Crisis Centre staff get self-defence training from police

Police Training Officer PC James Fordyce and Renee Francis, a relief worker at the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, demonstrate a hold during the personal safety awareness training. - Photo: Seaford Russell Jr.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is giving staff and volunteers of the Crisis Centre some training in self-defence and personal safety awareness.

Crisis Centre staff visited the police training centre in Governors Harbour last week to be put through their paces by Police Training Officer PC James Fordyce. The shelter’s volunteers will undergo training this week.

Fordyce told the Compass, “The RCIPS are always keen to collaborate with our stakeholders and partner agencies. On this occasion, we were approached by the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre to deliver some personal safety awareness training.

“They have several members of staff and volunteers who engage in lone working. This training was designed to give them the confidence to deal safely with potential conflict with minimum risk to themselves and their clients.”

During the training, the team learned basic skills on keeping themselves safe and getting free from situations, such as being grabbed from behind or being choked.

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Crisis Centre Coordinator Carol-Anne Fordyce – who is married to PC Fordyce – said that as the only emergency shelter in three islands, “the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre feel it is important that our staff and volunteers have up-to-date knowledge and skills to keep themselves safe and to make them feel secure and more confident should they encounter an incident at work or in their day to day life”.

Crisis Centre staff, with Police Training Officer PC James Fordyce.

She added, “The majority of our staff are lone workers and given the nature of our work, they can encounter certain situations where emotions and tempers are raised.”

The Crisis Centre already works with the RCIPS to deliver domestic violence awareness training to its new recruits. “I therefore approached them and asked for assistance with this and they were delighted to help,” she said.

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