Baines plans gun amnesty

| 12/07/2009

(CNS): The new police commissioner David Baines has indicated that he is considering a gun amnesty in the near future. Speaking to the press this week about the latest shootings in the Cayman Islands which have left two young men dead, one fighting for his life with critical injuries and another seriously wounded, he said that long term strategies needed to be considered to address the gun situation on the island. Baines stated that even one weapon in Cayman is too many. “We need to work together to reduce gun crime and acts of violence,” he said.


He said he was aware of the growing concern that there were far too many weapons here in Cayman and Baines said he was viewing the longer term objective of a gun amnesty to help address that.

The last gun amnesty on the island was held in November /December of 2006 and some twenty weapons were handed in. Police also received some 95 rounds of ammunition of various kinds.  In the past amnesties here have been sponsored by the Rotary club and held in partnership with the church as well as police.

An Amnesty generally offers residents the opportunity to turn in any illegal weapons or ammunition that they have in their possession or they know about to the designated people or place without fear of prosecution. A small reward is usually offered to those that bring the weapons to the designated site and traditionally Rotary Club has been the sponsor.

Although controversial statistics prove that amnesties have a positive impact on gun related crime as well as reducing the number of illegal arms in circulation but tend to work better when followed by immediately stiffer sentences for firearms possession and offences. If people know that there are tough punishments ahead, then they are more likely to want to turn their weapons in experts say.



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  1. Szocske says:

    I did not refer strictly to the incident at hand (of which we all know very little), just gang violence and gun crimes in general. Did not intend to trivialise these terrible events, everyone please excuse me if I was misunderstandable.

    My point was how guns trivialise application of deadly force.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the clarification however my point is that whether you have a machete or gun in hand, if you don’t have value for anyones life including your own – the result will be the same. I’m not kidding myself that Wednesdays shooting wascommitted by young men who just happened down the wrong path.
      They took the time to load those guns, they had to come up with an outfit to wear. They had to get there. That’s a lot of time to change your sane mind. If they had any conscience – how come they didn’t turn themselves in? I could not live with myself if another human being lost their life at my hands or as a result of my actions. I listened to Mr Baines today and I think he has a different approach. Give him a chance. He is right though – they need our support.

  2. Pale Rider says:

    Sorry guys,… This is indeed a knee jerk reaction by the Commissioner….and amounts to nothing more than lip service…Posters are quite correct in saying that Mr. Baines has inherited a mess…but have we heard any information about high level meetings and demands of leaders for results???  NOPE!!!  Mr. Baines came into this job with his eyes wide open…He knew what he was getting into…He KNEW the state of the RCIP when he walked in the door….So to say give him a break….ABSOLUTELY NOT…..we, the public should be his biggest critics….He should hit the ground running and not look back…If he can’t handle the heat, then he should get out of the tropics….Stop talking rubbish Mr. Baines…Gather your leaders and DEMAND results….if they can’t deliver…then you should sack them and get ones in that can..Believe me, they exist!!!   Don’t suppose you have been intelligent enough to reach out to Derek Haines and ask for his assistance???  You should!!  That man has local knowledge and contacts that you or any of your current "GOLD" leaders will never have. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, Mr Baines knew what he was getting into but Cayman didn’t get this way over night and he can’t change things over night either.  You have to give him time to make a difference.  Yes, Mr Haines knows a lot about local crime and would be a huge asset to the police department and I agree he should be right there doing what he does best.  Cleaning up the streets of Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Remember when Commissioner Kernohan came to the island he was their night in shining armour that was going to save the Cayman Islands…need I say more…what makes you think this commissioner is going to do any better, from where I sit things have only gotten worse since he has been in office!!!!

