Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines will not stay in the British Virgin Islands following his appointment to the lead role in a corruption investigation there, Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s office confirmed last week.
On Friday it was announced in the BVI that Mr. Baines, who has been Cayman’s police cCommissioner since June 2009, would take on the “Gold Commander” role in Operation Lucan. The investigation into police corruption so far has led to the suspension with pay of four officers with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
Governor Kilpatrick’s office, responding to questions Tuesday about the posting, said Mr. Baines’s role would be to provide “strategic oversight and direction” in the corruption investigation.
“[Mr. Baines] was there for a couple of days last week,” a statement from Governor Kilpatrick’s office read. “There are no immediate plans for him to go back, as it is anticipated that he will fulfill the role from here, by and large.
“This oversight role will not impact on the commissioner’s role/duty/responsibilities in respect of the RCIPS. Commissioner Baines visited the BVI last Monday and Tuesday [Feb. 9 and 10] to be personally briefed by the senior investigating officer and to meet with the governor, BVI director of public prosecutions and BVI commissioner of police.”
The governor’s statement indicated that the senior investigator of Operation Lucan would report directly to Commissioner Baines under established terms of reference for the investigation.
It was not known how long Mr. Baines would serve in that role or how long the probe would take to complete.
“This assistance is an example of the support that can be called upon by governors for independent advice within the overseas territories,” the governor’s office statement read.
Operation Lucan is referred to in the BVI press as an investigation into allegations of corrupt acts committed by a small number of officers in the BVI police force.
According to a statement from the BVI police commissioner’s office on Oct. 10: “Four officers from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force have been interdicted from duty by the Commissioner of Police David Morris pending the outcome of investigations into an allegation of corruption. These officers have been on leave while approval was sought from … the Governor through the Police Service Commission for their interdiction.”
A later police press release from the BVI indicated that Mr. Baines’s role is to ensure “a completely independent inquiry, avoiding any influences with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.”