Residents in Cayman Brac were given the opportunity to have their questions answered by the RCIPS senior command team last week.
Police Commissioner tuart Kernohan was in attendance along with Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis, Head of CID Ken Hall, Head of the Family Support Unit Inspector Angelique Howell, Area Commander Reginald Branch, Sergeant Casey Connolly and Community Officer PC Rob Stewart.
The Commissioner outlined how crime figures for the Cayman Islands are promising with serious crime dropping and, in particular, how burglary has seen a huge decrease, a RCIPS press release said.
Area Commander, Mr. Branch, ran through reports received over the last year and highlighted how many of the incidents dealt with relate to domestic matters.
In response to this and concerns raised at the last meeting, Inspector Angelique Howell gave a presentation on how domestic violence issues are being tackled.
She outlined that a new committee has been formed and the FSU is now the central referral point for all domestic violence matters – 29 referrals have been received since this process was established.
She introduced the new Domestic Violence officer for the Brac – Carla Gratrick – highlighted how the FSU is trying to raise awareness by carrying out talks and presentations in schools and publishing advice and contact details of outlets that offer assistance to those in need.
A discussion also took place with regard establishing a shelter for women on the Island and Inspector Howell advised that possible locations are being looked at.
Mr. Branch told the meeting that the RCIPS is working hard to stamp out drug use on the Island. ‘This year we arrested 30 people for drug related matters compared to 19 the previous year. We have also seized 400 pounds of ganja by working in partnership with the Marine Unit,’ he said.
‘We have had little help from the public with regard tackling drugs and I would appeal to the whole community to work with us. If you have information about drugs on the Island you can speak to any member of the RCIPS,’ he added.
Additions to the Islands’ equipment capability were also highlighted. Two new vehicles with two new radars as well as computers have been received since the last meeting.
Community Officer, Rob Stewart gave a talk on the work he has been carrying out in the schools with the DARE project and voiced concerns about some behaviour by young people.
‘What we are starting to see is some elements of imitation behaviour, whether this be from the TV and from movies or from visits abroad we are starting to see some worrying behaviour which is resulting in police attention,’ he said.
‘This needs to be nipped in the bud but we can only assist if the community helps us. I appeal to parents, guardians, relatives and friends to speak with me if you notice a change in your child’s behaviour.’
Questions from the floor centred mainly around traffic related matters, including speeding, bright headlights and bicycles. Sergeant Connolly told the meeting that his team will be working hard to identify those that violate the traffic laws.
PC Rob Stewart informed those present that he has been working on a introducing a cycling proficiency test into schools.
Other concerns voiced included accessing information from the police, the use of special constables and how fireworks can be controlled over the coming season.
Commissioner of Police Stuart Kernohan said: ‘Due to the nature of policing officers do work certain shift patterns that mean they are not always accessible to the public but we are working hard to address issues of accessing information when officers are off duty.
‘We are also extremely aware of the benefits of extending the police family as much as possible and are in the process of revitalising the special constabulary. It goes without saying that we would be very keen to hear from anyone on the Island that is interested in becoming a special constable.’
In relation to fireworks causing an annoyance, the meeting was advised to contact the police directly should they experience problems.
The following day the Police Commissioner went on patrol in Little Cayman, meeting with and speaking to residents.