Comment wanted on controversial register

| 29/03/2009

(CNS): The government is urging the public to submit comments regarding its proposed Sex Offender Registry Bill 2009, which has already caused controversy because of the intention is for the register not to be open. Local children’s advocate and independent candidate for Bodden Town, Sandra Catron, has claimed that unless the public at large have access it defeats the purpose. One of the government’s own back benchers, Alfonso Wright, also recently stated that the register should allow communities to know who is living among them.

With just under a month left for public consultation on the bill as it is now stands, the Ministry of Health and Human Services said it seeks to establish a register of sex offenders.

The ministry said sex offenders who are prosecuted in the Cayman Islands and eventually released back into the community need appropriate supervision to help ensure the safety of victims and communities, increase accountability for their crimes and reduce the risk of re-offending.

“Through this public consultative process, my ministry welcomes greater collaboration with government and non-government agencies as a means of raising awareness of this social issue that is threatening the stability of our families,” said Minister of Health and Human Services Anthony Eden. “I therefore urge all residents of the Cayman Islands to obtain a copy of the draft bill review it and provide written comments.”

The bill states: ”Subject to subsection (2), access to the Register shall be restricted to the Registry. The Registry may, where it is in the interest of the due administration of justice to do so, grant to an approved authority access to the Register. The Governor in Cabinet may by Order, prescribe a list of approved authorities for the purposes of this section.”

Catron recently told CNS that to have a closed list completely missed the point of the register in the first place.

“It only codifies what is currently occurring and in my viewpoint this is a complete waste of time,” she said, noting that the proposed register is intended merely for the use of agencies and departments involved, ones that already have access to information such as the police and the Department of Children and Family Services. “It simply does not make any sense,” she said.

Catron said that the goal of the campaign which she started has been missed. “The register has to be very clear. The aim and objective is to warn people of offenders who have committed an illegal act of rape or sexual assault.”

As well as having a groundswell of grass roots support for her position, government back bencher, the fourth elected member for George Town, Alfonso Wright, also stated in the Legislative Assembly recently that a public register was needed.

Speaking during the debate on the Children (Amendment) Bill (2009), Wright said that the register of sex offenders must move forward and said it must inform the community when offenders lived among them. “People must know who they are so we do not leave our children with neighbours not knowing,” said Wright.

Any input should be in writing and delivered to: The Ministry of Health and Human Services, Government Administration Building, ATTN: Debbie-Ann Whittaker/Sophy Broad. Please address the envelope: “Comments on Sex Offenders Registry Bill”.  Alternatively, comments can be sent to ann.whittaker@gov.ky or sophy.broad@gov.ky.  The Sex Offender Registry Bill, 2009 was tabled in the Legislative Assembly 16 February 2009 for a sixty day public consultation period.  The deadline for recommendations is 17 April 2009.

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Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What we are asking for are MLA’s who give a damn about the issues affecting us before it’s politically expediant for them to do so.

    How about that? VOTE THEM ALL OUT! Poor excuse for representation I say.

  2. Only For Caymanians says:

    I support  Sandra’s possition in that the Registry Must be open to the Public at 100% that the Public is able to access this Reistry and know who the Culprits are.

    The Government always supported the concealing of Criminals and all sorts of Criminal activity, which inturn takes the "Criminals" into HMP Northard where they get treated better than that of the Officers  and staff that work there. After serving his term in Northward, is able to return to society where no one knows what he has been convicted on and is able to return society and repeat the previous offences again.

     All these sexual offenders Must be exposed for the Public to know of their wrong doings and be alert of these people and be prepared….. Why is the Government always ready to cover-up criminal activity ?

    Get Alfonso Wrightand All his comrades including but not limitded to Kurt Tibbetts, Alden McLaughlin and All the present Government OUT of the Government in our beautiful Cayman Islands.

    Only For Caymanians

     

  3. GT Voter - Indep says:

    Boy this country is still living in denial! – Sandra is absolutely correct on this topic!

