Criminal Investigations Department (CID)
The RCIPS Criminal Investigation Department is the core investigative unit in the RCIPS, carrying out the bulk of all serious criminal investigations in the police service, and by extension, the majority of all serious investigations on the islands. Burglaries, aggravated burglaries, robberies, serious assaults and woundings, sexual assaults, firearm offences, attempted murders and murders are all investigated by a unit of 13 detective constables, 5 sergeants, and three inspectors. In addition, a small cadre of uniform officers also works in the CID on rotation, assisting detectives while further developing their own investigative skills and case file submissions.
Detectives are involved early on in most cases, usually responding to the scene of a crime not long after uniform officers, immediately collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. During this initial response, they are assigned the role of investigating officer in the matter, and thereafter work to determine those responsible for the crime and hold them to account, through investigation, arrest, charges and court. Investigations can be swift, depending on the available evidence and circumstances, with an arrest and charge in a matter of days, or they can last months or years, or ultimately remain unsolved. Unsolved criminal cases are not closed as a rule but remain open, with the investigating officer ready to reactivate an investigation once any further information is received and or new leads emerge.
While the majority of CID detectives are based in George Town, there are detectives assigned to the West Bay and Bodden Town districts who handle cases in those districts exclusively. There are no detectives resident on Cayman Brac or Little Cayman, but CID detectives travel to the Sister Islands when necessary to investigate an incident. In line with good investigative practice, detectives may be abstracted from their usual duties and beats to help colleagues investigate a major crime, such as a murder or shooting, during the first critical hours after the incident, when the immediate follow-up on all leads is most urgent and likely to yield a result. In these cases a Major Incident Room is typically established to organize the different leads within a major investigation and coordinate investigative activity.
The CID investigates between 800 and 1000 major crimes a year. Together with colleagues from the ODPP, detectives have obtained successful results in a number of complex and serious cases, removing dangerous and recidivist criminals from the community for a substantial period of time. These hardworking detectives diligently pursue justice for the victims in their cases even while managing competing demands across the many files in their caseload. Throughout 2017 their work in several investigations, alongside detectives from the DSCTF and firearms officers attached to the Tactical Firearms Unit and District Armed Response Vehicles (DARVs), has led to the recovery of nineteen firearms so far.
Separate teams within the CID portfolio, headed by Detective Superintendent Pete Lansdown, investigate specialist crimes such as the Family Support Unit (FSU), Financial Crime Investigation Unit (FCU), and Drugs & Serious Crimes Task Force (DSCTF). All CID teams are supported by a Joint Intelligence Unit (JIU), staffed with officers from RCIPS and the Customs Department, and a Scenes of Crime Office (SOCO) performing the role of Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs). Scenes of Crime Officers respond to the majority of crime scenes identifying, recovering and processing all forensic opportunities, including fingerprints and DNA. Detailed descriptions of all these units are also provided on this website.
In 2018, CID detectives as a whole have resolved to maintain better contact with complainants, victims and witnesses in their cases, which they acknowledge has not always been consistent due to time constraints. New channels of communication with the public, expected in the new year, should help address this deficiency. Those who wish to reach out to the detective handling their matter at this time should contact the George Town CID at 649-4222.