Police should be more friendly, GT community says

| 24/07/2014

(CNS): Following an RCIPS community meeting at the Prospect Primary School Hall on Monday night, where just 6 people attended, a meeting for the Scranton Community on Tuesday night attracted a slightly larger turnout of around 20. One of the main criticisms levelled at the local police from the Scranton community was that they do not take the time to get to know the community as the officers of the past did. George Town Area Commander Angelique Howell accepted the complaint. “If you don’t know us, you won’t talk to us,” she acknowledged and said that “every police officer should be a neighbourhood police officer”.

“The police don’t have to be my friend,” said local businesswoman Christine Burke-Richardson, “but I feel that police should get to know people, to see who they can trust.” She said she had seen a difference in attitude in the new police officers over the last five years, and even the commissioner was not friendly.

However, Howell said that while the police did have a responsibility to get to know the people, the members of the community had a responsibility to come to the police meetings and voice their concerns, and she pointed to the small numbers of people attending. “It’s sad,” she said, “but we can’t give up.” Scranton Beat Officer PC Cornelius Pompey noted that before the meeting he had gone house to house to give out flyers about the meeting but few of the people who said they would come actually showed up.

Those present complained that people are getting too bold with ganja, smoking it right in the open, and there was a discussion about a number of people with mental health issues harassing people and begging. One of them was often armed with a knife or a screwdriver, it was said.

Commenting on police response time, CI Howell noted how busy George Town is compared to the rest of the island. In the capital, they deal with around 350 calls for service per week, compared with 80 in West Bay and around 70 in Bodden Town. Because resources are not as good as they’d like, the have to prioritise, she said, and dealing with something like a domestic dispute can take several hours.

Since the 1 of January this year to present a total of 317 crimes ranging from burglaries, thefts, harassment, street robberies and loud music, were reported in that area and the surrounding areas. Other crimes included drugs, gambling and antisocial behaviours.

Scranton Community Committee Leader Dale Ramoon said he thought that some of the drug users and people arrested in the area were not from the area, which, he said reflected badly on the community. CI Howell agreed that many of the crimes are not being committed necessarily by the residents within this particular area but by other persons who travelled to the area or being harboured in the area by the residents.

The officers spoke of the partnership with the business community in forming a business watch program, the partnership with other government agencies in addressing the social concerns of some troubled persons, mostly the young men and also the police actions as it relates to addressing criminality within these areas.

Ramoon outlined some of the initiatives that are being undertaken within the Scranton community to improve the image of the area, and said they were looking for men to act as role models and mentors for the young men of the area.

Chief Inspector Howell commended the leaders and residents who work continuously for the improvement of their community, and their willingness to work with the RCIPS in addressing the criminal and social issues affecting them.

On Monday night at the Prospect Primary School Hall, CI Howell said the level of attendance “was very disappointing. While I understand that attending a meeting such this impacts on social & family, I was hoping for a greater turn out from the community in order that I could learn about the issues affecting them, and provide them with information about what we are doing in their area and the plans we may have for their area in the coming months.”

The police can only be effective when they work together in partnership with the community to reduce crime, she noted.

Despite the low turnout, CI Howell stated that there was a healthy discussion among those who did attend and she was pleased with the suggestions they received.

Complaints of the heavy speeding that consistently occurs along on Shamrock Road, Spotts, were voiced, and suggestions made that speed cameras would be beneficial in that area, as this would assist the police who cannot be everywhere all the time. The suggestion was accepted and the commander will be raising this with the National CCTV committee.

The group also discussed various ways in which to build partnership between the police and the communities, one suggestion being that the police should get the community involved when planning community meetings so that they can assist in getting the messages out to the public. CI Howell accepted the suggestion and promised that future meetings will see both police officers and community members driving it forward.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The need for police is an illusion. Good, honest citizens trump those dishonest thugs every time. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    That British punk in an RCIPS uniform with the manners of a pig I encountered on my way to the airport a while back (keen CNS readers will recall my earlier post on the incident) was downright rude and disrespectful to me, I recall. I'd come across his shirty sort in the UK before I abandoned the place. I note (with some bemusement) recent moves afoot to require UK bobbies to actually be polite to those who pay their salaries. Well, goodness gracious me, wonders never cease, but I'll wait until I next encounter another one (think I'll ask for directions or something) on a trip back there before judging if there's been any improvement, then post my experience on CNS first opportunity.

