Premier: Cops not to blame for crime

| 25/04/2016 | 63 Comments
Cayman News Service

Police make a traffic stop (file photo)

(CNS): The police do not create or cause crime, the premier has said, and while he believes the RCIPS is there to help prevent and intercept those that commit crimes, the root causes of criminality are social. Alden McLaughlin said that while it may the natural reaction of people to point the finger at the police when crime goes up, they are not responsible for that increase. Ahead of the anticipated debate in the Legislative Assembly today about a lack of confidence in the RCIPS, the premier made it clear he believed the motion is reckless and will undermine the local security situation further.

Speaking Friday morning on radio call-in show, CrossTalk, the premier pointed to myriad social issues, from education and the socialisation of children to the breakdown of families and outside influences, that were fueling a perceived increase in crime in Cayman in recent times.

The premier said government was seeking to address a whole range of issues that may cause crime but he said it was wrong to blame the police for the rise in crime. He said questions over whether or not the RCIPS was operating properly or if officers could be better trained were legitimate but police themselves don’t fuel crime.

He pointed to the importance of rehabilitation but admitted government’s inability to really fund that properly, even though recidivism is considered in Cayman to be a major contributor to crime. McLaughlin made it clear, though, that he believed there were many things that were behind the increase.

“There are no magic solutions,” he said. “The causes of crime are social in nature.”

He pointed to what government was doing, including the passage of the Conditional Release Law to assist with the rehabilitation of offenders, which requires that they are not released early until they have gone through a rehabilitation process, but he said he was struggling to find the funding to make that really effective, noting that it required “significant resources”.

He pointed to the need to address the Rehabilitation of Offenders Law because too many people were carrying around criminal records for life. He said government had been working for best part of two years to make significant amendments so that when people have conducted themselves properly after one mistake, provided it was not a serious crimes that would make an offender always a potential threat to society, the convictions have to “go away”, as it was a barrier to employment.

He said there were many other issues that prevented people from functioning in society, including education, which is a significant problem as the profile of local men at HMP Northward was often similar, with many of them being functionally illiterate.

McLaughlin said he did not believe that “better” police would lead to less crime and pointed out that, as HMP Northward was full with some 208 prisoners currently held there, it was clear police were arresting suspects and charging them.

Emphasising that he believed the motion on the agenda for the LA special meeting today was “reckless”, he said he “shuddered to think about the consequences” if the LA declared they had no confidence in the entire service, as he expected they would face mass resignations from the RCIPS as a consequence.

Nevertheless, the premier gave his backing to a review and said that the departure of David Baines, the current commissioner, next month presented an “opportunity to press the restart button”.

The premier added that he wanted to come away from Monday’s debate with action points but not with something that would demoralise the entire service.

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Category: Crime

Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So when the mosquitoes go rampant don’t people call on the MRCU?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Premier,

    Can we agree that it is not acceptable that

    1. large amounts of confiscated drugs go missing without a trace?
    2. confiscated dirt bikes go missing without a trace?
    3. 800 plus traffic tickets remain outstanding/uncollected?
    4. the import of guns to the jurisdictions seems to increase yearly?
    5. evidence is/has been mishandled in a large percentage of cases going to trial?
    6. It takes more than a few hours to respond to a call?

    Can we agree that this is an issue? Can we agree that someone needs to take responsibility for this? Can we agree that changes need to be made asap in order for 1 through 6 to not happen again?

  3. Anonymous says:

    As much as I hate to give the USA credit for anything, we need to take a page out of their book when it comes to policing.
    Police need to be more visible in the community, especially in high crime and vulnerable areas. They are never there!!

    Kids need social programs and parents need to get more involved. In many cases the parents themselves are criminals and drug abusers therefore Government needs to intervene.

    Politicians / Governor

    Need to hold the Police, Social Services, Immigration, and Education to a higher standard of performance.

    These departments need to be held accountable.

    The merchant class.

    Help us help you. If nothing is done about crime in Cayman, everyone losses including those that have made a handsome living in these islands over the years.


