Commissioner Baines responds to conviction

Commissioner of Police and chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission David Baines said he was pleased to see the first anti-corruption conviction in Grand Court.

RCIPS civilian staff member Patricia Monique Webster, 31, was given a suspended sentence last week after pleading guilty in March to two counts of misconduct in public office, involving searching the confidential police database and soliciting information from the immigration database.

The commissioner noted: “Much has been said in the media of late about corruption in high levels – this case proves that corruption can take place at any level within our society. I would urge anyone who has information about corrupt practices to come forward and contact us.”

He warned anyone tempted to misuse their position to “take the news of this conviction very seriously, because there is little doubt that this is the first of many to come”.

A press release from the police public relations officer indicated that Webster has been on required leave since September 2011. Steps are now being taken, in line with agreed Public Service Management Law policies, to terminate her employment with the RCIPS. She will remain on required leave until this process is completed.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Baines is quite correct in this instance, as there are many persons in the RCIPS, that still need to be caught.

    Ms. Webster should learn a valuable lesson from this, so that if and when she is employed somewhere else, she would not make this a repeat.

    Her boss whomever that person is, should be held accountable as well, because Ms. Webster at her level, should not be having access to the Immigration database and it is a breach of protocol.

    Her use of the Immigration database is indeed true because it was stated in the compass of May 22nd stating Details of the charges against her were that Webster abused the public trust by making extensive searches of the confidential police database and soliciting information from the immigration database.

    Mr. Baines good job with this one and there are many more persons who are guilty, but just need to be caught.

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  2. My Cayman Islands you raised a very good point in that there should be more accountability, as a breach of protocol has been done; but you know when things of these nature occur, persons in authority find all kinds of excuses to not be held accountable when they know very well what is going on.

    According to the media, Ms. Webster is a Civilian Staff within the RCIPS; that is one of the lowest level of staff in the Service (besides the cleaners); so how in the world could a Civilian Staff be able to access such sensitive information from an Immigration Database.

    Not even Police Officers in general have that authority; only a selective few, so Mr. Baines, please seriously look into this as this should not be happening.

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  3. Can anyone shed any light on what she was looking for and why?

    Clearly trying to find out details of someone who regularly parks their car in an irritating place is on a different scale to passing on the names and addresses of witnesses to a suspect… Though given only a suspended sentence I don’t suppose it was the latter.

    What is the status of the Data Protection Law – I dont think it got passed due to the election?

    Am I right in thinking that she has been on full pay for the last 19 months?

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  4. Hi Sonic, according to the Compass article of May 22nd this is what she was looking for Details of the charges against her were that Webster abused the public trust by making extensive searches of the confidential police database and soliciting information from the immigration database.

    The Crown’s case, presented by Crown Counsel Laura Manson, was that Webster searched to ascertain whether a particular person was the subject of a criminal investigation; and then to obtain the personal telephone number of another individual and pass that number on to a third party. In the first instance, she was trying to find out if there was an immigration stop notice on someone.

    Now this is a very serious offence because, acts of these nature can cause someone their life but I guess the judge was lenient of Ms. Webster because she admitted the offence, has a family to feed, and that it was probably her first offence, etc.

    Mr. Baines, persons of this level, should not be having access to the Immigration database and everyone in the RCIPS knows this. I think I smell a rat or something fishy is going on here.

    I am sure if you ask Ms. Webster she would tell you that her boss knew that she had access to this very SENSITIVE database and she should not have.

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  5. What is being said is indeed true. Ms. Webster would use someone else’s password, as it is the norm, and she is not the only person that does this and this is common knowledge where she works and it is wrong….so there are others who should be held accountable as well, according to My Cayman Islands Another Fed Up Caymanian 2.

    Mr. Baines, all you have to do is get the paper trail of the Immigration Database and subject some persons to lie detector tests and you will be amazed…or maybe not.

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  6. OK, so quite a serious breach then.

    In a private company such actions would be grounds for instant and summary dismissal.

