September 29, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Why are our police slow to use Cayman’s media?

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Colin Wilson2webWe often receive police reports at least 24 hours after the incident has happened.

Even simple things like Wednesday’s chaos in traffic around the Owen Roberts International Airport could have been avoided if someone from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service had alerted us to the incident there and to avoid the area like the plague. All the roads leading into the airport were now closed.

We received zero. What we did hear from the marl road was a Cayman Airways plane was on fire and was making an emergency landing.

Even prayer groups at local churches were praying for the lives of the persons on board.

We haven’t made any headway regarding the police/government and media communications from 20 years ago when I was at the helm of CITN/Cayman27 and there was a riot at HM Prison Northward.

No word from the police except a Government Information Service (GIS) release saying there was no riot and all the prisoners were locked down.

Our phone calls were ringing off the hook with concerned residents in the area telling us the prison was on fire and prisoners could be seen running around all over the compound. There was also rumours prisoners had escaped and were terrorising the neighbourhood.

The first part of the above was true and the second part was not.

Our live broadcast truck showed exactly what was happening and it reassured the local neighbourhood. Even though we were showing this live GIS were still issuing their lies.

And the police then issued nothing.

The rumour of the plane had only a few facts that were correct. It was a plane and it was making an emergency landing. It was a cargo plane with two persons aboard and it was on CONTRACT to Cayman Airways. One engine was giving problems and there was no fire. It landed safely.

The traffic chaos continues for several hours.

At the time of writing this editorial we have received no official word about the incident.

And as for the police officer sitting in his car and waving his arms at the traffic by the airport – none of us have learnt the meaning of his version of semaphore.

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