Bush won’t support PPM crime motion

The Government will not support a
Private Member’s Motion brought by Opposition MLA Alden McLaughlin calling for
new crime prevention measures.

Those measures include the creation
of a National Crime Prevention Strategy Group, an Office of National Security
and a National Security director.

Speaking at a public meeting held
by the government on Tuesday night, Premier McKeeva Bush explained why the
motion would be rejected.

“We have a bunch of government
committees that we can’t pay for now,” he said.

Mr.
Bush pointed out that the National Security Council, which begins meeting next
week, would comprise the governor, deputy governor, the premier, the leader of
the opposition, two cabinet ministers, the attorney general, the commissioner
of police and two prominent citizens from the private sector.

It
is understood those citizens are Bridget Kirkconnell and Dan Scott.

“Having
established this group, we do not need another group set up,” Mr. Bush said. “We
are now getting down to work and we will plot a crime prevention strategy for
the way forward in this country.”

Mr.
Bush said the government was pleased to see that Governor Duncan Taylor has
taken the crime issue seriously and was actively working with the police commissioner
to stem the rise in crime.

“We
have provided all that has been asked of us in terms of resources to fight
crime and will continue to do so,” he said.

Mr.
Bushdetailed crime-fighting
plans he had discussed with Governor Taylor and Police Commissioner David
Baines, including the deployment of armed police response units in every
district of Grand Cayman.

He also said he had discussed the formation
of a permanent police unit to investigate and disrupt serious and violent criminals
and for the deployment of technical investigative aids that would allow police to
track the movements of people thought to be involved in serious and violent
crimes.

Other crime-fighting measures Mr.
Bush said had been discussed included better anti-gang training for police and
development of gang disruption techniques; the purchase of a large X-ray machine
to scan port containers for drugs and guns; and radar that will detect drug
transport canoes from far-off distances

Mr. Bush cautioned his audience
Tuesday that all this wouldn’t be done overnight and he urged people to give
the new governor and police commissioner a chance to do their jobs.

“But
we also need to implement a longer term and holistic strategy for crime,” he
said, adding that it was the government’s belief that crime must be fought on a
multidisciplinary basis.

“I
call on you, the public, to do your part as well,” he said. “There are ways in
which anyone of us can provide information on an anonymous basis and as you may
be aware we have legislation being developed that will strengthen that even further
within the next few weeks.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr. Bush
asked why the Opposition hadn’t proposed the new crime prevention measures
while they controlled the government.

“While that all sounds good, we
don’t have the money to do those things,” he said.

Mr. Bush said the government needed
more time to allow the planned crime prevention strategies to work.

“Eight
months is not enough to judge us by,” he said.

Governor’s view

Under Cayman’s governing
arrangement, the UK-appointed governor has the ultimate responsibility for
police and security matters.

“It’s a very serious responsibility
and I take it extremely seriously,” Governor Taylor said in an interview this
week.

However, as he had stated in his
welcome speech in the Legislative Assembly last month, Governor Taylor
reiterated that he believes security should be an issue of cooperation and
partnership with the Cayman Islands Government and the people.

“The National Security Council is a
body that can certainly bring together the different interested parties,” he
said.

Governor Taylor said he had seen
Mr. McLaughlin’s Private Member’s Motion.

“I think I understand the
motivation for bringing that forward and we’ll see how the Legislative Assembly
deals with that, but my view is that… in the National Security Council, we have
a body which can fulfil some of the aims set out in that motion.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Fair dues to McKeeva – he is not saying no to considering national crime strategies in general – he is just saying that there is already a body established, that of the National Security Council – which is about to sit to review these things. Why do we need muliptle bodies doing the same thing at more cost and time – when what we need is responsibility, resolution and action. I am sure the Council will call for and review all ideas from the public. Win Win I say!

  2. It’s this “let’s form a committee” mentality that I can’t stand. Why can’t people make tangible suggestions on how to deal with crime instead of giving us “let’s for a new committee to discuss it”?

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