Gov’t issues police chief summons

Concerned over recent crime wave

Mr. Baines

Mr. Baines

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush has summoned the Commissioner of Police David Baines to brief the government about the latest spate in crime in Cayman.

Speaking at the closing of a legislative meeting on Monday morning, Mr. Bush lamented the series of robberies, burglaries and gun-related crime seen in Cayman recently.

Mr. Bush said the government had asked the Commissioner of Police to speak with government members about the crime situation.

Acknowledging that the government was not directly responsible for the police – Cayman’s Constitution gives ultimate responsibility for law enforcement to its appointed governor — Mr. Bush said lawmakers are responsible for setting policy.

‘We are more than concerned about what is taking place. I have asked for a taskforce. The Commissioner of Police has his strategy… We do not control police, we control policy. We are not satisfied with what has taken place in the country,’ he said.

‘Couple that with… statements by the Governor with all that has gone on in the last couple of years with various investigations, people in the country are most upset,’ he added.

His comments came four days after Governor Stuart Jack issued a statement on the controversial operations Tempura and Cealt into alleged police corruption.

In his statement, Mr. Jack denied that the investigations were part of a conspiracy to discredit Cayman.

It went on to say: ‘Yet others seek political control of the police. The National Security Council under the new Constitution will give the people of the Cayman Islands more say over the strategies and policies adopted by the RCIPS.

‘But the UK was rightly not prepared to give politicians in Cayman, or in any other Overseas Territory, control over police operations or the appointment of senior police officers, in order to maintain the independence of the police in upholding the law impartially and without favour.’

Mr. Bush’s comments also came after a series of crimes over the weekend and on Monday morning. On Friday morning, two robbers armed with a gun and a knife held up staff at Margaritaville in George Town. Twelve hours later, a woman was robbed of her purse at gunpoint as she left the nearby Casanova restaurant.

On Sunday, police were called after two men attempted to rob a man as he exited his car at his home in Gun Bay, East End.

The wave of crime continued on Monday morning when a man armed with a handgun held up the Alpha Outlet on Shedden Road.

Mr. Bush said the recent criminal activities, together with negative comments on blogs and talkshows, which he said were listened to overseas as well as locally, ‘only serve to give Cayman a further black eye’.

He added: ‘There are far too many people in this country, and outside this country, that are willing to smear us and see us go down in a time when they know, or might think, we are weak. This is a time for us all to be as level headed as possible, bearing in mind what we are facing and who we are dealing with.’

No date was mentioned for when the Commissioner of Police would brief government members.