Letter from Commissioner of Police David Baines to Journal Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull

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Cost effective policing

Dear Ms Turnbull:

RE:  “Policing in Cayman” – The Journal 6th January 2010.

With regard to the above article, I seek your assistance in remedying a potential misinterpretation of the context of our interview of the 13th October 2009.
I appreciate the article has been segmented into three distinct articles, which if taken as a whole, provides a useful context for the commentary made, however, the demarcation of the first article from the second has left the potential misrepresentation that I had in the second article sought to criticize the criminal justice agencies, namely the Courts, Judiciary and Magistracy for failings in the provision of justice to the communities of these Islands. 
This was not my intention, I had intended to comment upon the need to modernize processes, systems and the law to ensure improvements to investigative procedures by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service as referenced in the December edition article were matched in tandem by partner criminal justice agencies able to reflect new legislation or improved technical and evidential requirements within the Courts’ procedures.
Regrettably, my comments have been construed as criticism of Judges and Magistrates in the Caymans, that was not my intention. In particular, my inelegant phrasing of “people having their cases overturned having taken too long to come before the Court” was a reference made and has specifically given cause for concern to some of my colleagues.  This was a reference to instances where victims having had their cases dropped or withdrawn due to witnesses becoming unavailable or unwilling to attend due to the time between incident and Court hearing being prolonged.  The prosecution thereby being unable to present their case effectively before a Court and had caused prosecutions to collapse or be withdrawn before a hearing.  

The police need to work closely with criminal justice partners in order to secure justice for victims.  It is because of that need that any misinterpretation of issues which suggest tension between our agencies in unhelpful and I seek your assistance to rectify any misunderstanding.  

Since our interview, I am pleased to inform you that attempts to safeguard witnesses have been productive in that agreement of the UK to introduce new legislation within the Cayman Islands which would permit anonymity of witnesses when giving evidence in appropriate cases.  The Attorney General is currently drafting the necessary legislation to bring before the Legislative Assembly to facilitate such an act to be enabled.

Yours sincerely,
David Baines,
Commissioner of Police