In a caycompass.com online poll last week, readers were asked to grade the Royal Cayman Islands Police Services. We don’t know if the RCIPS hierarchy, the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs or the governor pay attention to our polls, but perhaps they should take note of the results of this one.
More than 61 per cent of the 555 respondents graded the RCIPS either poor or failing. Equally noteworthy, only about 12 per cent of those participating in the poll graded Cayman’s police force good or excellent.
It’s true the caycompass.com poll is nonscientific and there are no limitations on who can participate in the poll, except that only one vote can come from any one computer.
It’s also true that after the poll came out, there were some high-profile crimes committed.
Regardless, the results of the poll are very disturbing and, when coupled with many of the comments made by poll respondents, show a general lack of confidence in the RCIPS.
The grading reflects more than just the public’s frustration with the inability of the police to solve many crimes. Several of the comments questioned the competence of police officers, while other comments – which we did not publish because of a lack of substantiation – suggested even bigger problems.
Having a police force that doesn’t have the public’s confidence just magnifies Cayman’s crime troubles. If the public felt confident the RCIPS could find and arrest the perpetrators of crimes, there wouldn’t be so much fear of crime. And if the perpetrators feared they would be found and arrested, perhaps they would not commit the crimes in the first place.
As some of our poll respondents pointed out, preventing and solving crimes is not just the role of the police; they need help from the public and funding from government. But both of those things are difficult to get unless the public and government have faith that the police will use those resources competently. Right now, the RCIPS has work to do to earn that missing faith.