Duncan Taylor letter

Dear Commander Gibson,

Thank you for your letter dated 9 May 2013, which I have now had the opportunity to consider with the benefit of legal advice.

I note what you say about the Metropolitan Police Service (“the MPS”) being conflicted from conducting any investigation into the matters raised with you by Mr. Martion Bridger and entirely understand the stance. I also note that you have neither received nor considered all matters of potential relevance to any such investigation (whether from Mr. Bridger himself or from those he has made allegations against) and indeed could not properly do so given the conflict you identify. In these circumstances I assume and anticipate that you would entirely agree, that your expressed views in relation to the merits of the complaint made by Mr. Bridger are therefore properly to be read as being subject both to the MPS’ acknowledged conflict and to the significant qualification inherent in that conflict and in your only having considered a limited amount of material.

As to your suggested course of action so far as I am concerned, I should first explain that my responsibility for policing matters in the Cayman Islands is defined by the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 and the Police Law (2010 Revision). These provisions do not provide the Governor with a decision-making role in relation to the initiation of individual criminal investigations. The Governor’s role relates, instead, to matters of police discipline, regulation and quasi-legislation in the form of the making of regulations in Cabinet. The responsibility for the day to day operation of the police is, furthermore, expressly conferred on the Commissioner (see e.g. ss. 55 and 58 of the Constitution Order and ss. 5-7, 14, 25, 49, 95, 101, 109, 146 of the Police Law) although he does report on such operation to me. I also note, separately, that Mr. Bridger has repeatedly made it clear that he does not wish my office to have any role in relation to decision-making in respect of any investigation.

Against this background, and given the conflict which you have identified, it seems to me that the appropriate course open to Mr. Bridger is for him to make such formal complaint as he wishes to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (“RCIPS”). The same would apply to any other complainants. It will then be for the RCIPS to consider its own positions in the light of the material presented both as to whether it considers that it may take a formal decision on the question of an investigation or, if the RCIPS is itself similarly conflicted (because of e.g. its own litigation with Mr. Bridger), how the complaint can be properly addressed. As part of that consideration it would be open to the Commissioner to enlist police officers from outside the Cayman Islands upon such contractual terms as may to him appear necessary pursuant to section 20 of the Police Law (2010 Revision). I would then expect to be informed of such conclusions but the decision would be that of the Commissioner.

I am copying this reply to Mr. Bridger, to the others copied in to your letter of 9 May, 2013 and to the Commissioner of Police. I also note and again I anticipate that you would entirely agree, that it is disappointing and regrettable that your letter found its way into the public domain. It is, of course particularly important, both as a matter of general principle and by way of respect fir due process as guaranteed by Section 7 of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order, that all individuals who face allegations of criminal conduct are treated as innocent until proven guilty and it is unsatisfactory and unfortunate for investigations or potential investigations to be the subject of running commentaries in the media. That is of course all the more important where allegations are of the serious nature referred to in your letter.

In circumstances where, through whatever route your letter did, however, enter the public domain I also intend to issue a short press statement reflecting the substance of this letter in the interests of balance.

With best regards,

Duncan Taylor

Governor’s letter