It was just around two years ago that crime was on the minds of nearly every Cayman Islands resident. A spate of shootings, burglaries and armed robberies had everyone nervous.
A new Commissioner of Police was appointed to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the government approved a vast amount of money to improve the law enforcement infrastructure and staffing problems.
The results of these actions are evident; crime is hardly the most pressing problem in most residents’ minds now.
But crime still exists here, and there are ways of lowering its levels even more, with the help of residents.
Some people here, particularly on radio talk shows, have recently criticised the RCIPS for asking the public for help in solving crimes, arguing that the police should be able to solve crimes on their own.
Police all over the world rely on the public to help solve crimes. It’s only in the world of Hollywood that police can solve crimes without the public’s assistance, but even Hollywood detectives have their snitches. And nearly every episode of Law and Order swings on something a member of the public reveals to police.
Beyond providing information, members of the public can also assist the police by helping them prevent crimes. One way of doing that is by making sure their vehicles don’t present an easy target for opportunistic thieves.
Last month, a dozen thefts from cars were reported to the RCIPS. Things like lap-top computers, handbags, cell phones, sunglasses and power tools were stolen from vehicles. Some of the vehicles were not even locked.
The RCIPS is asking residents to take responsibility in securing their vehicles by never leaving items on display to tempt a thief. The police are also asking people to secure their vehicles properly by locking the doors, shutting the windows and removing the keys. It’s all just common sense in this day and age, really.
Some people will argue that things didn’t used to be this way in Cayman, but things have changed and that’s not the fault of the police. There are more people here now, more drug users and times are tougher. Precautions must be taken these days.
The public should do whatever it can to help the police; Cayman residents have a large role to play – and responsibility – in fighting crime.