We Caymanians are finally beginning to embrace the important role of being the government of our democracy. And already many have made up their minds to vote for independents in 2013, in order that we may have more accountable representatives. But although we are voicing many of our concerns about our elected representatives, we articulate little if any critique of the nonelected members of government. For example, the issue of the on-going criminalisation of so many of our people over decades are absent from our concerns and articulation when this important issue now needs to be urgently brought to the forefront of our political debates; even if this area of our affairs is primarily managed by nonelected members of our government.
With all the mother country’s rhetoric about self-determination and internal self-government we have yet to witness any reforms that could improve the policing, judgement and incarceration of our people, especially the young. Yes, a National Security Council was established. This was supposed to have assisted the governor and commissioner of police with mapping out strategies to improve the management of crime, but we have witnessed very little change in the police’s approach to the reduction and control of crime and the embedded criminal culture in our Islands and we have heard little if any feedback from the civilian members of the NSC.
Serious crime in Cayman has always been connected to groups or gang related conflicts and is never continuous but rises and falls away depending on the personal relationships between this section of our community socialised into the hype of acting out the meaninglessness of their marginalised existence by hurting each other; not resident or tourist! Why then, after this last wave of killings has subsided, is the commissioner of police’s strategy to retain such large numbers of armed and unarmed policemen and deploy them in our communities as groups of aggressors rather than peace makers serving the real security needs of the people rather than their imagination and socio-economic needs. This continuing labelling and targeting of many of our communities by our so-called peace keepers have made some of us dream of, and long for, the days when Caymanians were our peace makers and our officers.
Millions of our dollars were spent to investigate the same police service but until today the citizens of these Cayman Islands have not been given one fact from the findings of this expensive exercise; yet we are expected to view all our police offers as objective and upright in carrying out their duties in some of our communities. And when complaints are made by our youth against members of the same RCIPS, which was the subject of a long and expensive investigation, these young citizens are deemed to be lacking in intelligence and virtue and are sent over and over again to a penal system where they learn to be real criminals and nobody dares to critically examine the issues of policing and justice in our jurisdiction.
The on-going process of criminalisation is not just the result of policing. At the heart of this crime, are the actions of what we now call the Office Of The Director Of Public Prosecutions and members of our judiciary who make us believe that the word of a police officer, regardless of where he or she might have come from and who he or she might have been in his or her home country, is more judicious than the word of a young Caymanian; especially if he or she has had previous convictions or run ins with the law. With so much harsh criticism of our elected executives and in particular our premier, one might have thought that we would by now also have some concerns about the performance of non-elected members, specially the director of Public Prosecutions, the attorney general, the commissioner of police and the governor.
The governor is head of our internal security, which means he is head of the police, the judiciary and the prisons. And our newest constitution does not have a provision for an elected attorney general or a public prosecutor that is elected or appointed by elected representatives; yet they hold office for life when the office of the premier, governor and commissioner of police all have term limits. There must therefore be something wrong with this portion of our governance and I trust that with so many young people showing an interest in good governance, some will take up the long neglected cause of so many of our young people that were socialised by the police and the judiciary of this country into a life of crime because once accused by the police and convicted by our courts they became outsiders in our cooperate society.
I am not asking those young people that have always had their heads above the suspicion of the police to believe that all those convicted over the years have been without guilt; what I am begging is for those young people with clear minds and clean hearts to remember that our system of government, if corrupted in one spot, could also have some bad spots in other areas. So begin to pay some attention to the internal governmental apparatuses that we have no control over and recognise that the time has arrived for us to contemplate the decriminalisation of non-violent non-intrusive behaviour, the creation of a civilian RCIP inspectorate, the replacement of the DPP with a crown prosecution service and inspectorate and a referendum for a time limit for the head of the DPP and AG.