May 9, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Should police randomly check persons from their roadblocks?

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Colin WilsonwebCayman Islands lawyer Peter Polack has made a very important point when he asks the question are officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service breaking the law when they temporarily detain drivers during police roadblocks and checks?

Polack has filed a complaint with the director of public prosecutions and the police over the matter.

Speaking to CNS in a story the website posted last Tuesday the lawyer said “he and many other drivers were detained by officers, despite committing no crimes, in a traffic check close to the cricket ground in George Town at about 10:30 pm on Saturday 11 October”.

“The Constitution guarantees freedom of movement and the police should only stop the citizens of this country in any public place on suspicion of commission of an offence. The Department of Vehicle Licensing has an available database with any expired coupons and the police should not be detaining citizens for this purpose,” Polack said.

“The Constitution guarantees the people of the Cayman Islands certain rights, which they must enforce as they cannot rely on the attorney general, the commissioner of police, the minister of home affairs and premier to protect them from obvious and open breaches of their human rights by the very same persons sworn to protect them.”

In the same article former UDP Cabinet Minister Mike Adam said, “This impromptu coupon check is a third world practice that causes harassment for the motoring public. Needless to say, while one is unlawfully detained it provides the opportunity to detect other offences i.e., DUI, Seatbelt, Window Tinting.”

In a recent editorial I wrote this new initiative by the police of stopping and detaining motorists to find every conceivable thing wrong no matter how small, and to prosecute is going to back fire on them.

The police have been moaning that the public is not coming forward to help them prosecute the real Cayman scumbags – the criminals that brandish weapons and rob the public including shooting them.

The public is moaning the police aren’t protecting the public from these criminal elements. We have had two such crimes committed in the last two days [and as I write, a police report has just come in informing us of NINE daytime burglaries carried out on Tuesday 14th October 2014 between 8am and 4pm!]

Before, we the media, get a description of the felons 12- 24 hours have gone by.

And even when the RCIPS get the alleged criminals into the court there is no guarantee they are going to get a conviction because of proper procedures not being adhered to and paperwork incomplete.

We have our former premier saying Cayman is a police state. As absurd as that statement is when this road blocking and searches of law abiding citizens is going on it all plays into his argument.

Randomly checking persons from roadblocks MUST stop immediately.

According to the law, RCIPS officers have the power to stop and search people if they have GENUINE REASONS to suspect someone may be involved in criminal behaviour, especially in relation to drugs. It is unlawful for police to merely stop people in the hope or by a stroke of luck they might have committed a crime.

That is not detective work but harassment.


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