  4. Anonymous says:

    It is good that he understands that our crime problem is a social one. But I wonder if he realises that it is caused by our leaders inability to do math. Unregulated capitalism has killed the dreams of our young people …..

    CNS: The rest of this comment has been published here: The root cause of Cayman’s social problems

    • anonymous says:

      I”ll tell you my story. I came to the US at the age of 33 with 2 children, speaking no English, never driven a car before. No work permit. 8 years later I purchased my own brand new condo and became a certified and licensed professional. At times we lived on $20 a week, but never ever asked for any handout. I worked 3 jobs starting at 4am and finishing at 11 PM. I was delivering papers, watching kids and cleaning houses and offices.
      Unfair competition and economic slavery are just exuses for lazy and or stupid.
      Your comment is justifying crime and seeing young caymanians as victims. This kind of mentality is not healthy.
      It times of hardships many flourish. Where ne sees a crisis, another sees an opportunity.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Criminals will flourish until cops enforce the laws and patrol the streets. So get used to it, Cayman, it’s only going to get worse until they address the real problem.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Gotta love how our Premier and his supporters conveniently compartmentalise the failures and successes of overall government depending on the issue at hand.

    When Cayman achieves positive tourism accolades everyone is lining up for praise.

    When Cayman makes positives strides with our financial industry – every government member is happy to be aligned with those praises.

    However, when it comes to the broken education system or the rise of crime and unemployment – suddenly it is a side issue clouded with great complexities, multipliers and mystifiers.


    – Who

    • whatever says:

      For once I agree with you completely. I recall Alden being all smiles with Mr. Former President of the Cayman Islands College Hassan Syed, shaking hands and taking as many photo ops as they could muster. That’s when the college was making great strides, enrollment was surpassing all levels, etc… But then Mr. Syed allegedly stuck his hand in the proverbial cookie jar and allegedly took a few more cookies than he was allowed. When all hell broke loose, dear Leader Alden suddenly developed amnesia and barely knew Mr. Syed – Syed Who??? And that’s just one example that the politicians of all stripes and colours love to play. You said it best, I just provided an example.

  7. whatever says:

    Ummh, the PoPo may not be the cause of crime on island but they certainly help it flourish. If crime is a flower, Popo is the water. Due to the PoPo’s laziness, people break the law at will without fear of consequence. Due to their incompetence, criminals walk free among you. Due to to their corruption, little children and adults question why should they obey the law when those in charge of it certainly don’t. The PoPo are dumb, plain and simple – the Cayman Islands have some of the dumbest criminals on earth, yet the PoPo allow them to literally get away with murder. Alden say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa???????

    • Anonymous says:

      A good one!
      ..the Cayman Islands have some of the dumbest criminals on earth, yet the PoPo allow them to literally get away with murder.
      Because we have the dumbest PoPo.

    • whatever says:

      For those who gave me the thumbs down, please dispute any of the statements that I have made. Is it that you don’t like that I said that they were lazy, incompetent, dumb or simple? P.S. I should have said many or most, not all. I’ll give you that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    cayman parenting is the root cause of all issues…..just make them responsible for the actions of their offspring to the age of 18……problem solved.

    • Anonymous says:

      OKay. How do you “make them responsible for the actions of their offspring”? The prison is running out of cells.
      Besides, not much you can do once child has reached 5 years mark.
      Offer a practical solution.

  9. The Truth says:

    Do you really want to reduce serious crime? Here’s how:

    First offence…………… 60 days in the slammer.
    Second offence:……… 40 lashes with a cat-o-nine-tails,
    Third offence………….. Death.

    This will reduce crime.

  10. Hulk says:

    It’s official, after 15 years of commissioning crime reports and receiving countless amounts of recommendations and doing nothing, the Premier has admitted that crime is driven by social issues.

    We are now informed that rehabilitation is more expensive than building a $150-300 million port. It’s more expensive than building a school that cost $110 million to build. It’s even more expensive than the $17 million we give to prison, $35 million we give to police and $10 million we give to the courts.

