesetd to be submitted for a bidding process for training contracts.

    Now that the PPM MLAs who passed this law have brought the matter before a public debate in the LA, no doubt, those ill-gotten curriculums will now come out of hiding and there will be people profiting from the hard work of others in preparing them.

    The bottom line is this…

    These proposals of the MLAs MUST address and create a proper training regime before any type of easing of restrictions on offensive weapons, including firearms, be even considered by the C Government.

    To even consider such a proposal without legally-required training regimes in place is suicidal for the situation in Cayman.

    Untrained security personnell and civilians allowed the use of pepper spray, firearms, tasers etc etc stand a better chance of harming themselves and their own friends and family members, rather than any attackers.

    Surely now, you see the opportunity created for profiting from the entire situation, by the very institutions who derailed the training efforts, in the first place.