Police commissioner hears from Brackers

Commissoner of Police Derk Bryne talks to resident Zoe Vassel at the community meeting at the Aston Rutty Centre on Cayman Brac Thursday. – Photo: Sister Islands News Agency

Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne was on Cayman Brac last week to meet with residents and hear their concerns at a community meeting.

Among the feedback from Brackers was they want police officers to follow up with them when they have been victims of a crime and they want more policing of traffic problems.

Brac residents called for more active policing when it came to cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road, having no lights, and wearing dark clothes. They also called for police to address speeding in 25 mile per hour zones; a lack of radar guns in police cars, and a lack of police hand-held radar guns.

The meeting was held at the Cayman Brac Aston Rutty Centre on Thursday, April 4.

Over the past couple of months, Commissioner Byre said he and his senior command team have been receiving some complaints about the level of policing service on Cayman Brac. The idea was to meet the community and find out. “Thankfully, it was a large turn-out,” he said.

“It was a really mixed bag coming out of the meeting … some really positive comments about individual officers and, unfortunately, some very negative commentary, as well,” he said.

The message for him now was to listen, he said, adding that things will have to change to deliver the service that is required on the Brac.

The commissioner said he would be making his officers aware of the comments made at the meeting.

It wasn’t all negative comments though. One elderly lady thanked the police for sending a patrol car to check on her periodically and for making sure she was alright.

Resident Zoe Vassel said she was pleased with the results she had gotten from the police. She also said she found the meeting very helpful and asked that more meetings like this be held so residents can voice their opinions to police and also hear what the police have to say.

Jacqueline Carpenter, head of media and communications with the RCIPS, said police wanted to hear from members of the community about what they need and what they were felt they were not getting from the police, but the police service also had a lot of developments it wanted to share with the community.

Among the developments she shared was the launch of the police digital platform which enables easier communication with the public.

Police Sergeant Aston Ferguson said of the meeting, “The crowd wanted service and they wanted to hear, and they took full advantage of the opportunity … it was really impacting on us.”

Additional reporting by the Sister Islands Agency