    You see folks, the premier and all members of the LA will have you think that early intervention and prevention is more expensive than The band aid they pay for in millions of dollars in unemployment, welfare, Poor education, no training programmes, teen age pregnancy etc.
    They actually believe that they are doing us the favor of representing us and we owe them.

    We have poor representation from 18 members who keep us fighting the us against them mentality so that they continue to keep control over the masses.

    They depend on all of us living in fear for our lives and begging them to represent us.

    I am beyond disappointed, frustrated and simply annoyed how 18 people can be so dumb. There is no better word to describe them other than dumb. My fellow caymanians, you no longer have representatives. You have assholes who don’t have a plan to improve this country for generations to come. They will keep us killing each other, going to prison and living on welfare. You see, They give us $50 million in welfare which means they own us. They will budget for welfare but will never budget for training programs or better education. They are afraid that if they provide these, we might begin to think for ourselves and rebel. They simply won’t have that.

    You have an opportunity the next election to vote all 18 of these assholes out. They have rigged the system that we remain unemployed, powerless and dependent.

    • Anonymous says:

      How much do they give to the infamous Turtle Farm?
      The word “dumb” seems to be ever present in this country

    • Anonymous says:

      Why wait until then?

    • Wake up NEO says:

      Some analysts would say Cayman is going the same way as many other fallen people, lost in an endless Welfare State. They have been for many years Overloading us with debt in every chance they can get, making us take losses every chance they get. We are sitting on the most valuable property in the Caribbean and The Caymanian people are few in numbers. If the people do not re-claim their CULTURE, identity & strength, then The Caymanian may be another indigenous people dead & forgotten.

      They don’t care about us, they are going to pacify us, sterilize us & keep us dependent on the government until our death, leaving few as possible children behind to claim a part of the land.

      There is a influx of wealthy Western millionaires seeking to leave the USA and other countries and these people would much better fit the direction in which the country has been sailing.

      The people complain the country too expensive, too oppressive, we cant survive… but in the plan the country is being moved towards, The Caymanian is not in mind.


  11. Sunset says:

    You are quite right mr. Premier. The rcips are not to blame here for crimes here in the Cayman Islands it is more like the arrogant, selfish, political agenda politicians are creating this issue. Where else in the world that the locals are second class citizens to employment, education and business opportunities?

    • Anonymous says:

      get your head out of your a.. mr alden..the police have a great part of the crime here!!! No patrols, no authority, just plain lazy. If there was anytime of law here in the cayman islands we wound’t be in the problem we are in now.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are employed to do a job and your boss does not provide the necessary tools that you need to do the job, tell us how are you going to get the job done efficiently. We all can stay on the outside and critize the police but you need to find out the reason why you are not seeing a police car at every conor of the street. Lack of resources.

  12. Richard Wadd says:

    Whenever I reflect on the days of my youth and compare the level of lawlessness found in today’s society to then, the most noticable factor missing is the lack of corporal (physical) punishment as a deterant in today’s society.
    While I am certainly against the physical abuse of people of any race, colour, creed, gender or age, the fact remains that there is an undeniable link between the rise in in-discipline and crime in todays’ society, and the ‘Outlawing’ of all forms of physical punishment.
    Mammals raising their young use it sparingly, to good effect. Why is it that after thousands of years of history our ‘modern’ generation has suddenly gotten the idea that it is ‘abuse’?
    Abuse is raising a child that has no moral compass or respect for others.
    Some of these feral children even become physically abusive towards other kids, teachers and the parents themselves, yet we (the adults) are not allowed to even defend ourselves?
    This BS has to stop …
    The most EFFECTIVE deterrant to ill behaviour is a good ‘buss-ass’.
    Let me tell you I got my fair share, and it did me a world of good.
    I thank my parents because when I look at the friends of my youth who continued down the path I was traveling on, some are dead, some went to prison, and some have wasted their talents and lives to drugs … sadly they ALL shared one common denominator …
    Their parents were free-liberal thinkers … hippie generationalists who frowned on disciplining their kids under the guise that their kids were ‘young adults’ who should be treated as equals and not ‘abused’ …
    ‘Abuse’ is not preparing your children so that they can integrate into and become productive members of society … this is our legacy to the world … how sad.

