Cops seek key witness

| 19/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman Islands crime, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service(CNS): Detectives investigating the murder of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes are now appealing for the driver of a white four-door saloon car to come forward. On Thursday evening, police said that they believed the car was parked at the pumps in the forecourt of Hell service station on Monday night at the time when a gunman opened fire on the Barnes family and murdered Jeremiah. Police are now asking the driver to get in touch with them as soon as possible. “The driver of the car, possibly a Hyundai Lantra with alloy wheels, had just filled up with petrol and then left the scene after the shooting,” said DCI Peter Kennett, who is leading the investigation.

“We need to speak to the driver, who we believe to be a regular customer at the service station, urgently as he could have information which is vital to the enquiry,” DCI Kennett added.

This individual, or anyone who has any information regarding his identity, should contact the murder incident room at West Bay police station either by calling the team direct on 926-1773, or by calling the station on 949-3999 and asking to be transferred to the enquiry team.

Police said that two men appear to have laid in wait at the rear of Hell Service Station in West Bay and then ran towards the Barnes family car when it arrived at the station at around 8pm on 15 February. One of the two men then opened fire indiscriminately, hitting Jeremiah, who was seated in the back of the vehicle. His father, mother and brother, all escaped injury.

The murder has sent shock waves through a community, already reeling as a result of the spike in crime in a community that historically prided itself on its previous low crime rate. Police have confirmed that the shooting on Monday evening was gang related and that Jeremiah was the innocent bystander that they had predicted would get hurt as result of the escalating violence between local gangs.

Since the shooting on Monday evening police have hit the streets of Grand Cayman with full force and say they are stopping and searching everyone who may be involved in gang crime, as the community waits on who will be the next victim of the gang war that seems to be raging on the streets of Grand Cayman.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I knew that little boy… Jeremiah was such a cute and sweet child. This should have never happened to him. And what’s so sad is tomorrow makes a week since he was killed and no one will come forward to speak not even anonymously. Honestly what does that say about Cayman. Yes I agree the police have messed up on numerous occassions but for those of you who know about it what does that say about you. You have the neccessary information to put these people away and all you do is sit on your as$es not doing a damn thing about it. Look at it from this way police not being able to solve crimes and witnesses not speaking or trying a different way to see that these people or taken off the streets for good, what does that leave us with? Obviously criminals that going be runnin around the place doin as they please and more innocent people getting killed. Doin nothing at all is not goin to solve this problem and if you have no confidence in police then I sure hope you can come up with a better way to deal with this problem because if not surely everyone is going to have to start carrying around some form of weapons to keep themselves safe. And Also you have to look at it like this you keep something like that to yourself what happens when your home and one of your family members life is taking away and you are put in this same position and your fellow caymanians do not speak up and your family member death becomes in vain and is not solved??

  2. ???? says:

    Id first like to state for the record that what happened to this kid was horrible and unnecessary.

    Ok i have a question, why was this person or persons targeted?


    I watch the youth of today and my stomach twist with anger the future is stained with violence and destruction becuase of their lazy iggnorant characters that im sure was passed down by useless parents, worst of all these same youths are reproducing further damaging the Caymanian gene..Hate me, give me multiple thumbs down but we all know deep down that it is true.

    Thug Life Huh? Una getting Thug Life "£$%&*^ing fools!!!!



  3. A Noni Mouse says:

    If this was a tageted attack, don’t the boy’s parents know who was attacking them? Can they not provide a witness statement to the police?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Too many people think that real life police work is just like they see on TV and that the Cayman police should just link their computers to some fantastic spy satellite in the sky to solve all crimes.Here is a suggestion which people who think that TV is real life should like.

    On TV, cops very often tell someone that if they don’t cooperate with the police, then the police will tell the criminals that the person has in fact been giving them lots of information about the criminals. Some times the cops do in fact tell the criminals that someone has cooperated when they haven’t just to encourage others to cooperate with the police. Perhaps the TV fans are suggesting that this is what our cops should do.

    Personally I think that those who refuse to cooperate with the police are just as guilty as the gangstas and should be treated the same way.

    • Watering Hole says:

      You are so darn correct, all the public want to do is blame the police for every frig/&%$/(en thing.  I am not a police officer, but shi%, enough is enough,  Start talking to the police and tell them who is comming these crimes.  You never know, your child may be next.

    • anonymous says:

      actually no, what people expect is for the police to do is to do their jobs competently.  among other things, to properly secure a crime site, to collect ALL evidence, to refrain from identifying possible witnesses, to refrain from blabbing everything and all to everyone within earshot, to protect witnesses, and ultimately, to use their brains for once.

  5. au revoir says:

    Something needs to been done here in Cayman. Make these XXXX criminials BE AFRAID of Prison.  This link is calling Northward the Holiday Inn of Caribbean Prisons.  is that the reputation that we want. " Hey young man, if you committ a crime you can get free housing, 3 full meals a day, AC room and unlimited TV watching all day"  That is exactly what these young "thugs" are hearing.  Throw them in the most violent place in Jamaica or the USA and make them learn a lesson.


    Absolutely.  The only problem is that the police first have to catch them.  And their track record isn’t very good.  The only time you’re almost guaranteed that the police will catch someone is if a bank is held up; not many unsolved bank robberies…  The only other time, is if you commit a very high profile crime/murder and you’re dumber than the investigators sent out to solve the crime; and that is very rare occurence… 

  6. Anonymous says:

    You all should be ashamed of yourselves. A child has been killed and all you can think about is how it affects you. That child is all of our children and the community needs to quit being cowards and show some spine. It begins with standing together and letting the criminal element know we will not tolerate them in our community any longer. It takes a battle to win your community back and it takes having guts and spines to speak up and do what is right for this child. If you have any knowledge of this crime, for God’s sake come forward and talk. The police can’t prosecute these thugs without eyewitness testimony. Do you want these murderers walking the streets again because people were too chicken to open their mouths and stand and deliver for this sweet child? Those of you that know anything, you have to look at yourself every day in the mirror and live with yourself. This is supposed to be a Christian community so ask yourself – what would Jesus do and how does God look at me for turning my back on this child?

