Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries



Strand Plaza Christmas Eve Fatal Stabbing

Own Motion | 09 December 2022
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS)

In the early morning hours of 24 December 2022, the Cayman Islands Public Safety Communications Centre (CIPSCC 911) received several calls about a man being stabbed in the vicinity of Strand Plaza, West Bay Road. Police and ambulance units were dispatched immediately to the scene. The man was later taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital where he died about 90 minutes after the stabbing incident.

The Office of the Ombudsman (“the Ombudsman”) received an initial referral from the RCIPS of the matter concerning allegations of delayed response and perceived lack of police action at the scene of the fatal stabbing. In March 2021, an individual made a written complaint to the Ombudsman, who notified the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) of the complaint, pursuant to section 4(3)c of the Police (Complaints by the Public) Act.

The Ombudsman identified the following issues to be decided in the subsequent own-motion investigation (OMI):

  • Whether the RCIPS response time was reasonable
  • Whether the conduct of the four police officers in question, in the performance of their duties was unsatisfactory

The investigation included a review of 911 audio tapes, available video and audio from the scene of the incident; analysis of UK police response time rules; interviews with police, emergency medical technicians and independent civilian witnesses at the scene; a review of applicable RCIPS policies. The review revealed the RCIPS officers responded within six minutes of the initial dispatch, which the Ombudsman found was a reasonable response in the circumstances.

With regard to the RCIPS officers’ actions at the scene, the Ombudsman found they were not in contravention of any existing policy, procedure or legislation. However, the investigation noted several organisational concerns, including the delay of provision of first aid supplies by police to bystanders who were giving first aid at the scene, that will be addressed separately by the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman also made an early learning recommendation to the RCIPS in this matter. Our investigation determined that nearly all the Firearms Response Unit (FRU) officers’ first aid qualification had expired prior to the time of this incident. The RCIPS addressed this immediately and all FRU officers are now first aid trained.