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The silencing of Cayman Cop

Finally — a Caribbean blogging controversy. Involving a blogging policeman, a local newspaper and a witch hunt by an irate constabulary. In — of all places — the mild-mannered Cayman Islands.

On February 18, popular Jamaican blogger Mad Bull, who lives in Grand Cayman, reported that the activities of two Caymanian bloggers had made the front page of the Caymanian Compass, a local newspaper. The article, published on February 16, was entitled “Cayman blogs stir interest” and stated that:

One of [the] blogs, called Cayman Cop, is written by a British police officer with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service [RCIPS] who calls himself Cayman Bobby, while the other blog is called Cayman Islands Blog Man, and is written by someone who calls himself Rufus T. McGilicutty. . . .

The Cayman Cop blog mixes humour and general interest posts with commentary about the RCIPS and the Cayman Islands. The blog started in October, and had its 100th posting from the author this week.

The author states in his website header that the comments on the site are only his opinions and do not represent the official line of the RCIPS.

“The RCIP[S]. . . ,” the article continued, “does not approve of the blog.” In a written response to the Compass, the RCIPS called Cayman Cop:

. . . one of multiple examples around the world, which exists to criticize the way organizations are managed and operated. . . It is highly unfortunate that this individual has seen fit to operate this site about the RCIPS.

and offered this interpretation of the nature of the “blog culture”:

The essence of blog culture is to be able to make anonymous comments, many of them cynical and destructive which may be considered libellous and are highly derogatory to colleagues, fellow employees and to the institution itself.

The Compass reported that the Commissioner of Police found the blog “insulting”, on the grounds that “it is impossible to determine the genuine from the malicious information.”

At the time of writing, Cayman Cop contains only two farewell posts, though Cayman Bobby doesn't seem to have lost his edge. The blog's header now reads “Cayman Cop has taken early retirement” and the second-to-last post, filed on February 16, says:

Sadly there have been too many loose lips and the service is now on a real witch hunt for my identity. I have no option but to pull the plug on this blog. Afterall, to quote a song from the Italian Job, “It's a self preservation society”

To my regular readers – a big thank you for your support and comments.

To all the bosses of the RCIP – In a way I'm glad you found this site as I hope that you now have a real idea of just how low morale really is within the service.

To all the girls and guys of the RCIP – keep up the good work and don't let the management get you down.

To all the expat Bobby's – keep focused, stay keen and be as professional as you were in Blighty.

To all you non cops out there – Rispek de Babylon

Cayman Bobby's second-to-last post attracted 45 comments, most of them sympathetic and many questioning whether freedom of expression existed in the Cayman Islands. Cayman Bobby noted in the comment thread, however, that he does moderate comments and had discarded about 30%, some of which he deemed likely to “incite racial hatred”.

In his final post, dated February 18, Cayman Bobby takes a swipe at the Compass (“Booo! You whistle blowers!) and provides a list of other sites which have linked the blog. He closes with this warning:

Please be aware of cheap imitations, or bloggers pretending to be Cayman Cop. Whilst I'm aware that imitation is the best form of flattery, please don't use my name on your site. I'm in enough sh*t as it is!
Cayman Cop Returns IS NOT being run by the author of this site.

Meanwhile, Cayman Islands Blog Man, the other site mentioned in the Compass article, is having a field day. Likewise for Little Eye on The World, which — riffing off the gay cruise that recently landed in Grand Cayman amidst much controversy — claims that Cayman Cop “was persuaded to ‘ride the other bus’.”

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