Commissioner pushes community policing

New RCIP Commissioner Stuart Kernohan has been responding to a wide range of public concerns as he and his team go out on the road with community meetings.

Whilst proposals over use of CCTV and speed cameras have been capturing the headlines, Mr. Kernohan and his senior officers have also been dealing with all manner of other matters.

Mr. Kernohan told a Bodden Town audience that he could think of nowhere better to have community policing than Cayman because there was already a good community spirit here.

The meeting heard Mr Kernohan say, amongst other things, that there were plans to bring in more officers to help in places like North Side and East End.

He also stressed the importance of training and said the government had given the RCIP a raise in the training budget

The small audience was told of how issues raised at the last meeting in Bodden Town, three months ago, had since been addressed.

Chief Inspector Donnie Watler said that, despite having the use of only one car with radar, since January a total of 335 people had been caught for speeding – 41 in Savannah, 233 in Bodden Town and 62 in Breakers.

Complaints about alleged squatters in Manse Road had been investigated but no illegal squatters were discovered, he said.

The meeting also heard that complaints about drug dealing in the area had led to three arrests.

Although the George Town meeting was also only attended by a handful of people, the RCIP team found themselves fielding a number of questions.

Concern was raised about drug dealing in the Boddens Road area of George Town.

Deputy Commissioner Rudi Dixon said it had been proposed to tidy up and beautify the area to help deter people from using it for dealing drugs.

Commissioner Mr. Kernohan said the situation was about ‘taking the ground back first.’

With the RCIP said to be presently short of vehicles – although new ones were on the way – Mr. Kernohan was asked a question about two police cars that appeared to be parked a good deal of the time outside an apartment complex in George Town.

Mr. Kernohan said that the idea of police taking cars home did not work unless they had sufficient vehicles.

But cars did tend to last longer of they were allocated to particular officers, because they were better looked after, he said.

Often crimes such as theft and burglary did tend to be driven by people looking for money to get drugs, said Mr. Kernohan.

He hoped to see cohesive programmes in place to make sure the rehabilitation side of things was properly dealt with.

Mention of such things as curfews and tagging and tracking systems led Mr. Dixon to say he felt Cayman was a perfect place to track people.

There was a small nucleus of people, mainly recidivist, committing many of the crimes and a tracking system, which was fairly inexpensive, could lead to easy identification of an offender, he said.