Online poll: Most give police poor, failing grade

More than a quarter of respondents to a cayCompass.com online poll have given the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service a failing grade for its performance during the past year. 

Of the 574 people who voted in the poll, 150, or 26.1 per cent, said they would give the police a failing grade, while 167, or 29.1 per cent, gave the police a poor grade. 

Only 4.2 per cent of respondents, or 24 people, gave the police an “excellent” grade. Another 77 people, or 13.4 per cent, felt police deserved a “good” grade for their work during the previous 12 months. 

Nearly a quarter of those who took part in the poll, or 138 people, thought police had performed “fair”. Eighteen people, or 3.2 per cent, responded “I don’t know”. 

One respondent who was impressed with the police’s performance said: “Despite poor support from the general public, they do an excellent job.” 

Few of those who gave police an excellent grade posted corresponding comments praising the police, but those who gave a failing or poor grade were very vocal in their criticism. 

“The one or two good ones can’t make up for the many incompetent and unprofessional ones,” wrote one respondent. 

Another wrote: “With an arrogant commissioner, clear signs of infighting and plain and simple incompetence, the RCIPS have their work cut out for them in order to gain the public’s confidence.” 

A person who said he or she had been robbed, wrote the following: “I was the victim of a robbery last year and was totally not impressed with the police handling of the matter.” 

Another poll respondent criticised the police’s investigation and road block methods. “Firstly, a bloody fingerprint at the scene of a murder and still a verdict of not guilty. Secondly, you line us up through road blocks to check our license stickers, but don’t even ask us to roll down our windows to see if we’ve been drinking. You already have the road blocks, why not use them to make our roads safer? I think the word lazy comes to mind.” 

Another who chose a failing grade simply wrote: “Terrible, terrible, terrible.” 

One reader said he or she was torn between choosing fair and poor, but opted for fair in the end, writing: “Sometimes they do a great job, but it very much depends on who you get. This can mean the difference between excellent service and rubbish. A pity there isn’t more consistency really!” 

Another reader who gave a good mark had something similar to say. “It isn’t possible to group the RCIPS as a whole as some units do exceptional work and others seem to only be collecting pay cheques.” 

A respondent who also gave the police a good mark remarked: “In all fairness, we should all be proud of the police service we have on this island.” 

Another person who felt the police were doing a good job wrote: “Target West Bay shootings!” 

One reader responded that he or she did not know what kind of grade to give the police, writing: “The media only ever shows the extremes, either we here about them doing an amazing job, or them messing up big time. Few people really know how they perform on a daily basis.” 

A disgruntled respondent who gave the police a poor grade described why. “A member of my family was hit by a hit-and-run driver in December. We asked the police to contact the businesses in the area to see if the car could be identified. Three days later, I called to enquire if this had been done. Response – “Oh, sorry, ma’am, we forgot.” My response – “you are worthless!”. My feelings remain that way because to date – three months later, not a thing has been done to try to locate the driver.” 

The disappearances of Nathan Clarke, Anna Evans and Kerran Baker during the past year led one reader, who gave the police a poor grade, to write: “Three missing persons and no convictions, a big “0” that in itself is very suspicious. Is the abductor a former RCIPS gone rogue or a serial killer in our midst? Why not set a trap for this criminal and catch him? How much intelligence do you need to set a trap in a remote area with a pretty missy for him to abduct, then you zoom in on him?” 

Another respondent wrote: “The police here are unbelievably useless. Good luck getting to them to even respond on a timely basis, let alone ever solve a crime. It’s really embarassing.” 

 

Next week’s poll question 

Who should be fingerprinted under the government’s new policy? 

Only work permit holders 

Work permit holders and non-Caymanian permanent residents 

Anyone who lives in the Cayman Islands, including Caymanians 

Everyone, including tourists 

Nobody 

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1 COMMENT

  1. As a former member the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) I might be biased in my opinion of them. I remember attending an academy for the better part of four months. In my time with the RCIPS, I worked on possibly over a hundred cases, I rescued people during Hurricane Ivan, I guarded and transported people on remand and I gave out speeding tickets. I was fair, but I followed the law. I would like to think that I was an exception constable, though those sentiments were hardly ever expressed by the people; to them I was just cop trying to keep them down.

    I have been in the states now for almost 7 years and every time I read the newspaper back home, I see another robbery, murder or missing person in the headlines. Is it the police, not doing their jobs? I would hate to think that. Is it the culture of Cayman now to harbour criminals and place false accusation on the police? I would hate to think that too. The truth is, it is a little of both.

    Caymanians don’t trust the police. There were too many cases of corruption, too many cases of the police assault, and too many cases of the police misusing the Misuse of Drugs laws. So the Caymanian understanding of the police is valid, right? Violent crime is on the rise and Caymanians pass the blame for it on to the police without due cause. They cry, Dem damn policemen are wortless! and, The criminals have guns, arm the police! Well if the police are so worthless do we really want them all armed? So why then haven’t the people stood up to stop the crime?

    There is no prestige in being a cop in Cayman anymore. Almost anyone can become a cop. The academy is a joke. There are not really any physical demands in being a cop. It seems to be okay to corrupt and out of shape on government salary. So how do we fix this?

    First, we professionalize the service. We create a functional yet professional appearance in regards to uniform, physical composition and grooming standards. We create strict application criteria for both physical and academic qualifications, if you don’t meet them, you don’t go to the academy.

    In the academy, there will be classroom teaching on the craft of police work. There will be mandatory daily physical training that is demanding and represents functional fitness. According to agreed upon training modules there will be exams; if you fail, you get one retest. If you fail again, you fall into attrition. If you fail to pass the physical composition standards you do not graduate. If you fail to pass the physical fitness tests, you do not graduate.

    In the service, you must take previously agreed upon annual or semiannual training to keep you current on laws, techniques and procedures. You must pass a semiannual physical fitness test, if you fail, you have 2 months to attempt to pass it. Failure of three consecutive physical fitness tests will result in separation from the service. Failure to meet the physical composition standards, will also result in separation from service.

    So what do we have now? A professional service that is both physically and mentally capable of attacking the challenge of crime fighting. With a professional service you now have the ability of to create trust in the public and mend the bridges that have been broken. You will create a desire for young Caymanians to want to be cops, good cops. Through the desire for a career in the RCIPS, the young Caymanians will conform to being law abiding citizens. But, we need the general public mentality towards the police to change, and we need to find the people willing to stand up and help change it.

    This posting isn’t the be all say all… but I think it’s a start.

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