  13. Sunrise says:

    When will we introduce stricter laws, which will be mandatory for the judges to hand down? XXXX It is time that our legislators get this on the table and pass a law that any unlicensed firearm found in your possession, be an automatic twenty-year sentence!!

    I think that we need more educated police and stricter laws to better deal with these problems. How can we have an efficient and effective police force if the officers themselves are not properly educated firstly, then trained properly? You can only learn what you are thought, then hope you are a little smarter to self-train yourself a bit further!! I don’t want to sound in any way discriminating, but as my dad always said: ‘the truth is the truth’. We have to hire better-educated officers; maybe we should start looking elsewhere. Perhaps the UK or Canada, as we have tried those from close by areas and that do not seem to work. Do not spare the rod and spoil the Islands, as so to speak!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes, our Premier, leader of our Government, has again missed the point of the public’s disgust with RCIPS and its soon-to-depart Commissioner. At no point has anyone blamed RCIPS for causing crime (unless of course some of them are involved in crime which has not yet been revealed – I don’t rule that out). However, they must be blamed for not doing more to curb crime, detecting and arresting criminals and for not fostering the trust and cooperation of the public in assisting RCIPS in fighting crime.

    The Premier’s response only bolsters Commissioner Baines’ and Her Excellency’s excuses. Now, neither Premier, HE nor Baines are morons so as to genuinely misunderstand the public’s position. Therefore it can only be arrogance, defiance and political posturing! Disgusting!!

    I’m beginning to believe the theories of “sabotage” and “conspiracy” against our society which some have voiced may be more than theories!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! He doesn’t get it and he never will. Likes to listen to himself too much and does not take the time to listen to anyone else.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Once again the Premier his missed the mark. SMH

  16. SSM345 says:

    The Premier’s response sums up his understanding of what’s going on around him, absolute f**k all, and because of that understanding, he and his Government continue to contribute to our problems by not addressing them in a timely fashion, or at all for that matter.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Rehabilitation is necessarily, but a bit too late.
    Focusing on children while they are still in diapers is the way to go.
    Ensuring healthy child development, therefore, is an investment in a country’s future workforce and capacity to thrive economically and as a society.
    As for RCIPS, they are contributing to crime by their ineptness, laziness and inability to perform their basic duties.

  18. Anonymous says:

    First we’re…offered confusion for this ‘grand island’ illusion. Next we’re…served deterrence and the rebellious ones head for obvious segregation, only to find that it offers no solution; they need us more than we need them. The goonies still attempt to divide and rule, but not for JUST or even “POLITICALLY RIGHT” things…you wonder where the “CriMinal$” are getting all the examples in this Monkey-See-Monkey-Do world?

    True in heart and pure in soul, but we’re losing touch; possibly due to an influx…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Pure Chaos Please ask the queen for help Almost all of the police I come across and I will say not the English ones are out of touch with how it is supposed to be…… Just because its ok in Jamaica or Honduras doesn’t mean its ok in Kayman The British way is the only way for Kayman….. Not some third world way like most of your officers are used to

  20. The Parliamentarian says:

    Perhaps there are occasions where the police might contribute to crime. They could contribute to crime by not properly doing what they are paid to do. I believe most of our police force do NOT fall into that category and certainly work to keep crime in check, but nobody is perfect, and perhaps a few are dishonest….. like the “inside jobs” when things disappear from police custody. Can it be better? Yes! Will it be better? I hope so.

    The biggest gripe I have is the large number of repeat offenders brought to court and later released to prey on society again….. and again! These repeat offenders will continue their life of crime until they learn that crime doesn’t pay, but as long as the punishment is a slap on the wrist, nothing is being accomplished. Time in prison is not much of a deterrent to some prisoners. They have a fairly easy life in prison. Plenty of food, free housing, free healthcare, no taxes,……. it just isn’t that great of a deterrent. There will be crime in the Caymans as long as we have criminals. Oh!… And do you know how much it costs to keep one criminal in jail for one year?

