The Progressives’ Ambition
Relatively low crime levels have traditionally been a feature of the Cayman Islands. This is something we have been rightly proud of and from which we have benefitted directly as residents and indirectly as the safety of our Islands has attracted tourists to Cayman. Crime must not be allowed to get out of hand on our Islands, which means we need a government willing to act, both to prevent crime and to deal with criminality.
The Current Situation
Compared to many countries, the level of crime here in Cayman is still relatively low. However, trends, such as the rising number of armed robberies, are causing widespread concern. Meanwhile, the PACT government remains quiet on crime and crime prevention, including in its recent strategic policy statement which only offered more data collection and analysis as a substitute for action
The last Progressives administration invested in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, providing extra resources for neighbourhood policing and for new equipment, from helicopters to forensics. These investments and the work undertaken to develop an anti-gang strategy were initiatives that could have been built upon. The PACT government is squandering that opportunity and communities across Cayman are paying the price.
The Progressives’ Agenda for Action
- We need to see more direct action by the police service to disrupt criminal gangs, target prolific and persistent offenders and achieve more arrests and convictions. We need to support the Police Commissioner to implement measures such as ‘hot spot policing’ and we need to hold him to account to ensure that we see results quickly.
- The RCIPS, the Coastguard and Customs and Border Control should work jointly to improve our capacity to detect illegal boats bringing drugs and guns to our islands.
- We need to offer enhanced support to those leaving prison so that we can help them to prevent a return to criminality. That means enhancing the training and other opportunities available to offenders while in prison and assisting them to access employment and necessary additional support on their release.
- We need to work with our young people to prevent them from getting involved with gangs and divert them from criminality. This action will have the most impact in the long term, not just on the safety of our communities but on the improved life chances it will create for dozens of young Caymanians.
- The police, the criminal justice system and the elected government must play their part, but the safest communities are those that help to look after themselves. We support the expansion of initiatives such as neighbourhood watch to help improve community safety.