Gov’t officials meet on crime

A high-level meeting Friday identified ten measures to tackle escalating serious crime in Cayman.

Called by His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack, CVO, the meeting focused on two issues: gun and other serious violent crimes, as well as youth at risk, according to Deputy Chief Secretary Franz Manderson.

The group will meet again in about a month to review progress made on the action points and agree on the next steps, he said.

Attendees included the Leader of Government Business; other Ministers; the Chief Justice; Chief Secretary; Attorney General; Solicitor General; Police Commissioner; and Mr. Manderson. The points agreed on are as follows:

*Provide more resources for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and convene a special task force to focus on gun and other serious crime.

*Work with the business community to install closed-caption television coverage on their premises, in order to help identify and convict criminals.

*Review licensing requirements for nightclubs and other licensed premises, in order to reduce the chances of those locations becoming the scenes of serious criminal activity.

*Urge the public to volunteer information and testify in court, while making every effort to ensure confidentiality and protect witnesses.

*Consider changes to law and trial procedures that will protect witnesses and prevent jury intimidation.

*Modernise the Police Law to better equip police officers to deal with emerging trends in criminality

*Immediately begin using electronic tagging in prescribed circumstances.

*Follow up the 2006 Crime Survey and subsequent recommendations, through a government-wide effort spearheaded by Community Affairs Minister Mike Adam. The intention is to provide a constructive future for at-risk youth, and to prevent as many as possible from becoming the next generation of criminals.

*Establish, as soon as resources allow, a facility for juveniles that would separate them from older offenders, and meet the requirements of the new Constitution.

*Establish a criminal justice steering committee, chaired by the Attorney General that would develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce crime. In addition to the ten points agreed during the meeting, the committee would speak to other aspects of crime prevention, alternative sentences, parole, rehabilitation, and community involvement.

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