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess is that your poor attitude to the police contributed greatly to the negative elements of the encounter.

      • Anonymous says:

        In which case you are guessing 100% incorrectly. For some reason or another the left exit at the AL Thompson roundabout was blocked off. I was journeying to the airport to meet my wife, who was returning from an overseas drug treatment education course for schools. When I stopped and lowered my window I was asked in a most uncouth fashion where I was going. When I said "the airport" the oaf in a uniform (because that's exactly what he was behaving like) rudely replied "Well, not down this way you're not".

        Kindly explain how any "poor attitude" on my part towards this public servant merited being addressed and treated in such a despicable way.

        I suspect you are a serving police officer, my friend. Perhaps you can learn from my experience and determine never to act so reprehensively yourself towards a member of the public. You'll be a better officer for it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I know some people employed by the CIG that if you complain you are attacked by them/there friends  and nothing is done. this starts all the way at the top. there is no consequence for them attacking.

    This is part of the reason CI i so messed up.

    that said i sent emails to the top of the foodchain telling them facts and the email trail that follows ends up on deaf ears

    I am outta here

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is simply not enough indigenous population to have the entire RCIPS Caymanians to the ration of other employments. Hire US Cops. Most of them friendly, professional, they know gang and other other organized crimes, sting operations etc.. And will crack skulls when needed. Likely this will never happen because a) The English do not want any Americans meddling in the policing ideology (No guns!!! God no!!) and two, when the Americans start cracking down on these gang thugs, there will be outcry of police brutality from those communities etc etc etc, and people here on CNS and other medias will just suck it up. So crime is here to stay because no one wants to make the tough calls. The fact that Baines has to testify for running over that XXXXXX, in a what would be a normal police take down says it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some U.S. cops are members of the kkk,so you got to be careful,Caymanians vs kkk trained cops would be total disaster.

    • Anonymous says:

      And america is crime free…….what a load of…..

  5. Anonymous says:

    More friendly or less arrogant? There's a subtantial element within RCPS that thinks wearing a fancy uniform gives them the right to treat members of the public like dirt and this needs to be addressed. RCIPS, from the top down, believes they can demand respect when in reality they need to earn it and that isn't happening.   

    • Annie says:

      Our GT beat officer is very friendly, availible, proactive and helpful. I work down town, but have never had a problem with any officer anywhere on the Island.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whether cops become cops because of their arrogance, or become arrogant due to the cop culture is up for grabs, but it does seem to ring true in many cases. Can addressing this particular anomaly be placed into training? Once we see officers friendly, trustworthy, and on our side, perhaps serious crimes will subside. C'mon, let's all work together to bring this great country back to what it once was.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Be more friendly!!! Lol! What a joke, these officers will never be able to do this. They come from a country where they have been educated to be aggressive. I have dealt on several occasions specifically Jamaican when walking on the road and say good evening and they just brush you off, try a ski g a question basically they tell you to get lost…

    The RCIPS officers especially Jamaican will never be able to be friendly…

    • anonymous says:

      Why are there Jamaican police here? Surely they should be policing Jamaica?

      I don't understand why they are here

      • Anonymous says:

        The powers that be want foreign police here. Powers higher than the government. It stinks I know.

      • Anonymous says:

        Like with everything else they get paid a lot more here. 

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 14:42, they are here for the lovely Cayman Islands dollars, check the exchange rate from CI$ to JA$, cant wrong them for trying to make a living but I don' trust anyof them. 

        • anonymous says:

          Not even one of them? There must be one somewhere with integrity?

      • Anonymous says:

        A good point. I mean, isn't there enough work for them over there or what?