  3. Dennie Warren Jr. says:
    Any intelligent and honest person understand that writers are the ones who misspell words and not the pens they use to spell, so while a criminal culture is not cool or acceptable; it is at best negligent for the Governor and the Police to use language which blame firearms for the conduct of criminals.
    Secondly, some firearms can be purchased new for a lot less than that suggested reward, so it’s not a good idea to for that writer to suggest the RCIPS offer a CI$1,000.00 (US$1,250) reward for the recovery a firearm; it would become even more profitable for criminals to import illegal firearms.
    No reward should be offered!
    Thirdly, the RCIPS depend upon help from residents to fight crime, please speak up now if you have information about criminal activity, our present and future depend on your help.
    Video: Alicia Keys – POW
  4. Anonymous says:

    The problem with the public assisting the police is that too much damage has been done in the past and the general public has lost the faith and trust in the police force. Too many things have not been handled in a professional and reliable manner, and as such, there is probably a real fear that the criminials would be able to find out who the whistle blowers are and deal with them before the police can get their act together.

    • Anonymous says:

      The UK is a joke!

      The UK controls the RCIP, and to date, the RCIP has been largely a failure at curbing or solving serious crime in the Cayman Islands.

      Maybe the UK should relinguish internal security to the Cayman Islands.

      • Target says:

        Or how about this?

        The UK is allowed to fill the RCIPS with UK police officers without having to worry about how many Caymanian officers there are……

        You’ve tried filling it with Caymanians, didn’t work, you’ve tried filling it with Jamaicans… SO didn’t work… so what’s next?


        • backstroke says:

          Target!!!  you dont have to say any more, we see and know where you are coming from, again, that better than thou, stiff upoer lip s**** dont cut it. there is good officers in Cayman,Jamaica etc. not only in the UK. I wish you would stop stirring the pot with this garbage.  Goid officers here or any where else can only do the job if they are assisted by the people, now, good detectives will help I dare say, but stop the profiling of people that you do not like.

          Crimes have been committed and needs to be solved all of us even you Target need to assist the police.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We must support our Police Department and help bring this murder(s) to justice. It is a crying shame! Our young people are being killed by guns or killing themselves on the road. Where will our future leaders come from?

    I also have a suggestion to our Government – make Northward a real prision, and not a vacation spot; one that persons would not want to go to the second time and crime would be reduced!! Right now it is a place of luxury; prisioners eat and live better than the average person on the street; this needs to stop in order to get our Island back!!  No criminal is afraid to go up there, hence the numerous repeat offenders. When you commit a crime, you give up your rights, so I don’t want the "Human Rights" advocates on my back.

  6. Szocske says:

    The difference between a machete and a gun is the amount of determination needed to maim or kill the victim:

    Up close and personal, your conscience can kick in even at the very last moment, as you can feel the blade tearing flesh and breaking bones, and not follow through with the swing originally intended to be of fatal force. Ever butchered a chicken? Feels awful.

    From across the street, looking down the sights, it’s just a shape or figure, you pull the trigger, and then it’s already too late. Not looking down the sights, spraying bullets in some general direction like they do in movies thinking "this will scare them good!" is probably even simpler. Ever played paintball? Fun and easy.

    We are not talking about cold blooded psychopaths here, but mentally fit young men misguided or pressured into something they don’t feel the weight of until it is too late.

    I can not make informed comment about the desired strictness of gun control, but enforcing whatever laws are in effect is important: It is the unlicensed guns that should be taken out of black market circulation one way or the other. This is one way, hopefully others will follow.


    • Anonymous says:

      You call mowing down in cold blood three unarmed youths the result of being misguided or caving into peer pressure? WTF? I’m sorry but when I was growing up- IN CAYMAN – I was taught the value of life. I think that Wednesdays incident borders on Columbine so you can sit there in denial and trivialise this all you want but you can’t convince me. These criminals will continue to evade justice as long as mothers, fathers, girlfriends cloak and cover up for them and outsiders stay silent. Gone are the days when you can sit in the sanctity of your nice a\\c home – better learn how to duck and dodge bullets – bullets are not prejudiced and can hit anyone\\anything. RIP Marcus. Another one gone too soon. God sees all and He doesn’t sleep nor slumber.

      • Target says:

        Ladies and Gentlemen, go easy unless you know….

