September 26, 2020

The Editor speaks

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Colin WilsonwebWhy are police cells still in disgusting condition? Why is police record keeping still poor?

How many reports, how many condemnations, how many reviews and how many verbal complaints about the appalling state of the George Town police cells will make someone act to remedy the present problem IMMEDIATELY? Yes I know we are awaiting the new lockup facilities but general hygiene and cleaning and some windows put in place isn’t going to break the bank now!

The latest report by the service surrounding the arrest and suicide of PC Raphael Williams concluded that the standards at the George Town Police station fall far short – see iNews Cayman story published September 18 2014 “ report on the death of RCIPS PC Williams in the ” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/bermuda-police-report-on-the-death-of-rcips-pc-williams-in-the-cayman-islands/.

The report says:

“The Custody Suite at the George Town Police Station is dated and undesirable to the needs of a contemporary police service where Human Rights are paramount and maintained whilst in custody. Significant threat of liability is presented to the RCIPS as there is no natural light in the Custody Facility; the Cells can best be described as wire cages that afford no privacy; do not contain access to running water or a toilet facility and the air temperature does not appear to be regulated and controlled. Additionally, each holding cell has a mounted lower and upper fixed bed which increases risk of self-harm to any detained person who is committed to do so.       Whilst the facility is fitted with , at the time of this review and during the time of detention of it was not in working order.”

And there is another problem at the police station that has been referred to in a number of cases in the Cayman Islands courts that have even lost the Crown’s case:

“Custody Record entries reviewed are inconsistent and poor. In the case of Constable Williams this observation is relative to visits, the number of late entries, illegible handwriting and the lack of detail on some entries particularly around medication. Both the hard-copy Custody Record and the JMS record must be read together in order to ascertain any kind of sequential history of Constable Williams detention.   Additional gaps had to be filled with interviews of some Custody personnel.   This does not meet the threshold for any kind of high standard or best practice for maintaining accountability for custody of arrested persons.”

It really is inexcusable that this is still happening.

Why?

Why hasn’t this been corrected by now?

Doesn’t anybody care when cases are lost because of the poor standard of record keeping?

Doesn’t anybody care when cases are lost because proper procedures are not adhered to?

One might excuse 1, maybe 2 but, as MLA Ezzard Miller said recently, – 3 strikes and you are out.

And the person OUT should be the person(s) responsible.

How many innings do we need before we get a strike?

Why weren’t the CCTV cameras working?

Where is the explanation for that?

Have they been fixed?

It’s not me that wants the answers – it’s the country.

 

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