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The Editor Speaks: How could this happen? RCIPS cannot have watched “Dixon of Dock Green”.

Colin WilsonwebWhen a person or persons rob someone or a business and there are witnesses to it, notably the person who is robbed, an eyewitness report is taken. Then normally. and we see this on television cop shows all the time, formal identification procedures take place. These include an ID parade and a photo spread.

Normally. And as a very learned gentleman commented to me this procedure “goes back to Dixon of Dock Green”.

“Dixon of Dock Green” was a BBC television series that ran for nearly 20 years from 1955 that centred on a London police station in Dock Green. The emphasis was on petty crime and PC Dixon was mature and sympathetic police officer. ID photos and parades were a common feature of the series.

Therefore there is nothing new about ID parades and photos and as far as police work is concerned one might say it goes back as long as the age of time.

Ahem! Not apparently here in the normal procedures executed by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. Nor would it seem to be normal by the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions who without this normal ID procedure decided to go ahead with a prosecution.

The case that brought the omission of needing ID’s to light was held in the Cayman Islands Grand Court before Justice Charles Quin early this week. It was a robbery case and such was the seriousness of the crime it involved five specialist police units – the police helicopter, the k-9 unit, officers from the marine unit and regular patrol officers plus two ARMED support vans.

My word!

The heinous crime? A teenager was robbed of $4 during a street mugging perpetrated by two teens armed with a machete.

The victim revealed to the police when he reported the robbery that a group of four teens had walked past him but two of them turned back and perpetrated the crime. He gave descriptions of the boys to the police.

The police discovered four teens not far away from the robbery and when approached they all ran off. Two were caught.

The victim gave a fairly good description of the main robber but gave a completely different description of the clothes worn by the second robber to the one the police had apprehended.

Why on earth no ID parade or photos were taken on the same night of the robbery, nor ever, is quite frankly incredulous.

The judge, of course, had no other course other than to dismiss the case as there was no CRUCIAL eye-witness identification.

I hate to even estimate how much this $4 robbery has cost us. Of course the ordeal must have been very frightening to the young victim and that cannot be measured in money.

As soon as I can find a video copy of “Dixon of Dock Green” I would like to donate it to the RCIPS so they can look at it and maybe learn something.


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