        Before you jump in with both feet, do you KNOW that Mr Baines has not met Mr Haines? I mean actually know it, for fact, rather than a suspicion?

        Given the incestuous mess that Baines has to sort out, do you think he is stupid enough to publicise where he gets ALL his help and information from? I doubt it….

        I know the answer to this, and other meetings, so please, save your chest beating until you have facts.

  7. Anonymous says:
    guns do not commit crimes, it is  those with criminal intentions that commit crimes’
    You are of course right, however, it is very easy for any idiot to point a firearm at someone, pull the trigger, and then a life is lost. Its much harder, and takes much more stomach to go and stab, chop or bludgeon someone to death.
    That’s the problem with firearms, its just far too easy.
    Its a simple equation – no firearms = no shootings, thus i belive this is what we should be aiming for.
  8. Anonymous says:

    David Baines is new to his post.  At least he is making an effort to do something.  Give the man time and credit for his initiative.  Might not work but at least it can’t hurt to try.

  9. Richard Wadd says:

     As I have said before, offer a CI$1,000.00 REWARD to the recovery and / or arrest of Illegal Firearms and those in possesion of them.

    There are quite a few ‘Addicts’ out there who would sell thier own mother for that sort of reward, much less to ‘snitch’ on these criminals.

    Let us turn the users on the criminals for a change.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gun amnisty is fine to get some guns off the street, probably old guns that can not shoot or are outdated and unattractive to the criminals. The fact of the matter is that those who have the high capacity 9mm and the AK-47 for protection and/or for use for criminal acts are NOT giving up their guns.

    Guys, guns do not commit crimes, it is  those with criminal intentions that commit crimes. Licensed gun owners do not commit gun crimes.  If we have another gun amnisty, should this then be followed by a "Machette" amnisty? Remember the killing with the machette, on trial now???

    If we as Caymanians were  not so reluctant to assist the police by sharing the information we have and so necessary for the police to solve crimes, then crime will continue to be a feature of our everyday life, and we need to stop complaining.

    Want to stop crime? Then be prepared to put your right foot forward and be the eyes and ears of the police. Otherwise, STOP bashing our police force and be prepared to live in fear. God forbid it is not your childwho next stops a bullet. Our police have, say, 250 eyes and we have 120,000 eyes, who see more????????????? Don’t wait until it happens to us before we start to take an interest, it may be already be too late for an innocent, loved one, and now we are a victim.

    God bless Cayman and all law abiding Caymanians.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is a knee jerk reaction in an attempt to placate the public furore over ineffective policing.  The police to to be on the beat ON FOOT in the community questioning every loitering member of the public.  Intelligence gathering and effective use of it, is the answer coupled with REAL policing on the beat, not sat back in reclined air conditioned cruisers.

    Not everyone is a fan of CCTV cameras, but I think this is an economic way to gather intelligence.   I am so sick of the past and present police commisioners and politicians simply throwing together a few words in an empty speech.  Let us see some positive action please!

    • hopscotch says:

      To ‘knee jerk reaction’… please don’t be too hard on Mr  Baines.. the man has been here barely a month. He has inherited a demoralised, mortally wounded, underperforming and embittered police Force. Can you really judge the man yet? How about you use your energies to offer some support and informaion to the police?

      Given the recent spate of very serious crimes here, even you have to admit that on top of a huge job restoring the public faith in the Police force, he has to ‘babysit’ these investigations as well, to ensure they don’t go the way of the other ones recently…

      EVERY resident here needs to unite in the fight against the criminal minority, be they drug dealers, rapists, police or politicians.. as the poster said, use the over 100,000 eyes to maximum effect. Are the owners of all those eyes really all scared of a few dirtbags?



    • Anonymous says:


      Today, Governments MUST be alot more proactive about the fight on crime. We tend to lay back and hope it solves itself. We must be strategic in our approach to fixing the infrasctructure for crime prevention and detection.

      There are MANY tools to prevent illegalk guns and drugs from entering our country. If the gonernment is serious they should seek to employ such.