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Harris on fighting crime: ‘It is a priority’

One day after a couple was robbed at gunpoint, Counselor Austin Harris is defending Government’s handling of crime. He says dealing with the issue is one of the Government’s top priorities Cayman 27 Jevaughnie Ebanks has more.

MLA Austin Harris said, “We can also give our community members the assurance that the government is not sitting idly by but is, in fact, delivering on its promise to tackling serious crime in this country.” The Counillor for Human Resources, Immigration and Community Affairs said, tackling crime is a big goal for government. He pointed out National Security got the largest funding to do just that. “Well the government budgeted 270 million dollars for National Security. In that National Security budget is inclusive of the new police human resource personnel it includes staffing for new community policing initiative and other policing directives,” he said.

On Monday (26 February) the RICPS launched its community policing plan aimed at building visibility and a better relationship with the public. When pressed on how he responds when the community says community policing is not enough he said, ” I say what more can be done? People have complained that they need greater presence. That greater presence will be seen in community policing the police community support group again is a dedicated unit whose only task is to police communities across the Cayman Islands.”

But Mr Harris said that’s one element. ” The government acknowledge though that we not only do we have to tackle the crime at its present value but also the root cause of crime and criminality in the Cayman Islands as such the Family Resource unit has rolled out new and enhanced rehabilitation programmes.” Mr Harris said, that tacking crime through education for the youth is also underway. He said, ” We are also seeing further engagement through our Education Department and Ministry of Education in establishing programmes that identify at-risk youth to identify their challenges early which we also believe will act as a deterrent to crime.” Mr Harris also said border security is being addressed to stop the illegal importation of firearms in Cayman.

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