What should be one of the most secure places in Cayman, has become easy pickings for thieves. The George Town Police Station (GTPS) has been burgled at least twice in the last 3 weeks.
After several burglaries in its back yard, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has been forced to step up security measures at the station. Chief Superintendent Kirk Walton said in light of recent security breaches, an officer now mans the compound 24/7. He says there is a new business proposal outlining three new business cases to provide CCTV services, since the current system malfunctioned during the most recent break ins.
He says there is no denying that the police force could step up, however, their capabilities are hampered by the conditions of their station.
He said, “We’ve accepted that there are some failings on our part, but equally we need to recognise then reality of the station. It’s not fit for purpose.”
When the compound was originally designed, it wasn’t built to impound vehicles, save evidence or keep thieves out. At that point, it was simply a parking lot. Fast forward fifty years later and police say the facility is expected to cope under pressure it was never designed for.
When asked, “How much would it take to bring this police station to the point where it is fit for purpose?” Mr. Walton responded, “You need a bulldozer to come in, knock everything down and rebuild.”
As the building continues to fall apart, more and more of the officers are being affected, even the in the K-9 Division.
“Diesel fumes that are now existing in this building (police kennel) as a result of the generators next to it we can’t keep our $65,000 worth of dogs in here; so the officers have to keep them at their homes,” he said.
During his State of the Nation address, Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin announced plans to sell the current police station site and use the funds from that to build a new police station on Crown Land elsewhere in George Town. However, Mr. Walton doubts that will happen.
He said, “I’m 47 years of age. I’m retiring at the age of 60 and I will almost suspect that at the age of 60, this building will still be here.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for funding the RCIPS, Cayman 27 reached out to that ministry, no reply was received.