Plans are under way for renovations that will allow police officers to reside full-time at the now-vacant police substations in East End and North Side districts, the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly heard Thursday.

The issue has been a bugbear for representatives of Grand Cayman’s less-populated districts, particularly North Side, which has seen dozens of burglaries in vacant vacation homes since 2014.

The North Side station was reopened briefly in late November as the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service sought to stem the tide of burglaries along Rum Point Drive. RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne appeared in the Legislative Assembly for the first time but did not directly address members, instead responding through Acting Deputy Governor Jennifer Ahearn.

Ms. Ahearn said renovations to the North Side substation were expected to be completed by early April.

The plan was to place two officers there to respond to calls, with one of the officers using the station as a permanent home. Ms. Ahearn said the police department was seeking to determine interest among officers in taking up those positions.

“The residential accommodation is done so that there will be a 24-hour [police] presence in the district,” Ms. Ahearn said.  East End police station would also be restaffed with two officers once renovations were completed there.

The four new officers serving the smaller districts would not subtract from the total number of police now used to patrol Bodden Town district. Now, officers from Bodden Town respond to calls from East End and North Side, prompting concerns about response time to reports of criminality.

The four district officers would not be “taken away” from the Bodden Town patrol station, Ms. Ahearn said.

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