Law enforcement is budget winner

| 31/10/2017 | 9 Comments

(CNS): With government expecting to earn in excess of $730 million next year and almost $723 million in 2019, law and order looks sent to benefit from the stable revenues. The RCIPS will get extra cash to hire an additional 25 police officers in each of the two years as well as in 2020, and more money will be going on border control. In the Budget Address, Finance Minister Roy McTaggart also announced an investment of $4.4 million in 2018 for a new communications system for all emergency first responders, as well as $1.5 million for upgrades to the CCTV system.

In addition, the police will get $2.4 million over the next two years for the development of a new West Bay Police Station.

And while the increase in police officers will help boost community policing, in his Budget Policy Statement Premier Alden McLaughlin pointed to the imperative of dealing with gun violence.

He also said that government would be funding a new agency to police the coast. A Strategic Maritime Security Management Committee will oversee the evolution of the Joint Marine Unit into a National Coast Guard Service, McLaughlin said. The committee will be chaired by the chief officer in his immigration ministry, and include senior executives of ministries and agencies involved in maritime border security, law enforcement and public safety.

The UK’s Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, as well as local experts, will help in the creation of the new modern maritime safety and security organisation, which will also provide search and rescue and interdiction of boats arriving in Cayman waters with illegal cargo.

“The transition to a Coast Guard Service will entail significant change, including legislation and policy, organisational standards, structure and operations. This transition will involve a carefully planned approach over the following two years,” he said.

Over the years the Legislative Assembly has had concerns with police management because although politicians have the limited ability to direct policing, they are the ones who face the complaints from constituents.

One of the most frustrating things for MLAs is that they vote appropriations for the RCIPS to do specific things, such as staff stations in the eastern districts or buy certain types of equipment, but then during the course of the year the cash or resources are redirected. In his statement McLaughlin said government would now insist that the additional resources  going to the RCIPS will be used as agreed and the government will hold the commissioner to account for the results of those expenditures.

“We also intend to discuss with the UK the establishment of a Police Authority to help create new approaches in fostering accountability and enhance the responsiveness of the RCIPS to the people’s concerns,” he added.

McLaughlin said that a lot of the resources going into the police would be directed at community policing, which he said the commissioner agreed is an important element of community security that needs boosting, and work on this has already begun.

“We campaigned on the need for improvements to community policing and I was heartened that the commissioner is of the same view and that this is one of his priority areas,” he said. He added that he had asked the commissioner to examine the possibility of introducing community wardens, which has been adopted in the UK, “to enhance the community policing efforts rather than police constables who may be better utilised solving crimes”.

The commissioner is now looking at the idea of police community support officers, he said, which is similar to the community warden approach.

“Community policing has the benefit of not only utilizing a suitable person who will know the people in the communities served, but importantly the people will get to know and trust the officers. Police community support officers need to be trained to understand aspects of the law and some policing methods, but do not have to fulfill all the requirements of a fully trained police officer,” the premier said, pointing to the possibility of recruiting retired officers still fit enough to serve in support roles.

A new inspector of community policing was appointed in September and 12 community policing sectors on Grand Cayman have been identified where community officers will be deployed, he revealed. “This is in addition to the Sister Islands where all officers are considered community officers,” the premier explained.

Of the 75 new officer positions included in the budget for the next three years, at 25 per year, nearly one third will be dedicated to community policing, he promised.

“A job description for community policing has been developed, and the current plan is to engage a few individuals to fill these roles in a pilot project in three of the main community policing sectors before the end of 2017,” McLaughlin said.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Government Finance, Politics

Comments (9)

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  1. Observer says:

    Starting with recruitment: please no more nannies, domestics, window cleaners , gardeners, gas attendants low- skilled. Bring up the moral of the RCIP to a higher level so that we can regain professionalism which is very much lacking. There are qualified young Caymanians who can do the job. Customs , Fire Dept, Immigration can hire them, why not the RCIP!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because they don’t want to arrest their numourous cousins or accept that policing isn’t always a well paid career. It’s a vocation for those who want to make a difference to their society, not milk it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians have always been preferred and remain free to apply at any time – they just don’t want to.

  2. Anonymous says:

    we need quality more than quantity??

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  3. Sherlock Holmes-Ebanks says:

    Can the RCIPS confirm the outcome of the investigation and who was arrested, responsible and assisted the corrupt cops with stealing 24 Kilos of cocaine & 60 kilos of ganja from the ‘secure lock up’ at the Central GT police station or did the duppies help it to vanish into think air?

    Giving the RCIPS more public funds is not the solution.

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    • Dahnit Pikker says:

      It had to be like you said above, it “vanish into think air”!

    • Veritas says:

      What happened to the former Head of Traffic in the Police who left the scene of an accident involving his vehicle?.

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    • Anon says:

      Waste of time!!!!!! TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS EXPECTED!! Until you have a master who can get these scum bags off the street with a prevention /detection/protection policy , results will be useless, unfortunately what we have as you can see is not working as crime still is on the increase.

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