A number of John Gray High School buses were searched for
drugs and weapons last week, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has confirmed.
Nothing was found, according to
officers who conducted the searches on Friday, 15 January.
George Town police
commander, Chief Inspector Richard Barrow, said the operation was conducted on
school grounds and was carried out in cooperation with school officials who
witnessed the searches.
“We intend to continue with similar
operations in the future,” Mr. Barrow said. “The dates and times of the
searches will…be unannounced and will take place at various schools.”
Police only searched buses at John
Gray during Friday’s operation.
Mr. Barrow said the search was
conducted as part of stepped up RCIPS enforcement in and around public schools,
which Police Commissioner David Baines discussed with the Caymanian Compass toward
the end of 2009.
Mr. Banies said in late December
that plans to begin more thorough searches of students’ belongings and even
their persons on a random basis were in place. Mr. Baines said it is also in
the RCIPS plan, once police staffing levels can accommodate it, to assign
police officers to work inside public schools full time.
Two such officers have already been
assigned to John Gray.
The commissioner indicated that
police have become alarmed at the ease with which drugs appear to be available
at school campuses.
Mr. Baines has said he realises
there may be some apprehension about the measures, but indicated schools
officials seemed supportive and acknowledged that safety of children and
teachers was tantamount.
There are two major safety issues
the RCIPS is attempting to address at public schools. The first involves
incidents of violence among students in and around school campuses. The second
is an attempt to prevent adults – some of whom are believed to be gang members
and drug dealers – from wandering around the perimeter of school campuses.
The recent stabbing of a
17-year-old John Gray High School
student by another student occurred during a bag search at the school.
According to statements made to the
Caymanian Compass, the victim told school officials that the 16-year-old
stabbing suspect had a knife on her – at which point the suspect allegedly took
out the knife and stabbed the 17-year-old.
Mr. Baines said police will also
make an increased effort to patrol around school grounds to keep people who
don’t belong there from lurking in the area.