  21. Anonymous says:

    An efficient, disciplined and effective police force, backed up by solid forensics and honest prosecutors are an excellent deterrent.
    However our over-achieving politicians and local lawmakers have provided us with none of the above.
    Crime and senseless incidents will not go away by magic.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Spot on Premier, you understand the problem completely. Thank God you are in power and not Mckeeva ‘s quack squad.

  23. Anonymous says:

    well said alden… caymanians will always stick their head in the sand or find a scapegoat(baines)….rather than take responsibility for their own social problems…

    • Anonymous says:

      Ya, for “their own” social problems. That’s how you see it hey. News flash, the problems we face are OURS. Maybe you don’t see as a problem for you because you don’t care just like the Premier. Maybe you will care the day someone breaks into your house.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely right, it’s not the RCIP fault solely, it is also largely the fault of the Governments who make their constituency believe that short cuts, favor giving and taken is the order of the day and a way of life! Of course all of this catches up with society sooner or later. If you let men sire gazillion babies without any financial and legal consequences to them, if you appoint interest conflicted members to various government boards, when you are unable to secure your borders and fail to enforce a large junk of laws, such as traffic, marine environment, littering etc. – what we got is the result of all of the above.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Agree, police doesn’t create or cause crime, but there are many people who rightfully blame the police for not properly investigating crimes and a low success rate in successful convictions.

    Having illegal dirt bikes stolen back from the RCIP compound, along with umpty pounds of cocaine gone missing and nobody within the RCIP knows, heard or saw anything??? Come on……enough is enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      exactly! talk about blame shifting, that’s exactly what the premier is doing…no one said it was the police that were brandishing guns robbing the businesses and tourists!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good of the Premier to acknowledge that it is Government/Society that is responsible for crime.

    He is however mistaken about the Rehabilitation of Offenders Law. Minor convictions already drop off records after a short period. Of course, only criminals have criminal records so be careful whose side of this you are coming out on!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the time has come for the private sector to contribute something towards the rehabilitation of offenders. I know that a lot of folks tend to do the simple stuff in order to get points towards PR, but perhaps the time has come for those of us in the society who want to be a part of this country to actually do something tangible. I offer the following:

    1. Start a proper rehabilitation programme in the prisons, with contributions from the professional members of society. These professionals could donate 1 hour of their time each week/month to partner with an offender (chosen by the prisons). That professional’s job would be to enable that offender to articulate what his/her goals are and the professional’s job would be to mentor the offender in achieving their goals.

    2. Once the offender has reached a certain point in the rehabilitation process, ie. if the person was illiterate and after a few months can now read and write, or is taking classes within the prison to learn a skill, then that offender can be conditionally released.

    3. Once the offender has been released, the professional will continue to mentor by assisting in filling out job application forms, taking the offender to interviews, and possibly providing a mobile phone so that they can be in communication where jobs are concerned.

    4. In order for this to work, the Government needs to have a half way house. That half way house will assist the offender in reintegrating into society. If it is a woman she is allowed out until 6:30 in the evenings after leaving work. If she is not working then she has to be back in the half way house by 5:00 p.m. If it is a male offender, the same time applies.

    5. Regular drug testing and counselling sessions (group or one on one) – again this drug counselling can be done by members of the private sector as part of their contributions to the society. If an offender who has a serious drug or alcohol problem lapses, they are given 3 strikes and then they are kicked out of the programme.

    6. The half way house and the pairing with a professional should be on a merit system. Offenders should earn their way out of prison. For those offenders who are currently locked up and who have a skill, perhaps a small stipend to either go towards victim compensation or if they have children outside, then whatever it is that they earn goes towards providing for their children.

    I know that these suggestions may prove arduous for the government, but unless someone steps up and be their brothers’ or sisters’ keeper, we will never find a solution to this problem.

