RCIPS’ holiday safety operation, Winter Guardian, commenced on Thursday, 1 December, and sees increased community foot patrols, high visibility mobile patrols and intensified road enforcement operations, supported by road safety education and awareness campaigns.
Community Police officers will be conducting evening foot patrols across residential communities and commercial areas around the Cayman Islands to increase visibility and provide support to residents, business owners and shoppers throughout the Holiday Season. Officers from the Special Constabulary will be added to increase the presence of uniformed officers throughout the island, and members of the 2022 RCIPS Recruit Class will be working alongside traffic officers throughout the holiday period.
“The arrival of the festive season means more activity on our roads, in businesses, and everywhere people gather to socialize, and so our holiday safety campaign is about ensuring public safety, providing reassurance, and deterring crime,” says Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton. “We conduct these activities throughout the year, but during this time period a more strategic approach is required. I would ask all members of the public to work with us, by simply following the law and behaving responsibly, as we continue to work to keep our communities safer.”
Road safety is also a major part of the Holiday Safety Campaign, with the Traffic & Roads Policing Unit deploying high visibility patrols and traffic checkpoints. The aim being to reduce traffic collisions and increase road safety by cracking down on inconsiderate driving, distracted driving, and speeding. Targeting drunk driving remains a main focus, particularly with the legal alcohol limit for drivers having recently been lowered to 0.07%.
“We are reminding everyone to avoid driving if you plan to drink, as it is now even more likely that you will be over the legal limit if you do so,” says Inspector Andre Tahal, head of the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit. “We know that social gatherings become more frequent during the festive season. However, drinking and driving is no less dangerous now than at any other time of the year. If you are drinking, make a plan that doesn’t involve driving.”
As always, the RCIPS continues to support the National Drug Council in their annual Arrive Alive 345 Campaign. This includes the Designated Driver Programme, an initiative among local restaurants to offer complimentary soft drinks to designated drivers. The Purple Ribbon Bus service provides free bus service on New Year’s Eve from 9:00PM to 4:00AM for all districts on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. Additionally, the RCIPS encourages drivers to take the Purple Ribbon Pledge to not drink and drive over the holiday season. Visit the National Drug Council for more information.
The RCIPS is also reminding the public to be especially cautious of financial crime, which tends to increase during the holiday season as persons increase their online shopping and transactions using debit and credit cards. Always be sure to take appropriate precautions when engaging in these activities, and be sure to guard your financial information closely. More tips on financial crime prevention can be found on our website and on our social media channels.
The operation continues throughout the holiday season and into the New Year in an effort to ensure the safety of members of the public as they do their shopping, travel the roads and enjoy festivities.