September 26, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Police survey was expected to be critical of the RCIPS

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Colin Wilson2webThat is not me saying this but a senior RCIPS officer, Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton. He was speaking about the findings from the public survey undertaken by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) at the end of last year and made public last week.

“We undertook the survey knowing that there would be criticism of the RCIPS, but we are determined to improve the quality of our services and the performance and professionalism of our officers,” Walton said. “I am therefore committed to take on the messages from the community and work with staff at every level of the organization to make us more effective and to see a resultant reduction in crime across the islands.”

Excellent words but words are cheap and appropriate action is what we want to see.

Walton did point out some of the action being taken:

Immediate changes were already being implemented to meet public expectations identified in the survey and during recent public meetings.
Processes for contacting victims of crime for feedback were being introduced.
A dedicated burglary team that he said has been very successful.
Working in collaboration with other agencies to implement an integrated offender management system.
Improving its engagement with the community.
Introducing professional communications support.
Improving current RCIPS website.
Monies had now been budgeted for staff training.
Improving customer skills for frontline staff.
More foot patrols and visibility of officers.
Vigorous enforcement of the traffic law.

That is all well and good but unless the area of staff training will include teaching crime detectives the basic skills of interviewing suspects and reading their rights in full compliance of the law, we will still have prisoners getting off on technicalities.

There is nothing in Walton’s list that suggests any speed up of preparing the cases to go to the Department of Public Prosecutions and carrying through with finding evidence and witnesses.

Some of the cases that eventually get to court are woefully unprepared as many of our judges have pointed out.

734 responded to the survey.
Over 64% said the RCIPS were doing a poor job at reducing non-violent crime.
Over 53% said the RCIPS were doing a bad job when it came to preventing violent crime.
60% believe the RCIPS do not treat people fairly and equally.
Over 55% said the RCIPS were either doing a poor or a very poor job at keeping order on the streets and solving crime.

How is any of this going to be improved?

The dedicated burglary team that Walton says is proving to be successful – where are the statistics to prove this?

I am sorry but the answers that have been supplied are too wishy washy.

Commissioner David Baines said, “The information we have received from the public is helping us to shape our strategic priorities and objectives for the coming years. At the same time our initial analysis is already directing allocation of resources. It is also focusing attention on the need for improvement in areas such as: burglary reduction, community engagement and keeping victims of crime better informed of progress on the investigation of their cases.”

I want to know HOW?

I want to know WHERE?

I want to know WHEN?

I do NOT want just WORDS!

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