  28. Jotnar says:

    So because the government cannot afford (i.e. thinks spending money on it is political suicide, given the size of governments budget and their expenditure on other critically essential items like the Turtle Farm ) to rehabilitate criminals, addressing the reason they committed their first crimes, the solution is to expunge their criminal record so the private sector can be conned into hiring un-rehabilitated criminals without knowing what they did, or without the individual being able to address the skills shortages that, according to the Premier, made them a criminal in the first place. Yep, that’s bound to work.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Does the Premier realize he is one of the Ministers of Education who has failed Caymanians by choosing to focus on monuments like expensive schools instead of quality teachers?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe true but let’s stay on topic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here we go again the blame game, why do you think that way about the teachers. Have you ever consider the behaviour of our children. This all begins at home and if parents can not manage their child/children at home why do you think it is the teachers resposibility to discipline our children. Have you ever heard the saying, “dance a yard before you dance abroad.” It’s full time for us to take responsiblility for our lack of parenting and stop blaming the police, teachers, politicians etc.

  30. Anonymous says:

    ‘Better police’ would mean fair and knowledgeable application of the law; less profiling and yes, if better means less easily influenced to be corrupt then, better cops are necessary for our society, PERIOD!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Politicians are the real source of the problem.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Alden is a puppet for the UK

  33. Pi$$ Poor Management says:

    The Premier shows his ignorance again. Nobody blames the police for an increase in crime the criminals are to blame. The concern is the piss poor management of the RCIPS and the way the Pi$$ Poor Management by Alden’s government that prefer to ignore the reality of rising crime. We know that social issues cause crime. What are they doing to deal with it?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Good for you Mr premier you finally figured it out. The juggling of statistical figures and cover up(drugs stolen from police station that is guarded by security company and no real answers) total ineptness is what I blame them for. Criminals are allowed to run rampant in the Cayman islands and the honest citizens have no defense against it. The police respond write up a report and that is about the gist of it. Now you have police officers advertising for a security company( business cards sponsored by security company). Common sense and poor leadership is the police problem. There are some professional police officers out there but they are being pushed into a don’t give a s–t attitude. Poor parenting skills seems to be pandemic island wide the problem is home made. We have an acting local police commissioner and the same old problem. If Caymanians want to stop the crime they have to turn in every mothers son that they know who is committing criminal acts. We have to accept the fact that this is our problem.

  35. Sharkey says:

    I wonder if the premier understand when the parents of a kid knows that the kid is doing wrong and they don’t correct it , that it continues and gets worse and gets out of control.
    Could we say this is what is happening in the Cayman Islands today .

  36. Anonymous says:

    Alden is wrong again. PPM has caused the social situation to get worse by allowing Caymanians to remain umemployed, not enforcing immigration laws and giving out thousands of temp workpermits to agencies to bring in foreign workers.
    RCIPS has run a shoddy show by being sloppy , not responding to calls of crime, not following up with reported crime, botching evidence to name a few problems. Hring sub par officers with no intellect to communicate with the public.
    Either which way you look Alden you have presided over a crap show.

    • Justin X. Patte says:

      I’m not going to disagree with you, Anonymous 10:19, but it was the same when the last political party was running the show.

  37. Tellme says:

    Alden , please get your head where there is light!!! Who is saying that the police is fueling crime or blaming the police for crime increase? All that the people are saying is that the police are not being efficient as they are to be. Why should it take 15 hours to respond to a burglary and so long to respond to the report of the souls lost at sea? Why should drugs on police premises go missing and confiscated motor bikes stolen and the police cant give an account as to who stole them ?What is wrong with you Alden? Stop trying to fool people that the opposition are making trouble.

  38. Anonymous says:

    When will the Premier understand that the motion is not against the police. The motion calls for a debate to emphasize that the COP as the leader of the RCIP has failed. Of course there are many hard eorking dedicated police officers and apparently some of them are frustrated because of the percieved standards in the force.

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