CoP blames staff shortages, not cash

| 03/06/2015 | 25 Comments
David Baines, Cayman Islands Commissioner of Police Photo by Dennie Warren Jr

David Baines, Cayman Islands Commissioner of Police Photo by Dennie Warren Jr

(CNS): The police commissioner has stated that while he has a $35 million budget, his problem now is staff numbers. David Baines said the full RCIPS complement should be 487 officers but there are currently 450, and that was why the cover was still “stuttered”, especially in the eastern districts. As he answered questions in Finance Committee Monday, he said East End and North Side have more resources per capita than the rest of the island but he accepted the cover is inconsistent.

Despite several comments from MLAs during the budget debate about the need for the commissioner to step up policing, the legislators went easy on the commissioner as they questioned him about the substantial RCIPS budget.

Baines said that recruitment posed a challenge, and while he did not want to take staff from community policing in the districts, as it was important to develop the trust of the residents and meet local demand, he still had to cover reports and incidents where and when they happen. Baines said he had to balance the daily needs of the quieter eastern districts with events in George Town and West Bay. He said he did not like to be constantly “robbing” the districts of officers to deal with gang-related or serious crime because the community officers had to start again when they returned to build up the trust required, which he agreed can only come from a consistent presence.

The police boss said that with GPS in the police vehicles, management was now able to monitor where patrol vehicles were and how often they visited East End and North Side. Baines said the improved presence had been demonstrated via the discovery of two very serious incidents by officers on routine and regular patrols in the eastern districts: police found the body of a man in a fatal car wreck in East End and the body of Bethany Butler, the child murdered earlier this year and found in a car parked on the Queen’s Highway.

While Arden McLean, the East End member, pointed out that people were aware of the RCIPS’ successes, the problem was the crime hotspots, which, he said, were not being properly policed.

“We have hot spots that you are aware of that we need to deal with as they are breeding grounds,” he said. “They need to be neutered.”

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller said his constituents complain that the police come at the wrong time. He conceded that they could not be there 24/7, though he would prefer that if it were possible, but said that on Sunday afternoons when everyone has been at Rum Point all day “drinking and carousing”, the police need to be on the road between 4:30 and 6:30.

Miller told the commissioner that last Sunday evening, as he was driving at the speed limit between Driftwood Village and his home in Old Robin Road, 27 cars overtook him but he did not see a single police patrol vehicle, saying he believes that they leave at lunch time and don’t return. He also urged Baines to deploy marine officers in the area to address the drug use. The commissioner said, however, that this was a challenge as they were short of marine officers and had to keep up the patrols for drug interdiction.

Baines said that once the RCIPS was at full complement and when the island was re-drawn into single member constituencies, the goal would be to allocate a community officer for each district and to work in tandem with the political representatives to keep communities safe and reduce crime.

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Category: Crime, Government Finance, Police, Politics

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We are all suffering because of the insidious policy of Caymanization.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Having once attempted to apply for a civilian job with RCIPS I can tell Commissioner Baines that some of his recruitment problems are self-inflicted. Four months down the road, and after major changes in the job description, the HR department (and I’ll concede that the ex-pat responsible has now left) was still unable to give any indication what was happening so I gave up. Eventually the post was filled but the successful applicant (I think the only applicant) then experienced more delays before starting employment without an actual contract. It just seemed like the whole HR/recruitment process was dysfunctional.

    The other problem is with Baines top-heavy management structure, which I suspect he’s modelled on UK practices. As one example – Does it really need a senior police officer to manage FOI enquiries when a suitably qualified civilian could do the job?

    I bet a proper audit of RCIPS would turn up waste of resources like this on an industrial scale.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We have 400 civil servants just collecting a pay check and 50 cops doing police work. Thank god for the foreign devil cops or nothing would get done.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Baines is always blaming something or someone other than his own ineptness as head of RCIPS. True leaders don’t blame, they find solutions. Baines has never been able to find solutions to our policing problems. So WHY is he still in the job??? Lodge!!

  5. Jack Dan Paddy O'Connor says:

    It would take only two men to sort out the scum on this island in less than a month. Could the Govt get Keith’Trinity’Gardner and Renato Adams up here from our neighbors in Jamaica. Both legends in the Jamaican Police, feared by every criminal and respected by every law abiding citizen, the way top cops should be.
    That would be the best money ever spent by any Caymanian Govt.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let’s be realistic, how many cops are in law school UCCI or ICCI? get rid of them, let them finish school

    Then most of people committing crimes are the new generation (Jamaican/Caymanian, Honduran/Caymanian) so start sending them back to Jamaica or Honduras and put a moratorium on workers coming from these two countries for at least 3-5 years.

