More often than not in recent months, we at
the Caymanian Compass have found ourselves congratulating the Royal Cayman
Islands Police Service on Page 4, rather than criticising it.
At least in part, today’s editorial is no
exception. Crime statistics regarding the half-year mark released by police
appear to be extremely encouraging.
We’re sure there will be the rampant
conspiracy theories about how police are “covering up” actual reports of crime
from the public and so forth. Of course, we would ask anyone who has any
credible evidence of that, please bring it to our attention.
For now, we’ll give the local police a
hearty round of applause on lowering crime 13 per cent for the year.
However, it seems all we’ve heard from the
public of late regarding the police service is complaints about how the service
is dealing with citizen concerns and the discipline of its own officers.
This is a subject we’ve written about many
times in both the Compass and the Observer on Sunday and, in our view, it has
roundly been ignored by the police department.
There must be a professional, effective and
transparent process at the police department for 1) handling of public
complaints, and 2) dealing with internal disciplinary matters that serves both
the needs of officers and the department.
If one or both areas are allowed to lag, it
will – and indeed probably already has – handicap the police service’s efforts
moving forward, including its ability to fight crime.