    I know one thing, they touch my kids they wont be seeing the sunrise or sundown! Keep up the good work Sandra! –

    Now lets here it from the rest of your running compatriots:  Wally, Eddie, Burns, Bo, UDP (Sorry no PPM!)

    One Love,

    GT Voter – Independent all the way!

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    He wont get my vote no matter what boat he jumps on now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Show us your cases on vigilantism – concrete cases please!

    People loved ones are being murdered in this country and no one has ever retaliated in any way; although maybe someone should. We are a law abiding society – except for the criminals.

  6. It does not work says:

    Public registers do not prevent crime.  The evidence is that they create more crime by increasing the risk of vigilantism.   A public register will serve no purpose other than to pander to base misconceptions rather than criminological research.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Making the sex offenders register public is an excellent idea and should definitely be made public! It might just save someone from being sexually offended as I was!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, put them all on a registry. Why not? Maybe that will deter them. These criminals have more rights than us. When will the maddness stop?

    I’m in complete support of a public registry. Too bad this MLA could not speak out when his voice had some value to it. Sad state of affairs.

    • USED TO BE PPM SUPPORTER says:

      Put every last sex offender on the register; we want to know who they are.  If the public can’t access the information, then it’s pretty much a waste of  time and effort.  We have too many perverts living amongst us; let’s weed them out and let them know that we are watching them.  I fully support Sandra’s position.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So easy to sit at your computers and criticize….bet your own Resume’s are quite a laugh! Perhaps if you were out there involved in contributing to the business of the Country and our communities you would know that Alfonso has been a great representative of the people. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why stop at a public sexoffenders registry, let’s have a public criminal registry.

    Any criminal should be listed for every charged crime, so we can find out if our neighbor is a convicted burglar, or prone to violence, and if we are robbed we know whose door to knock on and who to watch.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Why stop at a public sexoffenders registry, let’s have a public criminal registry".

      This is all goes against the Rehabilitation of Offenders Law. We do have to give people who have made mistakes the opportunity to be rehabilitated and re-enter society at some point otherwise they will have nothing to lose and become real desperados and we are all then less safe.   

  11. Anonymous says:

    I will be sending in my comment to say that Sandra is absolutely correct, that if the public cannot have access to the sex offenders register, then it is an absolute waste of time and has accomplished absolutely nothing!!!  If the Government won’t allow a sex offenders register to be open to the Public, then it means they don’t care who gets raped or molested!!!  

    If a person cannot control themself sexually and thereby violate another person by rape or any kind of sexual abuse, they must know that their are consequences for such behaviour, one of the consequences being that if they are arrested, charged and proven guilty, that the whole community will know who they are and thereby can be careful with their children around them, or even for that matter, adults have to be careful around them too!!!  They are sexually perverted!

    If Government doesn’t want to have an open Register, then it means that they want to continue to hide and cover up who the sex offenders are, thereby they don’t care if the sex offenders "strike" again!!!   Remember Cayman is full of expats who don’t know everything, and even we locals don’t know every person that is convicted of rape and molestation.  We can’t keep up with everything these days, the Country is full and busy, and we are too busy trying to work and earn a living and raise our families, we don’t have time to spend trying to investigate daily everything that has happened in the island???  We are too busy trying to work and pay bills and survive and raise our families!!!  An open sex offenders Register would be very quick for us to access to help us to know how to guard ourselves and our children bettter!!!

    To better to be able to protect our Community from sex offenders, the only way is to know who the heck the sex offenders are???  I wonder who in the Goverment has skeletons in their closet or has a family member or friend or friend’s family member that has skeletons in their closet of past sexual offenses of rape or molestation that has been hidden and covered up???  Who are they trying to hide and cover up for???  Family members, Friends, Friends family members???

    What else could be the reason to not want the Public to know who the sex offenders are???

    People need to know if their neighbours are sex offenders, or if their child’s freinds family have any sex offenders thereby being careful to not allow their children to go and play at any home where there is a sex offender living there or visiting there, or even so to keep not only their young children away, but also their teenagers away from that home, unless it is a special event that has responsible accountable adult supervision. 

