Fighting crime a priority

Today, the command structure of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will hold a press conference to outline what law enforcement is doing to address the increase of crime in the Cayman Islands

Acting Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon said one of the topics of the press conference will be the RCIPS’s short term strategic direction.

This press conference, which takes place shortly after a gunpoint car-jacking incident and a flurry of 22 burglaries in a single day, comes not a moment too soon because fear is gripping the residents of Grand Cayman.

The police will reveal strategies that can help fight the trend of crime that has been building here for years, and that seems to have gathered momentum since Hurricane Ivan.

These strategies will no doubt include a more vigorous approach to crime fighting, as well they should; the police response must be appropriate to the threat posed and the methods used by criminals.

But no matter how brilliant the police strategies might be, the RCIPS cannot provide the entire solution to the crime problem.

To truly reverse the trends of criminal activities on these islands, the police must have the full co-operation of the Government.

While the Government has indicated it is willing to do whatever it takes to stem the tide of crime, in the end, it will come down to how much money it is willing to appropriate for the task.

The Government has already identified several priorities on its agenda, all of which require funding.

Education, healthcare, tourism, infrastructure, housing and crime fighting are all very important to this society, but all can’t truly be priorities; there just isn’t enough money to do everything that is needed.

At some point, the powers that be will have to fine tune those priorities, and the police budget must be high on that list if the crime problem is going to be reversed.

The Government must also help by enacting legislation that gets tough on crime,

Harsher penalties for violent crimes, minimum sentences for repeat offenders and a change in the parole system are all in the hands of Government.

In its political manifest, the People’s Progressive Movement stated crime must be addressed as priority.

On that point we couldn’t agree more.

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