Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries

Dismal Investigation and Unnecessary Arrest

Investigation | 17 October 2019
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS)

A man complained that he was arrested for fraud and that the arrest was unwarranted and unlawful. He complained that the officer was rude and referred to him using derogatory language. He also alleged that the arresting officer maliciously submitted documents to the Department of Immigration (DOI) with false and misleading information which caused significant financial and reputational damage.

The Ombudsman found that derogatory comments were made in reference to the complainant, including references to his sexuality. The Ombudsman found that this contravened the RCIPS Code of Ethics and amounted to unprofessional conduct on the part of the officer. Further the Ombudsman found that the arrest, although lawful, was unwarranted. The complainant had offered to come to the police station after work, but the officer chose to send three officers to arrest the complainant at his workplace. The decision to arrest was not rational, proportionate or necessary given the circumstances. The Ombudsman found that the information submitted to the DOI was incorrect. The Ombudsman held that the officer was careless, but not malicious, in completing the documentation and submitting it to the DOI which resulted in substantial harm to the individual. This lack of conscientiousness and diligence amounted to a neglect of duty.

The Ombudsman recommended that theCommissioner of Police consider:

  • disciplinary action;
  • compensation for verified out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the submission ofinaccurate information to the DOI; and
  • a review of the fraud investigation to ascertain if the 18-month investigative timeframe and 18 bail extensions were appropriate and justified.

The Commissioner accepted the recommendations. We are awaiting notice that the recommendations have been fully implemented.