A final decision on Cayman’s national crime prevention strategy was delayed until next week, according to representatives from the governor’s office.
Cayman Islands Governor, Premier, ministers and senior advisors met Tuesday to review Cayman’s national crime prevention strategy as part of Cabinet’s weekly gathering.
there was discussion of the crime prevention strategy [Tuesday] and of the
recommendations Cabinet are being asked to approve, the paper was deferred until
next week when, I believe, both the Premier and Deputy Premier will be on island
and able to attend,” according to the head of the governor’s office.
Premier McKeeva. Bush was attending meetings in the United Kingdom and was expected to return to Cayman Wednesday. Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor Connolly was attending an information technology conference in Spain and was due back Thursday.
In any case, the plan is not expected to propose any immediate operational solutions to the country’s crime issues. Rather, the document takes a look at potential longer-term societal remedies.
The proposed adoption of the plan, which has not yet been disseminated for public review, comes on the heels of a high-profile robbery of two tourists on a remote East End beach that seized the headlines and got the attention of the local hospitality industry.
Mr. Bush said last week that he was deeply concerned about the robbery, which he called senseless.
“I am outraged by this assault and cannot begin to understand the mentality of persons who would commit such unwarranted acts against others,” Mr. Bush said in a statement. “The rise in crime is unacceptable, especially since such attacks by thoughtless individuals are capable of doing irreparable damage to our tourist industry, our economy and our country.”
Mr. Bush said his government would fully support Governor Duncan Taylor and Police Commissioner David Baines in “whatever actions they deem are necessary to take” in addressing criminal behaviour.
Prior to the 7 February robbery on Bare Foot Beach, Mr. Taylor spoke in general terms about the national crime prevention strategy, which has been reviewed for a number of months by the country’s National Security Council.
“We have agreed on a crime reduction strategy,” Mr. Taylor said. “The next step will be to bring it to Cabinet. It will hopefully be made public at that point.”
“It is expected that this strategy will provide a comprehensive approach to reducing this intolerable situation,” Premier Bush said, adding that he expected both the National Security Council and Mr. Baines to release further details shortly.
Governor Taylor cautioned that the crime situation in Cayman was likely to remain a significant issue through the remainder of his term in office.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any easy way to turn the clock back to the days when crime was unheard of in the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Taylor said.
However, the governor said it was also important to note the successes the local police force has achieved in addressing violent crimes.
“There’s a good story to tell in that six of the seven murders [that occurred] last year have been detected,” he said, using a police term that means a suspect in the case has been identified and arrested. Commissioner Baines has also pointed out that two killings that happened in 2009 were detected by police in 2010.
Governor Taylor said the need for elected ministers and the UK-appointed territory managers to work together to address Cayman’s crime situation was more evident than ever. For instance, he noted the governor’s position is the line manager of the police service, but that he could not effectively carry out that role without support from the local government.
Mr. Taylor also noted that various government ministries all contribute in various ways to crime reduction and social development strategies. He said part of the national crime prevention strategy would look at those areas.
“It’s very clear that all of us contribute to reducing crime,” he said.
While the spate of killings that plagued Grand Cayman in early 2010 has since subsided, the Islands have recorded at least seven robberies in the first six weeks of 2011 as well as several other incidents where business robberies were attempted.
Relatively few people have been injured in the incidents in 2011, but weapons were reported to be used by the suspects in nearly all cases and gun shots were fired in at least two.