Cops meet with businesses to address security concerns

| 15/07/2016 | 1 Comment
CNS Business

Supt Robert Graham speaks to a business owner at the Chamber forum

(CNS Business): Police Superintendent Robert Graham, who is heading up the RCIPS’ plan to put community policing back at the heart of the service, met with a number of local business leaders last week to get to grips with needs and concerns in the commercial sector and begin to build partnerships. Graham, who was recently recruited from the UK, first met with retail, small business and rental property owners at the Chamber of Commerce and at a second meeting with bar, restaurant and nightclub owners and learned that they want to see more police on the street.

Graham and PC Jonathan Kern, the neighbourhood officer for the George Town waterfront, were told that burglaries and the onerous costs of security were the main concerns for daytime businesses. However, the meeting enabled the police and business owners to work out how they could all cooperate by collective information-sharing among businesses, as well as shop or retail-watch programmes.

The bar and restaurant owners welcomed the initiative by police to engage with them but they identified different problems to the daytime businesses, namely the difficulty in combatting drugs in or around their establishments and what they said was the brazenness of some antisocial behaviour. But they said they were willing to work with police to address the problems on their premises.

“I am an advocate of neighbourhood policing and believe more can be achieved when working closely with the community,” Graham said after the meetings. “We have launched these forums in order to learn what the needs are, to work in partnership to promote a safe environment, and ultimately to deliver the service expected of us. We cannot do so on our own, but in partnership with other stakeholders we know we can achieve better results.”

He added that the enthusiasm shown by the business community to build a partnership with the police could have a great impact.

“What we’ve heard most clearly throughout both meetings is the community’s need for a more visible police presence, and we will strive to respond to that,” Graham said.

Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce President Paul Pearson said that said that, as business people, having voiced their concerns they want to move on to what can be done about it.

“I am happy to say that we recognised the same approach from the police and were very encouraged that they called this meeting. We are prepared to facilitate regular meetings that will lead to the introduction of community-based strategies to improve public safety and to protect the interests of all residents and the business community,” he said.

Since taking over the helm of the RCIPS until a new commissioner is appointed, Acting Commissioner Anthony Ennis has moved to implement a service-wide policy of putting community policing at the heart of his management strategy and has stated his belief that it works.

He is therefore aiming to get police officers out of their cars and onto the streets in an effort to build trust and open lines of communication with the wider community, not just in residential neighbourhoods but the commercial ones as well.

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Category: Local Business

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Night time businesses simply light up your parking/exterior areas. Nice bright LED lights would be the best deterrent. They can be turned off once the business closes and everyone leaves.

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