By Paul Kennedy
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has welcomed the premier’s pledge to reduce gun crime by 60 percent if he’s elected – but warned it’ll take help from the community to make the country safe.
Last week, The Progressives unveiled their manifesto and said they will work with police to stop guns coming into Cayman.
Senior police officers said they too are up to the task of stopping illegal firearms sneaking into the country.
“Reducing the number of illegal guns on the islands remains a strategic priority for the RCIPS,” a police spokeswoman said.
“Gun crime can have a major impact on the public’s sense of security, therefore investing the significant time and resources needed to address it is well worth the effort. An important part of this investment is building communication and trust with the public, because reducing gun crime can only be done in partnership with the community.”
The premier said he wants to step-up border patrols, something the police say needs to be done with the right equipment in place.
They cited a review carried out at the beginning of the year by the United Kingdom’s Marine and Coastguard Agency which made a number of recommendations to improve security in Cayman’s waters.
“We are making strides in all of these areas,” the spokeswoman added.
“In terms of equipment and training, the RCIPS has just become the hub for ballistics information throughout the U.K. Overseas Territories, housing state-of-the-art forensic ballistic equipment enabling better tracking of guns and quicker production of evidence in gun cases. This has also meant increased skills and expertise for RCIPS staff.
“Border security is also key, and thanks to the recent review by the U.K. Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, we have a clearer road map for strengthening our borders; repairs to the marine fleet and financing of other recommended equipment are underway.
“In addition, it should be noted that we have had personnel and resources dedicated specifically to interdicting drugs and firearms for some time; last year the RCIPS confiscated 15 firearms and nearly 1,500 pounds of ganja.”