Too little, too late

I write today in response to the rising crime and lack of support being given to the authorities that are charged with the elimination or prevention of the same.

It was most interesting to read recently, that after some two months following the retirement of Commissioner Braggs on 5 July, Cayman will finally see a new Commissioner of Police.

However, what strikes me as too little, too late, is that we have selected a Commissioner not from our on-island pool of experienced personal with on the ground knowledge of what kind of crime Cayman suffers from, the various criminal elements involved and an active, working knowledge of how these elements operate.

Chief Inspector Derek Haines applied for the post and has broad ranging experience in the field of policing, not to mention a proven track record of providing results here in Cayman, as can be evidenced by his previous involvement with the DTF, now USG.

Instead however, we in Cayman, whether it be his the Governor or our Elected Government officials, the latter we have found not to be responsible for the Police Services, have selected a UK police officer as our next Commissioner, of which we have been told, will take at least two months before he is able to assume his new position.

Though I am sure the individual selected comes of the highest calibre and experience, I must question the thought process involved when we consider our rising crime situation.

Crime is already out of control and despite assurances from Acting Commissioner Dixon, the average person can see that what has been done is but a mere grain of salt when we consider the large and growing problem of lawlessness.

We need someone who will organize our police services and create a committed, dedicated force or unit that will deal with these matters now, not six to 12 months from now.

But the problem does not begin and end with the Police Services. We need to give our judicial system some teeth in order to deal with the criminal elements apprehended.

We must also transform Northward Prison into a place where penalties are applied and not a place where it’s business as usual for the criminal elements.

Unless all of these partners in the fight against crime can be given the resources and the means to get the job done, we as honest, law abiding citizens will continue to pay the price.

Imagine what effects malicious crime, such as burglary that ends in death would have on the Financial and Tourism sectors of the Cayman Islands. To lose the confidence of your citizens is one thing, but to lose the confidence of the international community is an entirely different matter all together.

Hurricane Ivan was a containable matter, Crime however is not. The fact of the matter is we in Cayman need to start thinking proactively, rather than reactively. We need to have the criminal elements play by our rules and not the other way around. And most importantly, we need to start doing these things today, right now, instead of spending time on feasibility studies and offshore recruiting of key personal etc. that serves only to prolong the problem.

I say give the police the claws to do there job, the judicial system the teeth to do theirs and create a facility that will serve as a deterrent to those criminal elements incarcerated or those who remain at large. Then and only then will our beloved isle Cayman return to the civilized and safe place it once was.

Austin Harris