September 24, 2020

$1million to tackle crime: Police cash boost comes after two WB car jackings

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Money will be spent on new officers and body armour

The Royal Cayman Islands Police service has been given one million dollars to help fight crime.

The cash will be spent on extra officers, body armour and improving the facilities to interview suspects.

The money, from central government coffers, comes as detectives investigate a double car jacking in West Bay on Thursday.

In two separate incidents, a woman was robbed at gunpoint in the car-park of Dolphin Discovery and a man stabbed for his vehicle near the Ed Bush Stadium.

Just after 6pm, the employee at the tourist attraction was leaving work when thieves struck.

An hour later thieves pounced and stabbed a 30 year old in the chest and shoulder before stealing his rental car. Police later arrested a 40-year-old man.

Dolphin Discovery manager Carlos Moreno said: “Crime is getting out of control. The police need to get more aggressive. There is still time to contain this crime wave.”

Police cash boost is welcome relief

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will receive a fresh infusion of $1 million dollars to pay for extra officers and vital equipment, drawing expressions of hope and relief from the community.

Wil Pineau of the Chamber of Commerce

The money, approved by H.E Governor Duncan Taylor at last Tuesday’s Cabinet session, will come from central government coffers and was yesterday welcomed by Police Commissioner David Baines, who said the RCIPS would recruit 15 new officers, purchase body armour and procure improved recording equipment for suspect interviews.

The much-needed and long-sought cash comes in the wake of recent budget cuts and at a time of growing public alarm about increased gun crime, robberies and violent assaults, affecting tourism, local businesses and the island’s well-being.

Leader of the Opposition, Alden McLaughlin, told the Legislative Assembly just last week that “the incidence of crime must be the most serious we have ever faced. Crime is a wave sweeping across this nation.”

Police Commission Baines said: “We are extremely grateful to the Cayman Islands government for their willingness to review the impacts on policing which resulted from the requirement to meet the FCO budget, a situation which led to a recruitment freeze, budget cuts, a reduction in policing numbers as well as leaving us unable to purchase some vital equipment,” referring to Premier McKeeva Bush’s June negotiations with London’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office about Cayman’s 2011/12 budget.

“This very welcome additional funding will allow us to recruit staff to fill 15 previously lost posts and to purchase equipment such as bullet-proof vests and interview equipment. Appropriate staffing levels and equipment are key aspects in allowing us to deliver a professional policing service to the people and communities of the Cayman Islands,” he said.

Wil Pineau Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber Of Commerce, which represents more than 700 local businesses and associations, employing nearly 20,000, praised the spending plan.

“It’s absolutely great. We are all concerned about business, of course, and any additional resources we can find to support the efforts of the RCIPS and put more patrols and more officers on the street is a good thing” he said.

He hoped some would be deployed into “high-risk, high-traffic areas where tourists are,” saying that Cayman Crime Stoppers had recently distributed business cards for police officers, advertising the 1-800 TIPS reporting number.

Osbourne Bodden, former MLA, recent crime victim at his Lorna’s Texaco in Bodden Town and secretary of the newly formed 18-member Eastern Business Owner’s Association, also welcomed the news.

Police Commissioner David Baines

“We met with the commissioner and with the Eastern District MLAs,” he said, discussing police resources and business needs. “Word came back to me from the commissioner that they were getting the money. I said to him we will give you the tools and if you don’t deliver, you will give us your head.

“It’s welcome news,” he said. “I want the police to get to grips with this and the justice system to come to terms, so the police can build a solid case and the justice system do what it needs.”

Tony Crescente, owner of George Town’s waterfront Casanova By the Sea, robbed at gunpoint last week, was out of town, but Manager Luigi Lopez said the cash injection “sounds good to me because we all need something to be done.”

 

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