New UK officers sought

Attempting to bolster a police
force that’s been working overtime in recent weeks, Royal Cayman Islands Police
Commissioner David Baines said Tuesday that he was seeking the temporary assistance
of more than a dozen veteran police officers to help with criminal investigations.

Mr. Baines said he hoped to bring
two senior investigating officers, two office managers and about ten police
detectives to help take the load off the RCIPS Criminal Investigation Department.

That department in recent days has
netted a total of five murder arrests, three attempted murder arrests with
charges filed in the case, three arrests for an armed robbery and a total of
four arrests in connection with an abduction for ransom investigation. Two men
have since been charged in the ransom case.

The arrests come following five
killings that have occurred on Grand Cayman
since the beginning of the year – three of which happened within the past
month.

Mr. Baines said Tuesday that the
additional officers were not being brought in to replace local RCIPS staff, but
were merely so the current police team could “get a breather”.

“We have competent detectives on
the Islands, but they’re too few for the
number of murder investigations we’re running,” the commissioner said.

In the longer term, the police
service does plan to bring in veteran investigators from outside the Cayman Islands to permanently staff the police force. But
the commissioner said recruiting individuals with the proper expertise takes
time – likely a few months in this case.

Commissioner Baines said the RCIPS
budget would shoulder the cost of the temporary officers when they are brought
in, which he hopes can be done within the next couple of weeks. He said the police
service currently has about 45-50 vacancies, so covering the incoming temporary
officers should be relatively affordable.

If more financing was needed, Mr.
Baines said he would approach Governor Duncan Taylor’s office.

Governor Taylor said he is looking
at a more comprehensive national crime strategy based on suggestions offered
from members of the Cayman Islands community,
as well as the recently formed National Security Council.

Among the issues being examined
were how to identify at risk youth in the Cayman Islands,
tightening current immigration security policies, a gang reduction strategy,
prison reform – including the ability to restrict inmates’ communications with
the outside world, and updating legislation to assist police and the courts system.

Mr. Taylor said he hoped to have a
draft of the crime strategy made public within the next few months following
further discussions with the Security Council.

Please read more on this story in
Thursday’s Caymanian Compass…

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