The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service did
a nice job using their new Taser devices to capture a knife-wielding burglary
suspect last week in Bodden Town.
However, we can’t help wondering why it
took them nine days to notify anyone in the public that a knife-toting suspect
was wandering about town.
On Wednesday, 30 January, out comes a news
release that states police have been looking for a suspected burglar who
escaped from officers’ custody on 21 January. It is amazing to us that the
police were not releasing this information within an hour of the escape
There is surely some argument that will be
made by the police service brass that “well, for operational reasons, we didn’t
want to disclose we were looking for him in case it spooked him from where he
was hiding”. We would generally presume somebody who escaped from police would
come to the conclusion police were looking for them on their own, but we
According to police, as late as Tuesday –
eight days after the escape – the suspect was spotted in a Bodden Town
neighbourhood in possession of a knife, no less. The news release still took
another 24 hours to come out after that sighting was reported.
Moreover, the Caymanian Compass had two
reporters in Bodden Town Friday night, 25 January, following the uproar caused
by the search for this fellow. We were told by local residents his name, about
his escape and the fact that he was being sought for burglary. Yet we were
assured by official police sources it was no big deal and no escape had
occurred. This is interesting, to say the least.
Yet again, we have a major issue of public
notification regarding a public safety incident – much like the stolen police
vehicle that took three months to notify the public about – and the appearance
it creates, whether true or not, is that the police service was trying to cover
up something the organisation considered embarrassing.
Although police did their jobs admirably in
the end and caught the guy, we can’t help wondering if the public might have
been put at unnecessary risk because of a lack of notification.