    Whats the big deal – its just some personal data?

    Well, remember that government databases like the police contain levels of detail which could not be found in privately operated companies.

    Data like that needs to be strictly safeguarded – criminal gangs use data like that to steal peoples identities – in the 21st century that is the way banks are most often robbed – and all the other customers pay higher fees and get lower interest as a result – hardly a victimless crime.

    I hope this conviction reflects that there are audit trails to show who accessed the data and when, but given the sensitive and valuable nature of personnal information, access permissions need to be carefully set and enforced – the senior guy who goes to lunch leaving his terminal logged in is as guilty as the clerk who tries to access it…

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  7. Well Mr. Baines, I guess the I’s (eyes)have it as something is seriously wrong where she was employed.

    I suggest that there should be some more investigations, as this should not be tolerated as there are other senior persons that know what is going on and are not saying or doing anything.

    I bet people will start talking when they realize they are being investigated because people do not want to go down alone.

    Well Ms. Webster, sad to say, it looks like you’re the only one that went down and I wish you the best in your future endeavours and please do not do this again.

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  8. My fellow Caymanians and other residents alike something is seriously wrong here where someone can have someone else’s password and be able to login into the Immigration data base.

    Why hasn’t her Supervisor been held accountable as well because that should not be happening under her watch.

    I can only imagine what else occurs and if swept under the carpet. Mr. Baines this should be taken very seriously. You are the Commissioner of Police and have powers to do a lot of things, conduct an internal investigation and bring I am sure you will find a lot of stuff.

    By the way who is her Supervisor, because she is still employed with the Service. That person should be held accountable as well, as she is not doing her job properly, as this is a serious breach that has been ongoing for a while (I can bet my life on it).

    Mr. Baines I am happy with the stance you took on this matter but please look deeper because this entire scenario is questionable.

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  9. Baines you got a nerve, with all the corruption in Cayman this is all you can boast about?
    Get a life and save the taxpayers money by resigning. You think we are all dense?

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  10. Who is you commissioner Baines? my fellow Caymaninans I am not saying what this girl did was right, but at the same time doesn’t Mr. Baines has two of his officers at moment with law suite against him? Each and every one of them has there own skeltion in their closets.

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  11. Mr. Baines it is now time for you to go after the big fish. People using other people passwords to search an Immigration database is downright deplorable and you know that and as Commissioner you have the power to do something about it.

    As some of the other bloggers have said, ensue an investigation and you will find out that others are guilty as well.

    Ms. Webster’s Supervisor whomever he or she may be should be held accountable as in any other jurisdiction that person would have to answer some serious questions because that should not be happening under their watch and I am sure they know about it, but want to escape from trouble.

    In any organization, if a Supervisor does not know that something like this is occurring under their watch, they are not fit to lead a department, as this is too serious of a breach for that individual not to know.

    THERE IS A SAYING THAT IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE..SO THE SAME ANALOGY APPLIES…BUT THEY KNOW..DO THE INVESTIGATION YOU WILL SEE.

    Well word is, a lot of things go on and it is swept under the carpet. Mr. Baines, there are a lot of big fish and small fish too that needs to be caught and they are right where Ms. Webster is working…I am not asking you, I am telling you. They know what is going on, as is the norm.

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  12. @ Serious, you raised a very good point in that ignorance is no excuse and Ms. Webster’s Supervisor should be disciplined because that should not be occurring under their management.

    IF THIS OCCURRED IN ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION HE OR SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO ANSWER SOME SERIOUS QUESTION BUT MAYBE HE OR SHE HOLDING SECRETS FOR SOMEONE THAT IS WHY NOTHING CANNOT BE DONE TO THEM.

    Her Supervisor needs to be scrutinized with a fine teeth comb because he or she knows what is going on…trust me….he or she does but they hiding for fear of their SKELETONS coming to light.

    Mr. Baines, you may have your own issues with other Officers in the Service in that are suing you, but this investigation with Ms. Webster should be completed THROUGHLY BY LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED.

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