Sometimes it is difficult – being out here
as we are all by ourselves in the western Caribbean Sea with calm waters and
(mostly) sunny skies – to forget that the wide world is all around us.
We can attempt to fence ourselves in, but
try as we might, we cannot forever fence the world out.
It was a point elucidated clearly by
Solicitor General for England and Wales Edward Garnier on Tuesday during the
opening of the attorneys general conference.
“What touches you, touches us. Drugs,
gangs, money laundering, and terrorism are not issues peculiar to England any
more than they are peculiar to the overseas territories.”
It may be little comfort to the local store
owner who has lost thousands of dollars in a robbery or the family who has lost
their son to gang violence to know that these very same problems are plaguing
other overseas territories and even Mother England during a prolonged economic
However, it is important to understand
these problems are not isolated or specific to our own backyard.
When we recruit police officers from
outside the country, we are all recruiting from largely the same regional pool.
When we need judges, or when other jurisdictions need qualified individuals –
as we have seen recently with Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale – they come
to Cayman to recruit.
Similarly, police problems in Mexico or
Jamaica or the US may cause a domino effect that spills over, even if it is in
a subtle way, to the Cayman Islands.
This is why RCIPS Commissioner David Baines
has been at pains to point out the importance of cooperation efforts amongst
regional law enforcement agencies.
Crime is a problem for all of us and it is
only one that can be conquered by fighting day-to-day, block-by-block.
It’s a gruelling effort to be sure, but one
that can be made easier by assistance from a friend rather than more difficult
by going it alone.