Chamber president calls for action on crime

| 07/03/2018 | 24 Comments

(CNS): The Chamber of Commerce wants to lead policy discussions on crime with the government to find some solutions to what many see as a growing threat to the economy. The business organisation, which sees crime as a major threat to the bottom line of local businesses, said it was something the country had failed to prevent for lack of focus on its root causes. Following a shoot-out with robbers and the police at the weekend and a murder in the street last night, the Chamber issued a press release Wednesday calling for renewed action on the issue.

“We are not interested in just another discussion,” said Chamber President Paul Byles. “The idea is to bring together the previous work done in this area and take a multidisciplinary approach to the problem. A coherent medium-term strategy with committed resources or a reallocation of current resources is needed immediately.”

He added, “Clearly as a country we have not come to grips with the issue and the previous approaches have not worked. We are better at treating the symptoms of crime after it has occurred, but we are failing to address the core root and cause of the problem.”

Byles said the Chamber is willing to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle and with key stakeholders and experts to address the core issues causing crime rates to increase.

Identifying and supporting at-risk youth, dealing with youth unemployment and under-employed work permit holders, lack of parenting, and investment into sports and, in particular, youth involvement in sports, are among some of the areas previously raised by experts and the wider community, and Byles said the country needed to make a far better effort at addressing these root causes.

“The Chamber recognises that we cannot have a thriving business community in an environment which is not safe and socially harmonious. For this reason, our members have always invested heavily in youth, community and sports initiatives and will continue to do so,” he said.

The call from the Chamber follows Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller’s call for government to establish a select committee on crime but there has been no response yet from the government.

Premier Alden McLaughlin is only partially responsible for the police, as the elected arm of government has no policy or operational control of the RCIPS but is charged with appropriating the budget. In the latest budget, delivered in November and for the first time covering two years, law enforcement spending was increased in order to fund a dedicated community policing unit.

The beats and officers dedicated to the new unit were launched just last week and those officers will remain in their communities. The beat officers will continue to play a direct role in the crime fight and assist with the recent high-profile cases but they will stay on their relevant beats.

Unlike in the past, they will not be redeployed in response to any specific crime spike as the RCIPS management believes they are an important part of the police work tackling all crime.

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Category: Business, Crime, Crime Prevention

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There is a desperate need for more gated community compounds with decent security to protect the financial services workers from the threat of local criminality.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Start helping the people instead of your greed and hate toward the people keeping them under your foot take the boot off their throats and find ways to educate and feed them. This monster that society is creating is going to become bigger…. we are all the same color blood inside the last time i checked i know my heart is still beating and i know everyone is supposed to have a heart so act like that….the less educated bring them up the hungry feed them the less fortunate show them love we are all human beings but it seems as tho forgetting is easier. Are you a nice monster or an angry one? Last time i checked i think monsters are a fairytale so alot of us need to wake up and listen to the cries of the people and stop pretending

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Talk is cheap and they know this….eh! go canada!

  4. Matthew says:

    The Chambers is head of charging the local work force with foreign labor for years. Yes it is sensible to tackle crime considering the affects on the social being of the community and the bottom line of any business. The approach to this crime sore is to educate your people, give them employment and only provide assistance to those that really need it for example, to the sick, to the retirees and seamen and their families that are unable to make ends meet. The young and able, give them employment, give them a stake in their future and a reason to be successful in the community and meaning in their individual lives. The current structure encourages laziness, free for all on social services which is a clear path for destruction. Yes work permits provide revenue for government and allows businesses to meet their profitability but placing the young school leavers without a job only creates and disenfranchise these young Caymanians which then lead them to a life of crime! Some serious decisions are required now to change the course we are on. As the saying goes, teach a man to fish, he will eat. Feed him a fish and he will starve! The Chambers itself for start could start a scholarship program for young Caymanians who wish to pursue tertiary education instead of these one day courses that add no value to promotions to the individuals in their companies. Let’s get serious and stop all this talk as talk is cheap!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The UK does not have a tradition of tough police and prosecutors so neither does Cayman. That’s why some of the practices seem so stupid.

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  6. Good over Evil says:

    Still won’t stop crime. But will make the people feel heard and satisfied for a short time. They will complain again once another crime is committed.

  7. Rick says:

    Your name is so appropriate. Only a confused communist could make statements such as yours. Don’t you read? The Chamber Pres is offering exactly what you ask for.

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    • Marl Karx says:

      I suggest you actually read the full article next time, this is what I am talking about:
      “Byles said the Chamber is willing to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle and with key stakeholders and experts to address the core issues causing crime rates to increase.”

      My concern is simply having a private entity at the table actually making policy, nothing confused or communist about those statements. I instead suggest the chamber focuses on changing their own business practices, is that so ridiculous?

