Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries

Failure to Communicate

Investigation | 06 May 2019
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS)

An employee at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) reported her phone and keys stolen while she was at work. CCTV footage captured the image of the man who stole the property and she reported this to the RCIPS. An officer initiated an

investigation, identified and located the suspect; however, the suspect was not charged and managed to leave the Island before being brought to justice. The complainant alleged the investigating officer failed to perform their duty. This case was passed around to numerous police officers by various supervisors before an arrest was made five days after the offence occurred. Unfortunately, the arresting officer did not have enough information about the case, officers involved in the case failed to properly review the case management system and the suspect was released without being bailed. As a result, the suspect was able to leave the Island without facing consequences for his actions.

The Ombudsman found the original investigating officer did his job properly. The investigation was thorough, the case notes were properly made, and he passed the details of the incident on to his supervisor before going on days off. The Ombudsman found that once arrested, the decision to release the suspect was premature and the poor communication amongst the officers working on this case resulted in a miscarriage of justice. The Ombudsman recommended the complainant

be compensated for the stolen belongings and receive an apology for the investigative failures. The custody sergeant who released the suspect was no longer employed by the RCIPS; otherwise, disciplinary action may have been considered. The Commissioner of Police accepted the recommendations which have now been fully implemented.