Lawmaker threatens motion to oust Baines

Demanding that Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines be fired or resign, West Bay MLA Bernie Bush has threatened to move a motion of “no confidence” against Mr. Baines in the Legislative Assembly.

“Failing his immediate dismissal or resignation, at the first available opportunity, I shall be making a private members motion of no confidence in the commissioner of police,” Mr. Bush said in a statement sent to the Cayman Compass on Friday. “The commissioner of police’s position in this country is no longer tenable.”

Mr. Bush cited “lack of crime prevention and law enforcement strategies in managing the rising crime” as reasons he believes Mr. Baines should be dismissed from his post. “With rising crime and a catalogue of management errors by the U.K.-recruited Commissioner of Police, it is clear that a wide cross-section has lost confidence in the COP,” Mr. Bush said in his statement.

Such a motion in the legislature, if one was filed, would have no legal effect. The commissioner of police is appointed in the Cayman Islands by the territorial governor in consultation with members of the National Security Council.

Mr. Baines’s current employment contract runs through May 2017, after having been renewed by former Governor Duncan Taylor in 2013.

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Current Governor Helen Kilpatrick, who has been off island, has not commented in the past week on Mr. Bush’s statement or any matter involving Mr. Baines.

Public outcry at a story first reported in the Compass on Dec. 1 regarding the employment by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service of a Jamaican police officer who had been convicted of murder in his home country spilled over on the radio waves and the Internet over the past week. Tyrone Findlay, a member of the RCIPS Uniform Support Group – the armed police unit – was fired following his murder conviction on Nov. 19.

Findlay and another Jamaican officer were convicted in connection with a Jan. 1, 2010, death resulting from a line-of-duty shooting during a police traffic stop in the Manchester district of Jamaica.

Findlay joined the RCIPS Uniform Support Group in May 2011, but he was suspended in July 2011 after Jamaican prosecutors announced they were bringing murder charges in the Manchester shooting. An open records request by the Compass in early 2012 revealed Findlay’s suspension from the RCIPS, but both Mr. Baines and then-Governor Taylor declined to comment on it at the time.

In March of this year, Mr. Baines said Findlay was brought back to work in a “behind the scenes” role at RCIPS, as the Jamaican criminal case dragged on without going to trial.

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  1. This is getting ridiculous!
    From what I have read, the proper checks were made with the Jamaican Police, and it seems to be them that were less than informative. If that is correct (?) then direct your complaints to them!
    If the slant on all this is that Baines is from the UK, then just remember the last local appointee!

  2. One of the factors in effective policing is the attitude of the community, if MLA’s undermine the CoP and the police force as a whole, the interaction between their constituents and officers of the RCIPs will be soured and crime allowed to flourish.

    Truly a self fulfilling prophecy.

    MLA’s well know the the police service is apolitical and will not descend into party political bickering, but those representatives should not take that as an opportunity to do a little points scoring by taking cheap pot-shots at the CoP in the public theatre.

    I am quite sure that Commissioner Baines would have been more than happy to meet with any MLA’s having concerns regarding ‘crime prevention and law enforcement strategies’ and discuss policies and policing out of the limelight in a much more constructive and respectful manner.

    The adversarial approach keeps the community nervous and the criminals confident which is not the correct way around.

    Good leadership is about uniting people in a common goal (and lets not forget that everyone DOES have the same goal here!). After said meeting a press briefing with the two of them standing shoulder to shoulder showing how the police are responsive to community concerns and that their MLA’s is working hard on their behalf – a win-win-win for the MLA, the Police and the Community!