      Also Marx is the father of socialism, not communism though nuance clearly ain’t your specialty

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  8. Anonymous says:

    This must be what the RCIPS have been waiting for…the weighing-in of the Chamber President…I feel safer already!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    The silence from the premiers office on this is absolutely deafening!! It’s time for a vote of no confidence!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sure, maybe the RCIPS should hold-out to get his blessing too, like that will finally light the last needed candle to initiate the assumption of their neglected responsibilities? On rehearsed expressions of dissatisfaction, the RCIPS are the defending national champions. Their preoccupation with blame shifting public critiques has digressed to acquit them of their perceived duties to protect, while expanding payroll over 500 and simultaneously logging nearly nothing in the crime-fighting victory column. The RCIPS is essentially another bureaucratic employment agency, with similar performance expectations.

  10. Anonymous says:

    From the DPP’s website – The Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for all criminal proceedings brought within the Cayman Islands and is the Government’s principal legal adviser on criminal matters. – Am I the only person who thinks that there ought to be some accountability?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The DPP routinely fails to lay charges against those arrested within the 6 month period. It has nothing to do with a shortage of evidence or signed confessions either!

  11. Anonymous says:

    The development of a medium term policy as advocated by the Chamber is all well and good but I want the violent criminals off our streets now!

    I also want the stupidity of mandatory release of violent offenders who have only served a fraction of their too short sentences ended now. We also need to change our laws so that sentences for violent offences are consecutive not concurrent. At the moment committing 100 firearms offences produces the same penalty as 1 firearms offence – and that is only for the few who confess.

    And by the way – the premise of the Chamber is wrong – we are crap at dealing with crime – our Penal Code, policing and prosecution services are not fit for purpose – only a small fraction of violent crimes lead to any arrests and only a very small fraction of arrests lead to a conviction.

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  12. Marl Karx says:

    While the Chamber does have a place in policy discussions, let’s not get carried away with this Mr “President” (I don’t recall your name being on any ballot in the 2017 General election) While I respect the position you hold as part of your organization but in my humble opinion these islands have more than their fair share of representation of business interests already, crime is a overall issue it doesn’t just effect the economy and business interests should be second to public safety
    We in the general public can barely get acknowledgement from our representatives in constituencies all of which are less than 1500 persons. But this organization can throw it’s weight around, contact the government easily, makes statements to the public and press and so on and so forth
    Let’s see the Chamber step up with some effective contributions changing business practices on the island to limit crime or an organized private sector program to help those most likely to fall into the cycle of crime
    These same people talking about how bad crime is now are the same ones who refuse to hire someone with a simple nonviolent drug conviction, which in turn makes these persons desperate and what do they turn to in their desperation? CRIME
    Everything is connected especially on a community this small
    Working in unison with the government is different from sitting at the table and drawing up policy yourself, especially when business interests (profit) is involved

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    • Anonymous says:

      You have completely missed the point. The chamber is simply offering to help by bringing the stakeholders together. It’s not trying to be the government etc. Would you rather they do nothing? Not everyone does things for power, ego and profits. Sometimes organizations and individuals just want to help. This is a serious community issue and we are all part of it and affected by it and have the right to try to become involved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree. The Chamber is showing some leadership on this issue because we aren’t getting it from politicians. Politicians have 4 year agendas which focus on getting re-elected. Our crime problem has never been given the attention by our political leaders that it warrants. It’s not that hard to fix. In the first instance, it requires more funding for quality police services. Cayman can afford it, we have financial resources far greater than anywhere in the Caribbean. Why aren’t our political leaders devoting more financial resources to this. It must be because for whatever reason that spend doesn’t translate into the re-election agenda.

    • Bossman says:

      We have been leaving things to our elected officials for 40 years and look at what that brought us… we need to become more involved as a community. Not only do I welcome the chamber’s involvement but I welcome ANY organization getting involved to help. Put your ego and silly political skepticism aside for 5 minutes…

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      • Marl Karx says:

        I didn’t criticize the chamber speaking on the issues of the island, I am criticizing what appears to be the Chamber trying to create public policy as a private entity and group

        Should they be allowed to voice their opinions? Yes. should they have input? Yes
        Should they be having private meetings with MLAs and assisting in regards to proposed legislation and it’s drafting ? No clearly not. they are a private group with their own interests, I literally said: “While the Chamber does have a place in policy discussions let’s not get carried away with this”

        As for my “ego” and “silly political skepticism” I have to wonder if you even understand what an ego is, though you are correct in labeling me a skeptic
        My concern is un-elected businesspersons drafting or being unnecessarily involved in the drafting of legislation outside of their field.
        Perhaps you ought to take a second to actually read the points of my comment which are entirely justified.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The crime is not the fault of the business community There is crime in China, Cuba and Venezuela in case you havn’t noticed. Crime is a function of private morals, most poor people are law-abiding.

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