    Therefore officers left can deal with the Caymanians who lost their way and have no other place to go (no one told them to run to the UK like their Jacan friends, poor English, they do have it rough)

  7. Pogo says:

    Next it will be the weather! Any excuse. 450 officers in an island this size! He already has more coppers per head of population than most police forces have to do deal with, a whopping budget, and serious crime based on a handful of fairly amateur gang members and burglars, most of whom are known to the community and the police. At some point doesn’t someone have to make a comparison with results achieved elsewhere with far less?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Get the police out in the community!! Yesterday 2 persons I know of had their homes broken into and police said there had been a few others within the last week. Seems the burglars like the wet weather as they know the police don’t. Put on your waterproofs and do some work guys!

  9. Anonymous says:

    CNS, do you know the breakdown and department budget of these 450 or 487 officers? It is just so difficult to comprehend where they are and what they could be doing – at a higher priority than what the public has been asking them to do for years…

  10. Shhhhhh. says:

    A ticketing law proposal was submitted for boat related marine offenses a long time agoooo! Weh it deh?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually agree with Ezzard. Oh god, I need to sit down.

    Rum point is becoming a real problem to road users and the walking public on Sunday’s, the speeds and the obvious intoxication are making a lethal cocktail. But just as serious are the drunken antics of boat users at both RP and Kaibo, it’s about time we had a permanent marine presence at weekends to stop the lunatics on wave runners and the drunks on boats making life a misery for other water enthusiasts. We just need one officer on a wave runner or in a small boat to patrol both areas, to enforce speed limits and deter dangerous boating through drink, we don’t need the whole RCIPS flotilla.
    Why can’t the DoE marine officers help out by perhaps having a joint patrol?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Another influx of inept, unable bodied men and women who have retired from their police forces will now be making their way to Cayman. On arrival, they will be paid a huge chunk of that cash for what? They will be basking in the sunshine.

    • Anonymous says:

      really??? for every (1) English cop that comes here IT LOOKS like we get 10 Jamaicans, 1 Caymanian (subject to getting rid of one already in service) 1 Filipino, 1 Canadian 1 Honduran, 1 Other places not important……… therein lies our problem today and tragic future

  13. Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      who the sh**e is controlling this man and why can’t our leaders have the sense to see this is crap!! Take headlines, budget addresses, finance committee…….. the only solution is always more money and more cops, and JAMAICAN COPS TOO! Why can’t we have an investigation into these people to find out why how they are willing to keep adding quantity but not quality

  14. Anonymous says:

    more officers?…..the rcips is like everything else in the civil service…..bloated with work-shy, poorly educated locals…..

    • Anonymous says:

      More like corrupt Jamaican cops here to make us much money as they can in any way they can and British cops here on a jolly in the sun while they crack as many local heads as possible. Why don’t you check and see how many Caymanians there actually are on the police force. We don’t need your bigoted anti-Cayman ilk here. Do us a favour and catch the next flight out.

  15. Anonymous says:

    we don’t need more police…we need the current police officers to work efficently and take their job seriously…..

  16. Anonymous says:

    So let me get this straight. We have a population of approximately 56,000 people with six districts. We have 450 RCIP officers, a full complement of Officers being 487, which leaves us with a shortage of 37 Officers.

    Is the Commissioner of Police actually using the shortage of 30 officers as why he can’t get a handle on crime?

    What exactly are the 450 Officers that we do have doing? I mean seriously, we have 6 districts….why can’t at least 5-10 Officers be permanently stationed in each district?

    Even if you 10 Officers in each district, that still leaves the RCIP with 390 Officers.

    Maybe I’m over simplifying this, but I highly doubt an additional 30 Officers are going to make much difference if the CoP can’t run the RCIP effectively when he has 450 at his beck and call.

  17. Cruise Control says:

    487 cops? Thats about one cop for each crook and I am being generous because we probably have under 300 habitual career offenders running loose at any given time. But all Mr. Slick has to do is gaze at the politicos with those blue eyes and they crumble before him and give him a pass.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The answer in Cayman is always more staff. Oerhaps its time to work smarter by for instance not having 2 or more vehicles turning up to minor accidents. All i see in such instances is police men hanging arounf wih no discernable role. WHY?

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