Trade officers with the Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI) are getting further instruction on what it takes to enforce local laws, with training from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS).

Created under the Trade and Business Licensing Law (TBL), DCI's trade officers have the same powers as police constables. The first in a series of training sessions took place last month at the RCIPS Training and Development Unit, and covered aspects such as arrest protocols, incident reporting, and officer discretion.

'During the session we covered their newly found duties as constables and the powers imposed upon them – in particular, powers of arrest, use of force and verbal communication', said police constable and lead officer safety trainer Gabe Rabess. 'Being a constable itself is a great undertaking, and the use of trade officers in business matters is a positive. We look forward to continuing their training'.

Under the TBL, which commenced on 1 January, trade officers will be able to search business premises and issue tickets against breaches to licensing requirements.

A DCI administrator and three trade officers, all with previous law enforcement experience with the RCIPS, Immigration and Customs, took part in the training. In addition to the TBL, DCI enforces other commerce-related laws including the Liquor Licensing Law, and Film Exhibition Control Law.

DCI Director Ryan Rajkumarsingh said the trade officers have a big role to play in the successful implementation of local legislation.

'The law-abiding business community has repeatedly called for action against those who do not follow the various laws in Cayman,' he said. 'As the authority on all forms of business licensing, it is important that we have an effective enforcement arm to deal with noncompliance. With properly trained trade officers, we can improve local commerce for business owners.'

Among other benefits, the TBL is intended to create a level playing field for business owners, and to lead to greater efficiencies in the overall business licensing system by reducing approval times for licences, clarifying business licensing categories and improving DCI's enforcement powers.

For more information, call DCI on 945-0943 or email

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