(CMR) The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) issued a statement today directly attacking Cayman Marl Road and stating that we share photos and names of persons to increase our readership. The honest truth is we don't need to do that to increase our readership; readers have grown accustomed to CMR covering the cases that often go unreported OR being the first to focus on government corruption.
We have become the news source of choice for the average person and certainly the underdog who feels that they have no real recourse with the institutions that exist. When the press officer, Jacqueline Carpenter, sent her statement today we were lightly amused that her email was immediately sent to us by many on her email distribution list.
CMR has listed countless persons in the past; but only when one of their own detectives, Detective Constable Ingrid Spence, was named have they decided to issue an official statement attempting to castigate us.
The irony is not lost on us. This made us recall that this same Detective has lost several high profile cases. One FCU case against local business owners demonstrated sheer incompetence. In another matter; the courts were forced to quash a drug case conviction; where she was the lead detective. The government rewarded her by giving her the CS employee award.
The fact that the accused are once again calling her competence into question is extremely relevant; despite what the RCIPS thinks.
We will address the RCIPS directly by being especially firm and stating that everything we do in their eyes is not to their standards and they have both privately and publicly demonstrated their prejudicial attitude towards CMR. We remain entirely not bothered by them.
We often get confidential reports from the highest levels in this country – simply because we are a source of journalist trust. No one has to fear that the information they have shared with us will be intentionally comprised in any way. At times, we know the RCIPS has questioned our access to information they send out privately to certain private elite groups; before disseminated to the general public. In fact, we understand Carpenter has passed the comment that she can't understand how we continue to get the information that we do. Simply put we are trusted where the RCIPS clearly has trust issues in the community.
The general public would not know that in order to add us to their media list the RCIPS came with a long list of demands including access to our private and public social media accounts. Demands which they do not subject others to – including radio stations who were on their list.
Ironically, in March of last year, Carpenter accidentally included us in a response she clearly was sending privately to the Commissioner of Police. In that email which we were sending on behalf of a victim; who was not please with the handling of a child abuse case she demonstrated her true professionalism. She advised the commissioner to not bother responding to us at all. Despite the unprofessionalism and prejudicial nature of the message displayed above we decided to not make that email public – until now. It demonstrates the point very clearly.
Despite this we have actively assisted the police with incoming tips where we can – it's our civic duty to look beyond the people like Carpenter.
The people of the Cayman Islands deserve to know that even in the RCIPS there a hierarchy of favoritism and nepotism that exists. Sometimes they get information wrong. Sometimes they purposely push through cases that have no merit simply because of who the accused are. These are facts we can state without fear of contradiction. We, the people of this country and ALL media outlets MUST keep the RCIPS accountability.
If an accused has comments to make about the RCIPS they are free to do so. This is a democracy. That does not mean that their feelings about the RCIPS are factual; but we will leave that up to the discretion of the public. A person's direct interactions with the officers can lead them to a subjective conclusion. The public is capable of reading and despite what the RCIPS thinks they can also discern the truth for themselves. They cannot shape our reality for us if we do not allow them to do so. Colonialism supposedly ended a long time ago – but at times like this we are remanded of the truth.
The public would be well informed to know that there are NO rules set in place on the naming of persons in the media. Each media house has their own standards and act accordingly. Normally, when a person is a high profile individually they will gladly publish such information. We can list a long name of persons who are community members who have been named and subsequently exonerated. We updates our posts to indicate the outcome of cases. Being accused does not equate to guilt. Everyone is innocent until PROVEN guilty.
Ironically, not that long ago the police themselves used to name persons charged with offenses and they made an internal policy decision not to do so for whatever reason. Their decision in not binding on anyone else. Even so, at times when it's convenient for them to so they will name a person of interest. So, only when they want the public's assistance will they name a person or if they are a high profile individual? How about maintaining one standard for everyone?