Top cop on Island

A top cop has been brought in to help Cayman get to grips with its crime problems.

‘I would ask one simple question. ‘Can we do things better?’ The answer, of course, is ‘Yes we can.’ I am sure that would apply to all organisations,’ Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett told those at a press briefing yesterday.

Mr. Kennett said his role in Cayman was to help develop the Criminal Investigation Division.

He added that he had given a suggested plan of action to Acting Commissioner of Police Rudolph Dixon.

He would be reporting his findings together with his recommendations on how things could be improved to Mr. Dixon.

Mr. Kennett comes to Cayman with a wealth of experience under his belt.

He retired from the UK police in 2001 with the rank of Detective Superintendent with responsibility for the Major Crime Branch of Sussex Police, which dealt with all murders in the county.

Among his other experience was the running of a crime management course in Kabul for senior officers of the Afghanistan Police.

Mr. Kennett said the police wanted a good relationship with the public.

‘Without that we are sunk,’ he told the briefing.

‘I am not here for a holiday or the money. I am here to do a good job,’ he said.

Reviewing the crime figures for July, Acting Commissioner Mr. Dixon said the RCIP had set up several successful operations dealing with burglaries, robbery and other serious crime.

Although there had been 22 burglaries on one particular day in July, the burglary figures decreased.

But that did not mean they were going to get complacent. They would keep the pressure on the burglars and would continue to patrol ‘hot spots,’ he said.

Mr. Dixon pointed out that the police had responded to 1,716 incidents of all kinds in July as compared to 1,571 for the same month last year and that represented a 9 per cent increase, he said.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Derek Haines said the RCIP was 40 officers short at present and that was a big hole in the manpower.

But at high risk times they were putting more personnel on the street and had been carrying out road checks and people checks, which had resulted in several arrests.

Next week the RCIP is interviewing in the UK and hopes to recruit more than 30 officers, Mr. Dixon told the briefing.

Asked about police pay, he said salary had been increased to reflect a housing allowance and added that a police constable’s pay range is from $27,000 to $39,000 a year.