A laEditorial for 4 December: A lack of trust is apparent

We were left agog on Friday evening as a police press
release came over our computers.

“We can confirm that an unmarked police utility van 
was stolen from a public car park in the George Town area in early July
2012.”

The police had one of their assets stolen from a parking lot
more than four months ago and didn’t bother to inform the media or the general
public about it.

Now they can’t find the vehicle, which seems extraordinary
on a 100-square mile island, and have not located any suspect or suspects
involved in the theft. Thank goodness another police vehicle – a motorcycle –
that was stolen in September was found and a suspect arrested.

The theft of this police van is an immediate and important
issue for the public safety of everyone in these islands: citizens, residents
and visitors alike.

We feel quite confident in stating that the public and the
members of the local media would have bent over backwards to help the RCIPS
find it, through releasing of photos, license plate details, etc. had this been
done at the time the van was taken.

The fact that the police didn’t do so shows they do not
believe the same. It shows that they, in fact, do not trust the public or the
media in the Cayman Islands, and may actually view them as detractors to their
cause. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

We can only speak for ourselves, but while we may disagree
on various administrative, policy and public relations issues with the RCIPS,
when it comes to public safety, this newspaper has always supported that
organisation 100 per cent.

Members of the police command staff may have taken some “bad
press” their department has received over the years to mean news media outlets
just don’t like the RCIPS. Nonsense. If it’s bad, we report it; and if it’s
good – as we have shown in numerous writings over the years – we report that
also.

The RCIPS needs to come out of what we believe
is an unhealthy “bunker mentality” and start communicating more effectively
with the media and through them, the general public.

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Here an Irony:

    The RCIPS didn’t trust the media enough to report this alleged theft to it for four months – but the media trust the RCIPS enough to report it almost immediately as has having been a theft, simply because the RCIPS said it was.

    Hmmm….

    How could the media informing the Public that the vehicle had been stolen hurt the RCIPS.

    The Public will never know these questions because our media – while it is not trusted by the RCIPS appears so trusting of the RCIPS that it never asked any questions about this mystery.

    Anyway – perhaps one day the media will question these offices of virtue a bit more going forward – and not just blindly disseminate whatever they say.

    Editor’s note: The reader should never assume that questions weren’t asked about the subject he raises. However, we require a bit more in the way of proof before publishing.

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  2. Re: your Editor’s Note, if you asked pertinent questions that were not answered, that is itself news and could have been reported. You have left it to the reader to guess whether you in fact asked any questions at all.

    Editor’s note: Patience. There are many different ways of asking questions. You are also assuming, wrongly, that interest in the story has been dropped.

    See below:

    http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2012/09/17/Court-filing-over-police-bust-up/
    http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2012/11/22/Second-cop-takes-commissioner-to-court/

    These stories took a bit longer to produce, but contained actual factual claims rather than rumours, sources and innuendo. We believe our readers deserve the facts, nothing less.

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  3. I agree with catchandrelease.

    The articles referred to were not based on questions asked, but rather actions taken by the persons involved.

    Direct questions should be asked – as in this instance, no one is going to take the Commissioner to court for losing a 100k piece of equipment.

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