Skills gap remains a challenge for RCIPS

| 27/02/2017 | 17 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne

(CNS): Police Commissioner Derek Byrne has become the latest leader of the RCIPS to point to the “skills gap” among officers working for the service. For more than a decade, almost every commissioner that has come from overseas has highlighted competency issues and the need to “professionalise” the service. CoP Byrne said that when it comes to child protection in particular the service has prioritised the need to close the critical skills gap. He said three child protection experts have been brought in and training is being delivered to create a “fit-for-purpose” child protection unit.

Speaking at a press conference Friday to present the annual crime statistics for 2016, Byrne said his officers had enjoyed some real success in dealing with high-profile crimes but he has been looking at how resources are being used in the service at present and whether he needs more officers. He said after that assessment, the goal was to look at the “critical skills gaps”.

“I am not in position to say that I need loads more personnel at the moment. What I have to do is justify the people I have in office and that I am using them to optima, and I am working through that process with the senior command team to make sure that everybody is doing what they should be doing,” he said. “Where there are critical skills gaps, then we will seek to close them down,” he added.

The commissioner said that since his arrival in November, he has had chance to look around and has seen some great work being done by many officers in the RCIPS. There are “some top-class people”, he said, but he has seen “the capacity to build competency”. He said that “training was a big issue” and the service needed to be professionalised.

Byrne said he was working on a comprehensive report for the governor, which will be presented to government to inform the future direction of the police service. But he pointed to the marine unit, where there are resource shortages and skills gaps, and he said that would be one of the first areas that he wanted to see get more investment.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, I guess his assessment speaks volumes to the standards of policing the world over, namely Canada, Jamaica, and the UK.
    I am not sure how Caymanians are meant to take his findings seeing that we now appear to make up a minority percentage of the RCIPS numbers.

    Also, his concerns regarding battling child abuse are very interesting. I trust he does not seek to fill those gaps with British police personnel because the shambolic state of that country’s affairs in this regard is absolutely horrifying. Disgusting in fact.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well I sure know from what I have seen they have a skill gap behind the wheel.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Skill gap” is euphemism for lack of education.
      Proper training would help, but as the old saying goes …'”You cannot make a silk purse …etc”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Surely not. ….
    It’s it possible that all CoP’s have been/can be wrong ?
    Having seem first hand the lack of basic literacy from some of RCIP finest plain clothes detectives when trying to take a statement I think not.

  4. Anonymous says:

    From my interactions with the police over the years, it’s hard to discern how much of what reported is lost due to comprehension problems, cognitive disparity, “skills gap”, or deliberate obsolescence. We know there must be “bad cops” that have infiltrated the service to allow $40mln worth of drugs (a quantity requiring coordination of several people with heavy duffels) to walk out of a “secured hold” with nobody in the last year having come forward. Is that a “skills gap” or are these people just coasting along day-to-day, drawing a salary, learning the systems and procedures and doing the absolute minimum until it’s game day? Do an audit of what these people are accomplishing day-to-day and you’ll likely find those with the greatest “skills gap” were probably also on site working a shift when bikes and drugs were “stolen back” by the gangs. Maybe we have the “skills gap” for having given them keys, codes, and clearance?

  5. Sharkey says:

    I don’t understand how in the press conference on Friday , that he can talk about and say that two different subject are the problem in the C I , in two different media.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In a few months look at the new batch of Jamacian recruits from those who are now working as labourers, security guards etc who would not qualify for any government job but their friends in RCIPS making sure their countryman get secure job, and the white leadership is too scared to look racist so we’ll never have any standards

    • Anonymous says:

      You hit that one on the head. It’s an unfortunate situation, but that’s how some of us white people have been made to feel. We’ve had racism shoved down our throats, and those us of without a racist bone in our bone have had to rank & file on this issue because there’s a fear instilled behind the reality.
      Can you do all of us a favor though, stop seeing leadership as white or black, stop those references. It’s enabling a never-ending cycle so the next generation will accept a gap that’s maintained.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wish CoP Byrne success in closing the “skills gap.” He is saying exactly CoP Baines spoke of many times but very little changed for two reasons. Government cannot afford to pay the salaries of more qualified officers, and it is politically unpopular to recruit from the UK.

    • Anonymous says:

      The question you should be asking is why aren’t more Caymanians interested in the RCIPS these days?

  8. Jim Bean Crowe says:

    Oh No not this foolishness again just how much more third world garbage are we going to bring to this island.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Here we go once again. Baines claimed to have really brought the Service into the 21st Centuary. Now with the exception of a few staff this Commish claims different. The same record has been playing for a number of years

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