If you feel that you have grounds to make a complaint against a police officer or other member of staff of the RCIPS and wish to do so, there is a process to follow, and options you have, which are summarized and explained on this page.
First, if you wish to register a general concern about a policing practice or an experience you have had, but do not necessarily want to make a formal complaint, there is an option to provide feedback to the RCIPS on this website. You do not have to provide your name or contact details if you do not wish to do so. The feedback information submitted is submitted directly to Police Headquarters, and flagged for the Commissioners’ attention where necessary. If you do supply your contact information and want a response, you will receive one. All feedback information is responded to if a response is requested. Anyone who has submitted such information via the website but has not received a response should either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Police Headquarters at 244-2900.
In January 2018 The Police (Complaints by the Public) Law, 2017 came into effect, giving the Cayman Islands Ombudsman management of all incidents of death or serious harm caused by the actions of the RCIPS, as well as oversight of all public complaints related to the conduct of RCIPS officers. The Ombudsman is an independent office which provides impartial assessment and investigation into these matters and reports findings and makes recommendations for improvement when necessary. The objective is to enhance the public confidence that concerns related to the conduct and professionalism of the RCIPS are being appropriately addressed.
If a member of the public wishes to lodge a complaint regarding the on duty conduct of an RCIPS officer, they must do so in writing and within one year of the occurrence. The complaint can be made at any police station, at the Ombudsman’s office or by filing an online complaint form through the Ombudsman’s website. All complaints received at a police station will be forwarded to the Ombudsman for consideration and direction.
Many complaints are best resolved through an informal resolution process which is encouraged by the office of the Ombudsman. An informal resolution usually involves a complainant and the officer, subject of the complaint, meeting under the supervision of a superior officer to discuss and resolve the issues. This process provides an opportunity for complainants to discuss directly with the officer how their actions or conduct made them feel or affected them. It also provides the police officer the opportunity to explain their actions and authorities regarding their conduct. If the complaint is resolved through this process the supervising officer will request the complainant and officer sign an agreement for the Ombudsman’s review.
Complaints have the greatest chance of a successful resolution if complainants and police officers that are the subject of complaints establish at the onset what action is being sought, and determine whether an opportunity to resolve the matter informally exists.
If a complaint cannot be resolved informally the Ombudsman may appoint an external body to investigate, request the Commissioner of Police to direct the Professional Standards Unit of the RCIPS to investigate, or direct her own investigators to undertake an investigation. Upon completion of an investigation into the conduct of a police officer, the Ombudsman will provide a report to Senior Command of the findings and identify any recommendations for improvement.
It should be noted that the Law only pertains to complaints against police officers, and does not apply to complaints against civilian members of RCIPS staff. Should you feel you have grounds for a complaint against a civilian member of RCIPS staff in relation to the execution of his or her duties, you may submit this complaint via the Feedback page of this website (and include your contact information), or you may submit a complaint in writing to Police Headquarters, Amerigo Building, 4th Floor, Elizabethan Square, 80 Shedden Road in George Town.
The RCIPS takes reports of police misconduct seriously, and welcomes the establishment of the Ombudsman’s Office as a mechanism of oversight and facilitator of public confidence in the fairness of complaint procedures and trust in the police service overall. The RCIPS welcomes the opportunity to informally resolve complaints by the public about police officers, clarify any misunderstandings that may have taken place, and address any shortcomings identified. However, if this cannot be accomplished we stand ready to facilitate the Ombudsman’s investigation into complaints and offer any assistance required to do so.