Senior cop addresses kids negativity

| 31/01/2010

(CNS): Some young people appear to have a very negative attitude about the police, despite the fact they have no personal experience of dealing with them, Chief Inspector Angelique Howell of the RCIPS has said. Speaking at a recent meeting with 26 teenagers from the Cayman Islands Youth Assembly (a programme of the Youth Services Unit) about how drugs, crime and violence affect the lives of young people on the islands, CI Howell said that, while the discussion was very lively, many of the young people held misconceptions about the role of the police in the community.

What I did find interesting was the fact that so many of them appeared not to have an understanding of the role the RCIPS plays in their community. Despite the fact that for many of them Thursday’s meeting was their first interaction with us, they seemed to have quite a negative perception of the police,” she said. “They admitted that these perceptions were based wholly on comments made by third parties and not based on any personal experiences. Thankfully, I was able to address any concerns and they are now much more aware of what we do and how we are working with communities right across the islands.

The meeting took place at the George Hicks Campus last Thursday, 20 January,and CI Howell, from West Bay police station, delivered a presentation and talked about some of the reasons young people become involved in taking drugs and alcohol.

“The young people who attended engaged in what can be described as very lively and interactive discussion. The young people really appreciated the information we gave them and you could see that they were really putting a lot of thought into the issues. I’m sure that they left the meeting much better informed than they had been before. They now know what to look out for and how the use of alcohol and drugs can destroy lives, families and communities."

She explained how she had also underlined how the use of these substances can affect lives both at school and at home and discussed how to spot the signs of abuse in others.

 “I was very impressed with the Youth Assembly, which is made up of students from both public and private schools throughout the island,” CI Howell noted. “They come together to discuss issues affecting young people before submitting their informed perspectives by way of position papers to the government. I hope that I will be able to have further meetings with them soon because, after all, the only people who can speak frankly and honestly about the issues affecting young people in the Cayman Islands are the young people themselves.”

The police commissioner recently told the Cayman Business Outlook conference that the police role was not just about addressing the criminal element in society but also about engaging with the community to prevent young people from getting involved with gangs and drugs and the crime associated with that.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A chain is as strong as its weakest link. What ever happened to the days when the police were seen as the ones who protected us and to whom we would give a lot of assistance (willingly) when we knew of something that could help solve a case.

    We read of the difficulties that the police are having in getting the public to essentially help to solve crime by coming forward and assisting by simply giving an account of what they saw. Folks say that they are afraid as the confidentiality of the police is questionable. This fear has led us to remain silent and watch and experience an increase in the crime rate.Would we have to wait until someone hurts or kills someone we love prior to acknowledging that the bad guys are not the police but those who walk amongst us -untouched-free to roam -simply because we refuse to talk. In the meanwhile we let the children believe that the crimes-failure to have them solved-is the police’s fault.  

    The weak link is not the police but the communities which fail to support them in doing their jobs.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is no surprise really.  The RCIPS only seems to be capable of standing on streets watching license coupons instead of solving crime.  Its all over the news media how incompentent they are.  To get rid of the negativity catch some criminals!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The apple does not fall far from the tree

  4. Anonymous says:

    "Some young people appear to have a very negative "


    Judging from the posts here I would say "Most people appear to have a very negative attitude" which is no doubt rubbing of on their children.

    • JM says:

      You are right, it is a cycle.  It doesn’t have to be their parents, it could be another adult rubbing off on the child.