    Sadly, many sex offenders do not get reported or prosecuted thereby their names cannot be put in a Register, but at least there could be a open Register of the ones who do get prosecuted so that the rest of the Community can know!  Don’t assume we all know just because Cayman is small, NO, that is not true, as i mentioned above, we are busy with our own lives trying to survive, pay bills, raise our family, we don’t know everything that is happening, the island is full of people and very busy, we can’t keep up with every piece of news! 

  12. Anonymous says:

    Alfonso is a sad excuse for a representative. This proves that the parties are not to be supported going foward. Look closely at individual candidates and judge them fairly.

    Had we scrutinize this joker he would have never gotten in to politics. Instead the fear mongoring got to us and we voted straight last time. NEVER AGAIN.

  13. Anonymous says:

    who is this guy?  anyone seen this guy before?

    wait I think i know this guy.  he’s someone that ran for election with the ppm last time.  Great!  nice to see you days before the election actually trying to at least make a contribution of somekind.

    Jokers.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ok, so someone else gets on the boat with Sandra Catron? Shows that her idea was a good one but again because of the party system they don’t want to support it.

    While I question Alfonso’s motive for supporting this at so late in the game; better late than never. Chances are he will not be in the LA to make this pass for the next session though.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Alphonso is a somewhat sad representative, playing to the Cayman card but without much intellect. I hate having to agree with David Legge about him because Legge and his magazine offend me deeply-the display of persons at cocktail parties, some of whom it has to be said are "born" Caymanians, is really awful.

    But Alphonso has only "dug’ into such crucial to our country stuff as to flag raising blah blah at our schools as a sign of their loyalty to Cayman, not realising Mac got them all to do this (and listening to Radley Gourzong’s music which our Caymanian kids in school just laughed at ) years ago. XXXXX

    I think Kut may be in trouble in George Town. Lucille has only one message-succession planning for Caymanians (yawn-this to support her good friend who no one in gov wants to move from her presentposition ) and Alphonzo as above.

    • Anonymous says:

       

      Be careful what you are asking for you might just get it!! Most acts of this kind in the Cayman Islands have been perpetrated by family members, step-fathers, cousins otherwise people that are close to the victim. Needless to say that the majority of the Mothers of these girls (there has been cases with boys) tend to keep it silent and it becomes another "family secret". No reporting to the police here. Will this type of crime be included or are you talking about those others????

      • DEFENDER OF THE ABUSED says:

        Without exception, any person who  dares to cause harm to a child MUST be on the Register.    No matter what the relationship.   After all,  in these types of secanarios the psychological harm can be  worse since the child has been abused by someone he trusts!! 

        • It not what you know, it WHO you know! says:

          Careful dear Cayman, are we, as a country, mature enough to take this? How would our population (us born Caymannians and expats) cope with knowing that we had an ‘excuse’ for vigilante actions? It has been said by the police that some recent events were down to public information about the victims, as a way to ‘justify’ what happened.

          Where is the line drawn? Who goes on the list? Does the parent abusing there children go on the list? Does the family member abusing there relation go on the list? What is a sex offender? A peadophile? A rapist? Someone who ‘insults the modesty of a woman’? Does the senior (or deputy senior) government department official who does underage sex with a 14 yr old go on the list, and then babyfathers a child with same (UNDERAGE) girl? How far back does the register go? What happens the first time an unsafe conviction gets entered and the person sues Government? Or a person on the list gets assaulted because of the list and sues Government? Or looses their job?

          The list is a great idea, but are we, and our government, mature enough to take it?. Look at the increase in violent crime and ask yourself this, can our population cope? If they are on the list, it means, according to the Government, that they have already been punished, sorry, ‘rehabilitated’.

          If the list is made, and I think it should be, can we rely on EVERY sex offender to be on it, no matter who they are, who they know, or who their daddy is? No, we cannot, because those people will already have been ‘saved’ by their Daddy/Relation/Friend… and there entry suppressed and won’t be on the register.

          Why not include DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDERS too? If the legal department kept proper records, (and according to the Compass article, they don’t) we would know all results of court anyway.