Cops begin dedicated community beats

| 27/02/2018 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

Inspector Courtney Myles (left) and Superintendent Robert Graham at the RCIPS meeting about community policing

(CNS): The RCIPS has formally launched its new community, or neighbourhood, beats that the senior management is hoping will herald a new era of partnership and trust between the people and the police. Grand Cayman has been divided into a dozen beat areas, with 26 dedicated officers assigned to cover specific communities and get to know the people and their problems, with an eye on solution-based policing to tackle emerging crime at the grass-roots and address the perceptions and fear about crime in communities. 

The philosophy of community policing is not new and efforts have been made in the past to have dedicated officers patrolling specific neighbourhoods, but budget pressures and spikes in violent crime or surges in burglaries have seen the beat officers whisked away within weeks of being posted. But now, the RCIPS said it is committed to maintaining a permanent community policing department.

Speaking at the police headquarters Monday for the official launch of the new beats, Superintendent Robert Graham explained that the goal is for each beat officer to be in post for at least two years, when they will be expected to build a body of knowledge about their community that will help them determine and solve the challenges specific to that neighbourhood. He said the long-term goal was to commit as much as 10% of the RCIPS resources to community policing.

The problems the officers are expected to face range from wrecked vehicles and vicious stray dogs to late night loud fish-fries to fears about drug use in abandoned buildings. They will be tasked to work with other government agencies or private sector entities to systematically address the challenges while cultivating meaningful relationships with the community.

Inspector Courtney Myles, who is supervising the new division, and Superintendent Graham both said that the beat officers will be on foot and on bicycles and they will be expected to engage directly with the people living and working in their beat area, leading to more positive interactions.

Myles said that where the beat officers have already been introduced, they have already received great feedback. “Trust is going up on a daily basis between the public and the police,” Myles added.

He and the community officers recently visited the Swamp area of George Town, and he said the people were really surprised to see officers on the beat there and gave them a warm welcome.

Graham said that with visible and accessible officers in the community, they are going to get to know the needs of a given neighbourhood and will be tasked with proactive problem solving in partnership with the people of the community.

The beat officers will also interact with other police units so that they can give officers on general patrol or specific units details about any concerns the community might have that will help those officers police more effectively.

“It is very early in our journey but we are confident that in a short time we will see a positive outcome,” Graham said.

A detailed map of the new beats and the constables that will be serving them has been published by the RCIPS, which will soon be on the new police website, along with bios of the officers and regularly updated information about what’s happening in each beat area. People will be able to contact their beat officer directly or the supervisor for each district by email or mobile phone.

In George Town, alongside a supervising sergeant, four auxiliary officers will continue policing the waterfront to manage the huge cruise ship visitor numbers at the port, while another three officers will be walking the beat in the downtown and central areas of the capital; two will cover the South Sound area and another in Prospect.

In the first instance two officers will cover North Side and another pair in East End, the two largest geographical beats, but a further four officers will be posted to those districts in the coming weeks to ensure round-the-clock community policing. Both districts will be supervised by one sergeant.

Over in West Bay, four officers will cover three specific beats, with two along Seven Mile Beach, one in the Morgan’s Harbour area and another in North West Point. In Bodden Town there will be three officers covering three beats and, as with West Bay, one supervising officer.

See who is policing your neighbourhood and how to contact them in the CNS Library.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Police

Comments (25)

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  1. Jotnar says:

    When I read the headline thought we could look forward to some targeted beat downs on troublemakers – disappointed to see its actually just a fashion show and PR exercise during the daylight hours when all the crime happens (not)

  2. Anonymous says:

    this would be good if the cops actually did something….like enforce the laws….
    lets ask in 6 months for the stats on what these cops actually achieved in terms of catching law breakers….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Trust is earned over time, and is performance-driven. The RCIPS have amassed a payroll bureaucracy of over four hundred officers, without any visible strategy or performance criteria and no public transparency on their budgetary allocations. That includes a very expensive and roof-rattling intercept and rescue helicopter program without any meaningful stealth, busts, or rescues. The most outward expression – to rebuild expectations of community responsiveness – would be to answer the public’s frequent calls for a functional Traffic Unit – ie. officers in vehicles stationed, ready to respond, at regular intervals. Yet Auntie probed this to find just 10 shift officers allocated territorially with an undisclosed budget. This latest plan barely improves on the longstanding insufficient field and officer coverage that has led to unchecked levels of crime and anti-social behavior. Putting a couple shift-governed beat officers on foot or bicycle (for as long as that lasts) ignores the prescription the public continue to request. I hate to say, but maybe we need a new police chief with a better handle on the real world situation? It is more than suspicious that there is no willingness to initiate the most obvious strategy to curtail opportunistic crime.

  4. Anonymous says:

    More progress to get things done from our hard working Honorable Premier and the Unity team. This is the best government we have ever had. They just keep getting more and more better. 4 more years!

    • Anonymous says:

      People of Cayman I give you, the mindless PPM voting bloc
      They haven’t passed one piece of serious legislation since the election, but we should vote them in for: “4 more years”

      And you wonder why you keep getting shafted no matter who is in power

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s sarcasm!

      • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

        Why do we continue to judge our politicians by the number of laws that they pass? I fail to see why this should be important when we are hardly enforcing the existing laws. More and more laws equals less enforcement if you ask me.

  5. Naya Boy says:

    All ingredients are now in place for the new same old gravy train for the Rcips to fleece the government yet again . Sad part they fall for it every time yet another big payday mixture for the new jam/Brit’s pie till they are ready to line up jobs in our private sector Bad boy for life!! How sad for this little place.Oh well at least it makes the Ppm cow foot manifesto every 4 years as a crusty propaganda tool on how much we spent on law enforcement and a sprinkle of two or three inept or incompetent “K”manians new word give it just the right flavor for us to digest . There it is Cayman the blandest rip-off concoction costing us millions bon appetit!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    i dislike the work ethic of the average police officer.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As usual a press release to peacock around and get a good headline

    Why not let the people see the officers out and about themselves?
    Why not let them see the great program and the connections themselves?
    As usual the CIG is always around for a photo-op but when

    Our people were: “really surprised to see officers on the beat there and gave them a warm welcome”
    Read it again for dramtic effect or in case you missed it our people were “really surprised to see officers on the beat”
    That is the state of the policing in Cayman, we are surprised when we see them walking around anywhere other than in GT or near their patrol cars getting food or groceries
    Real PR geniuses we have in the RCIPS

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      I generally support the RCIPS, but, I am totally fed up of hearing of another press conference and photo op to announce the resurrection yet agian another “community policing initiative”. Really, how many more times is this starved to death dog going to be given the Lazarus treatment? Come on RCIPS, this should be a permanent fixture in your tool kit, and not something revived almost yearly since the days of Commish Thursfield! We are not stupid, so stop insulting our intelligence!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why does Prospect get only one officer? Every other area has at least two.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed – and the Prospect area is plagued with illegal bike riders, which I doubt will care about the one officer on his/her own. I have called the police numerous times about the bike riders, but the same ones continue to ride almost every day. But who knows, if it’s actually a police officer calling, maybe there will be some response! I’m wishing this person all the best and sincerely hope this programme makes a difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very doubtful there are that many.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In the Cayman Compass it states a similar thing, the only thing that was in the Cayman Compass that isn’t in the above the hours they are going to do this….wait for it…wait for it….7am-3pm one shift 3pm-11pm another shift….what happened to 11pm-7am????? Do they think the criminals sleep at night…ba ha ha ha ha

    • Anonymous says:

      Um… they specifically said that the community police officers are IN ADDITION to all of the other policing that exists, not instead of… this is an additional policing response. Between 11AM and 7PM there is the emergency response and patrols that there always is. C’mon, just think before you write, just for once.

      • Anonymous says:

        28/2/2018 12:37pm, you are an asshole, there are no police patrolling between 11pm-7am in East End/North Side at anytime. If a crime takes place it takes them almost an hour to get there. So I believe you better think before you write.

  10. Juniper says:

    This will last about a week

  11. Marl Karx says:

    Not enough officers to cover the high population areas
    You honestly expect those officers to “walk or ride bikes” in this climate? In their uniforms?
    I don’t know what is going on, but this seems like a half baked plan to shut people up about patrols, How does a singular unarmed, police officer effectivley handle “vicious stray dogs” or “drug use in abandoned buildings”. Are they just going to tase or pepper spray every dog they come across? They are going to see crimes and then have to back off and call for backup (which makes the system the exact same as it is now) With massive delays in response times

    Even if they doubt the number to reach their 10 percent goal, these beat officers need to be in on the ground in groups, with other officers in cars in case assistance is needed
    How long before one of these officers ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and is seriously hurt or killed
    We already see people on Cayman are not intimidated by these officers they are constantly assualted and injured on the job and have to resort to tasing or spraying persons instead of deescalting the situation

  12. Diogenes says:

    I can’t be the only one wondering how 3 officers can effectively patrol all of Bodden Town
    Where there are many dozen of roads and side roads and hundreds of houses and areas
    By patrol do they just mean drive through occasionally, will there actaully be a police presence or will we just see them parked off as usual?

    I have had instances where the police were called and no one showed up at all, so you will have to forgive me for being skepitcal of this new program

    Also can we note the focus on areas where tourists are located, We know that has always taken priority over us normal folks but surely the response time from the GT police station (minutes at most) would be quick enough to ensure that other than for traffic issues they wouldn’t need to maintain that many officers in the area

    While BT has a higher population and larger area to cover WB somehow has more officers?
    I’d love to meet whoever devised this system,

    Diogenes

    • Rokanda Har-de-Plais says:

      So if we only had 10 cops patrolling per district, how many of the 450 would be providing “logistical support”?
      This whole set up seems so……

  13. Anonymous says:

    I thought Courtney Myles had retired.

    • Cayman Apple says:

      He retired and went back bobo, not sure wa he brought back to the table. The force filled with a bunch of retirees anyway so may as well have a local one na.

    • Anonymous says:

      3:18 Retired or ‘was’ retired? I’d heard Baines let him go.

      • Guy Ebanks says:

        I think some inquiries need doing on how he came back… Baines didn’t let him go… Baines made him go… heard he was invited back by Comisioner.. no interview no nothing.. he came straight in as Inpector.. upset lots – something not quite right with this one

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