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Cayman Islands Government

Commissioner's Expertise

Complaints Commissioner Nicola Williams

As Cayman's independent authority for tackling complaints against the public sector, Complaints Commissioner Nicola Williams brings several years of pertinent experience to her new role.

Until March this year, she was one of 15 commissioners with the UK's Independent Police Complaints Commission, a body that last year received 8,500 complaints.

In that capacity, she investigated, mediated and resolved complaints about police misconduct, ranging from swearing and improper investigations to brutality and death in custody, including in terrorism cases.

Expressing delight at her latest appointment, Ms Williams said, "I look forward to raising the profile of the organisation, and dealing fairly and independently with all complaints we receive."

She noted that her office will continue to provide diligent and timely action, without fear or favour. "The public can expect proper and rigorous investigation. It would be nice if people like us. But it is more important that we are respected for operating independently and with integrity."

Ms Williams added that the office will not be afraid to use its power, but at the same time, will be equally careful to avoid misusing its authority. "We are not out to persecute anyone," she emphasised.

"We will also not entertain frivolous or vexatious complaints. If that decision is made, it will be explained to the person making the complaint," she said.

She explained that where appropriate, complainants are encouraged to use the appropriate internal complaints process for the entity complained against. But if the matter remains unresolved, complaints would be rigorously investigated.

The Complaints Commissioner's jurisdiction covers government entities and statutory authorities.

Ms Williams' prior complaints experience spanned several police forces in England and Wales. Her jurisdiction covered London, Kent and Sussex, as well as the Ministry of Defence Police - a population of approximately seven million in her force areas alone.

She also has 16 years experience as a barrister in private practice, including three successful Commonwealth death penalty appeals before the House of Lords sitting as the Privy Council - work that prepared her for tackling complaints.

"As a defence lawyer and as an Ombudsman, you have to be both fearless and strategic; ready to fight your corner and not back down," she noted.

Ms Williams has worked on several public inquiries and served for three years as a Board Member with the UK's Police Complaints Authority. She is also a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, an organisation for social progress) and a former BBC Regional Advisory Committee chair.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Bina Mani