      • Anonymous says:

        A lot of Jamaicans live in cayman. Why not have Jamaican police? What is wrong with the Jamaican police? Each country/nationality has good and bad people. What country/nationality doesn't have a prison/crime and where is this utopia?! 

        • anonymous says:

          A lot of Mexicans live in the US but I don't see too many Mexican cops patrolling in the US.

        • Anonymous says:

          Really now?

          DO you think Jamaicans would allow their police service to have more than half officers on contract to be non-Jamaican AND the other half of the officers to have Jamaican residency/citizenship through marriage?

          All the people who want to call Caymanians xenophobic etc give the name of one democratic country in which more than 3/4 of the POLICE service (national security) are not natives of that country?? Name at least one where the entire civil service is dominated by on main national who are not the Mother country?

        • Anonymous says:

          Anon 2023 I think where some are coming from is that Jamaica is viewed as a countryfull of crime an there has been alotsai about coruption in the Jamaican police force.

          So when hire them to cayman police wll they help solve the problem or make it worse?

          We do know two things a lot of crimes in Cayman are not solved or handled properly by the police and that there are a lot of Jamaicans and former Jamaicns in the force.


    • Anonyanmous says:

      Well saidposter 10:35 very true 90% of them should not be in the RCIPS, would rather have officers from the UK they are better trained and have less agressive mannerism and better people skills. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    To the comment 05:21 please Get a life.  Ganja is the least of your problems.  Alcohol is the number one killer here.  If the rest of the first world nation are allowing ganja to be passed creating less tax peoples money to house minor crimes like this then surely Cayman Islands should introduce itself to the 21st Century.  I rather see ganja smokers than folks sticking needles up their arms.  And before you go there by saying one thing leads to another.  It is all about control and not abusing oneself.  Remember and not an accuse some of these persons are not able to get a job in their own country I hasten to add.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Same old tired, lame arugment. Other things are worse so breaking the law with pot is okay. Lame and tired… and lame

    • Anonymous says:

      Where in one breath I agree with your comment regarding alcohol as it is true alcohol is a killer! The part about ganja being the least of someone's problem in their neighborhood suggests to me that you are a user of ganja and wouldn't mind seeing it become legal so you could pop your a$$ down to the nearest corner where it is sold n purchase some n not worry about losing ur cushion job with a big monthly salary.  The first darn thing with ganja in cayman is that until it becomes legalized its illegal , the second part about that is where ever itis presently sold in whomevers yard in whatever district ppl know where it's at an who has the best an with that crack cocaine is also sold which in itself creates another problem the crack heads then come around. What do crack heads do to support the addiction they steal, burglarize our homes take out valuables invade our privacy in our homes the one place we are aupposed to feel safe!!! Just to get that rock. Most drug addicts may consume ganja but the drug of choice is crack cocaine.  Which drug dealer it is that sells ganja but don't sell crack!!!! I think that you perhaps need to look at the bigger picture an be careful of just what u asking for as most times we are always greedy and bit off more than we can chew and choke because of it. It's only a foolish dog bark after a flying bird!!!!! 

  8. Anonymous says:


    – have a police bbm line for people to report crimes.  People can even provide pictures

    -provide an online chat service for people to report crimes

    – profie

  9. Anonyanmous says:

    There are good and bad in the RCIPS but for the most part the majority of the officers are friendly. I am very concerned about the use of ganja in public all over these islands.  Just last week there was a discussion on how there is a certain yard in the Prospect area where people congregrate just to smoke and sell drugs, residents of this neighbourhood is disgusted and have complained but it seems as if the police is powerless to stop it or they don't want to.

    • Anonymous says:

      ..same thing in Mt Pleasant West Bay!!

      It used to be a great community — police presence is so needed there; not just car drive-bys every 90 minutes!!

      • Anonymous says:

        …same thing at Smith’s cove.

      • Joe B says:

        So your saying its the people that are the problem and not the police?  Hhhmmmmm.  You also seem to be saying that the police are part of the solution to the problem.  What an interesting concept.  Hope it catches on.