December 5, 2020

Letter to the Editor – Letter from the Police Commissioner

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Your editorial quite rightly pours scorn on the failings of the RCIPS in its handling of the case against Phillip Rose, and the manner in which a crime victim was treated.

The victim did not receive the care, help and service that she, when at her most vulnerable, rightly deserved.
I have met with the victim and I have been in frequent contact with her since my appointment. I know firsthand how the failings of the RCIPS added to her ordeal, and deeply regret the hurt caused. My focus and attention has been to ensure that the investigation and prosecution were progressed and that Rose, who had left this jurisdiction, was traced and extradited from Panama to Cayman to face justice for his crimes.
The victim, understandably, was less than confident in the RCIPS and its ability to bring Mr. Rose to justice.  Her courage in re engaging with the new investigating officer, being willing to recount and repeat her information and to support the police fully despite her earlier experience were self-evident and are the direct reason that the case was taken before the court and justice finally secured.

I would be remiss if I did not place on record the excellent, albeit belated, work undertaken by Detective Inspector Collins Oremule, who on taking charge of this investigation, met with the victim and worked tirelessly to recover her trust. He supported her prior to, during and post-trial.  In writing to me post-trail,  the victim said of him:

“Once Oremule was getting involved with my case, we made such great progress. He also ensured I was kept informed on a regular basis and I was always able to reach him if I needed to talk. He was also making sure I was safe during my recent visit and he was with me during the trail providing constant support.”
I am humbled by the victims generosity of spirit and ability to overcome the lack of care she experienced at the hands of officers within the RCIPS and to go on to inform me of when the RCIPS did get it right and perform in a professional manner in the form of Inspector Oremule.

You ask two questions in your Editorial; the first being – Has she received an apology from the RCIPS? The answer to that is yes; a full and unreserved apology for our failures to help her at a time when she most needed our help.

Your second question –  Will we as a Police Service learn from this mistake? Most definitely. The mistakes made and the failings identified in this case, and others, inform our training and are subject of direct discussions with those involved. Where failings are individual, deliberate or willfully negligent then disciplinary action is an option. Where organisational failings occur in respect of lack of training, equipment or systems, they too are being addressed.   We have much progress to make, but there is no lack of commitment  to improve and to serve our public as they deserve.

Our badge and ethos says “We Care, We Listen, and We Act ” –  we certainly did not live by that ethos in this case. Our efforts are to move from  a position where these are seen by some in the RCIPS as empty words to one where we change behaviours and culture within the organisation, and  all our officers live and work by our service code, as at least one of our Officers did in the form of Inspector Oremule.

David Baines

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