August 11, 2020

RCIPS redeploys bicycle patrols around Grand Cayman

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Bike PatrolsAs of last Wednesday, 17 August, the RCIPS re-started bicycle patrols by police officers as part of its revamped neighbourhood policing strategy to increase community engagement. Officers with the Neighbourhood Policing Department (NPD) have been out daily over the past week at different times in different areas of to increase police visibility, interact with the public and respond proactively to any threats to public safety they may encounter.

“This is about community engagement and community reassurance,” said , Superintendent of , “but it’s also about fighting crime, because this kind of nimble, responsive police presence has a deterrent effect. My plan is to extend these patrols to all districts in time.”

Neighbourhood officers on bike patrol since last week explained in more detail why this is true. “On the bikes you can stop easily and speak to anyone, so you are in the community more,” said PC Christopher Donaldson, “but also, you can reach rural areas not easily reached by cars, and disrupt illegal activities like ganja smoking, among other things.”

PC Charles Ebanks agreed, adding, “There are also burglars who use bikes, and also street indecent assaults have been committed using bikes – it’s easier to catch someone on a bicycle if you are too.”

The officers said that they also found that being on a bike made it easier to engage with residents in some rural areas with very narrow roads. They related one instance in which they spoke at length with an elderly woman in one such area who said she had not interacted with a police officer in years and years.

“But they are really useful for tourist areas as well,” said PC Ebanks, “we can maneuver easily among crowds of people when the cruise ships arrive.

The only drawback is the heat,” he continued, “it can get a little rough around midday.”

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