Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin has brushed off independent and opposition MLAs, who want quick action on motions questioning the leadership of the RCIPS. But that won’t stop the lawmakers who are pointing at recent events and saying they’ve lost faith in the management of police services.
“We are talking about the security of our country and there is just too much crime that is not being dealt with properly,” said Hon. McKeeva Bush.
In light of recent events, Mr. Bush believes crime in Cayman has taken a turn for the worst. He referenced the recent robbery at Alfresco’s restaurant as an example of what crime taking on a new twist.
During a press conference at the Legislative Assembly he said, “This thing at Alfresco’s is not just an ordinary robbery. Here you have a place with 20 to 25 tourists, one of them is accosted and had to be taken to the hospital, while the place itself got robbed of course, it’s ridiculous.”
Mr Bush has the support of all those on the opposition side of the house. In fact they have all signed a document calling for an emergency meeting of the LA.
However, Premier Alden McLaughlin will not agree to such a sitting, since they have set a date for the first meeting on 25 April. He says at that point the Private Members’ Motions surrounding the no confidence in the governance of the police will be discussed.
The press release from the Premier’s Office can be viewed below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Emergency meeting of LA unnecessary
GRAND CAYMAN – Cayman Islands – Two private members’ motions filed in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday will be heard when the regular meeting of the Legislative Assembly is held on 25 April, 2016.
Members of the opposition on Wednesday called for an emergency meeting of the Legislative Assembly to debate two private members’ motions, both surrounding concerns with policing. One motion requests the appointment of a separate independent review in regard to the unfortunate situation of five Caymanians missing at sea while the other asks MLAs to call for a lack of confidence in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and in the governance of the RCIPS.
“These matters are not urgent and there is absolutely no reason to hold an emergency meeting to debate this issue as the House will meet in about four weeks and the motions will be debated then,” said Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin. “Opposition members would not be able to form a quorum on their own and cannot hold the meeting without the Government’s agreement.
“It is regrettable that the loss of five Caymanians at sea is being seized upon as an opportunity by the opposition to score political points. This is just pure opposition politics.” With regard to the independent inquiry into the missing boaters, the Governor has already stated that an Independent Inquiry will be held and intends to make an announcement on who will be conducted it shortly. The findings of that inquiry will be made public.
“So there is no urgency to debating this matter and some may even say a motion that calls for an inquiry, which the Governor has already announced, is pointless,” Mr. McLaughlin said. Opposition Leader Hon. McKeeva Bush, backed by other opposition members, has indicated that he believes the urgency with regard to the motion on the lack of confidence in the police service and governance of RCIPS, is that Cayman’s national security is being eroded.
“The Government is concerned about the recent failures of the RCIPS with respect to a range of matters and has consistently talked with the Governor about these concerns. We believe a review of the services is necessary to address these issues,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
“However, as a society, we cannot blame crime on the police service as a whole or on any individual within the service. Criminality is a problem of society and its causes are complex. We must, as a community, work with the police service to eradicate crime and as a Government, we have a responsibility to ensure that the police have the necessary resources to combat crime. This we have done.
“As a Government we have also been working steadfastly to create opportunities for Caymanians by growing the economy, working with the private sector to create jobs and to get unemployed Caymanians back to work, including those who may be structurally unemployed and need extra support.”
Unemployment among Caymanians is at 6.2 per cent, compared with 10.5 per cent when the now Leader of Opposition was then Premier of these Islands.
“Under my Government, this is the lowest unemployment among Caymanians has been since 2007,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “Our Ready2Work programme is moving along well and bearing fruit and we are starting to put Caymanians in jobs. Also obvious to anyone wishing to see is that the economy has vastly improved under our watch compared to when Mr. Bush was last in charge.
“Given the improvements this Government has helped bring about because of the work we have done, Mr. Bush and members of the opposition have very little, if anything at all, to truthfully complain about with regards to our achievements,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “They are thus grasping at straws and are attempting to stir up the community by politicizing events unnecessarily. This is also an attempt to disrupt the work of Government.”
On Tuesday last, the Cabinet agreed that the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly would be on Monday, 25 April, 2016.
“We have had several draft bills and other business that we need to get ready to presentand this has been the main cause for the delay,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “As stated in a press release this week, several bills are now ready and will be published in early April to meet the 21-day publication requirement before the LA convenes. Again, these two non-urgent motions will be debated when the House meets in April.”