NSC Tackles Serious Crime
The National Security Council met on the afternoon of 10 April 2018 for its first session since the arrival of new Governor, Anwar Choudhury. The agenda included strategic issues to tackle burglary, armed robbery as well as the importation of guns and drugs.
Following the NSC meeting the Governor commented that "Since arriving in Cayman I have had the chance to discuss security threats with the Premier, Leader of the Opposition, the professionals who keep Cayman safe from crime and many members of the public across Caymanian society. Burglaries and armed crime threaten our way of life and were highlighted by everyone as priorities. I was delighted by the way my first National Security Council meeting tackled these issues head-on and agreed a challenging and ambitious set of measures which will make a real difference in tackling serious crime. I was also heartened by the way that NSC members readily agreed that security matters would be above politics and this was very evident in the businesslike approach that was adopted".
The following measures were endorsed by the Council and will now be implemented:
To tackle serious crimes including burglary and armed robbery
- The establishment of a dedicated Joint Task Force between the RCIPS and Department of Immigration to ensure the removal of illegal aliens;
- The appointment of Community Safety Officers to work with Community Policing personnel to reduce crimes in the communities;
- The resourcing of a sustained media campaign to educate and inform the general public on crime prevention, including the distribution of literature to businesses, residences and visitor overnight locations (hotels, etc.);
- A gun amnesty campaign for launch in April 2018.
To strengthen Cayman's borders against the importation of guns, drugs and illegal immigrants
- The appointment of a Caymanian Head of the Coastguard at Chief Superintendent level who will report to the Commissioner of Police. The recruitment of a specialist advisor to assist the new Head of the Coastguard;
- Direct entry recruitment to the new Coastguard to be introduced;
- The development and creation of a ring fenced budget dedicated to the new Coastguard Service;
- Approval of a set of Border Control Priorities to focus the work of law enforcement agencies including the new Border Protection Service. The priorities specifically highlight the importation of guns and drugs;
- Authorisation of a UK funded project to create a Strategic Border Threat Assessment to refine priorities further;
- Acceptance of a UK offer to train and create an Intelligence Analytical capability for the Cayman Islands to enable ongoing understanding of border risks.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said: "I am extremely grateful that His Excellency has taken onboard my concerns and suggestions about how the National Security Council can be used more effectively to address the increasing concerns about crime, and to have done so as swiftly as he has. I am also happy that the NSC has adopted several Government priorities including introducing Community Safety Officers, also known as Community Wardens, as well as introducing a Coastguard service to help better protect our borders."
Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller commented: "I was pleased to attend the first meeting of the restructured National Security Council under the Chairmanship of H.E. Governor Anwar Choudhury. I found the meeting structured, informative and worthwhile. The presentations facilitated informed decisions by members. I congratulate H. E. the Governor on a great start and look forward to the next meeting."