  7. V for Vendetta says:

    Lazy, inept, and confused is what one may best describe the investigators of this crime.  There are a million and one ways to QUIETLY find the owners of this white vehicle – they have the vehicle’s description.  They believe that this person is a regular customer, so they know that he/she most likely lives in West Bay.  The know the approximate time that this person purchased gas (talk to the cashier and find out if the gas was paid for by credit, debit or cash – ask the cashier who the owner of the vehicle may be).  They may have video evidence that may help them.  They have road blocks that can stop all vehicles coming and going into West Bay; most likely, this person will leave or enter West Bay at one point or another in the next couple of days or weeks.  Instead, they blare the person’s "identity" all over the news and possibly sentence an innocent person to death.  Policing you can trust.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with the above comments – it boogles my mind as to why they would put this in the public when they could find out who this regular customer is by interviewing the workers at the gas station (which up until Thursday last week they had not done) and go and question the driver of the car rather than blaring out this info.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you were there and "they" saw you, and you saw them, would you go to the Police and DARE to testify against them, seeing how from this Justice system, many have got off free??? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Fool – They get off because of cowards like you – grow a spine and stop encouraging other people to be as cowardly as you seem to be.

      Sometimes I think that the scum some of you call "gangstas" have hired their own version of public relations people to post these stupid messages designed to instill fear in the Cayman people.

  9. inside job says:

    this story makes me cringe. i beg the public not to cast all police officers with a ‘stupid’ wand due to the stupidity of senior investigators of the RCIP. many of the constables that you interact with on the street are hard working dedicated officers.

    XXXXX it is absolutely proposterous to give a detailed description of a witness like this. if they really did see something, they are being put into harms way by the irresposible actions of the XXX ‘officers’ that decided to release this to assist in their investigation. baines – have this investigated and take public action against those senior officers immeadiately to show the public that the banana republic policing is over (if it really is).

    XXXX you do not need a witness to convict. in fact, many murders are committed in dark places with no witnesses at all, but good detecting and proper case filing will ensure conviction. releasing descriptions of witnesses is simply irresponsible and not helpfull. also – asking for circumstantial ‘street chatter’ is rookie and amateur. you think you are going to make an arrest based on what is being said on the marl road?

    i cringe in embarassment when i see things like this – the people of Cayman deserve better than these amateur senior officers. the only comfort that i can offer the public, is when you call 911, it wont be one of these XXXX responding, it will be a street level constable who in most cases is dedicated and hard working. so please dont confuse and direct your righteous anger towards the RCIPS senior XXXXX with the cops you interact with on the street.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Honestly i have to wonder what in the world is RCIPS is thinking about do they realize that they could have putten this person/persons lives in danger like my grandmother would say they cant keep warm water on there stomach and they wonder why the public doesnt want to give information this is the same reason. What the RCIPS needs is professionals to do this work . And about hiring more for what dont you think you guys have enough ticket writers out there.

  11. Solutions.KY says:

    I hearby call for the initiation of the first National "Bring a Gangsta To Work Day". We can give these little boys an idea of what the real world is like, perhaps even convert one or two of them from their sad little existences and out of the little dream worlds they are living in.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Do the police no that they are probly putting this person and there family in some deep XXXX right now what if  the criminals which did the crime no who was driving that car and now they go and kill that person come on now RCIPS u guys need to do better then if that happens it would be a next unsolve crime which takes place this is the same reason why people is not coming forward because they are fearing for tthere life and you guys have to the nerve to get on the tv and say the public dont have nothing to be fraid of yes we do we have to fear for our lives because of u guys doing stupid things like this  

    • Anonymous says:

      What if this car and its occupants were involved and the Police know it and are trying to get more information? This information they are seeking will not be taken by the criminals as a threat to the people in the white car.

      Just a thought from a larger Box.

  13. Anonymous says:

    "who we believe to be a regular customer at the service station"  does this mean that not even the staff at Hell Service Station are talking??? I am not convinced (as a west bayer that has gone to this station,) that the staff does not know the details of this ‘regular customer’ (how to contact them) etc.

  14. anonymous says:

    This is evidence of the stupidity of the local police. This is what proves thay are not smart enough to catch a criminal.  This is why crimes do not get solved in Cayman.

    How can you say to people that their identity is anonymous if you go and release a discription of the car they drive to the public?  The person will probably get rid of that car now. 

    An appeal for witnesses should have been sent out to the public but the search for this car should have been kept in the police ranks.  Just plain stupid.  Shows that nothing will get better as there is no brain power in the force. So sad.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So how smart is that now the police are endangered these ppl lives now the gangs know the witnesses car color model an make, so their going 2 b the next victims good job rcips….fricken idiots an u wonder why no one wants 2 assist ur stupid way of appealing 4 them may cost their lives…..more unsolved murders!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because I’m sure you know SO MUCH about murder investigation, the ignorance of some of the people commenting on these stories astounds me.

      • Anonymous says:

        How about the police going to the Motor Vehicle Department and searching for the vehicle and doing the check THEMSELVES!!! The public isn’t paid to do this, YOU ARE RCIP! Get to work and stop putting more people’s lives at risk.

        So help us if anything happens to that person!! SLACKNESS!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Maybe those LIME phones to go could be sold to the public without recording any info on the Buyer. That way it could be used to pass info and then thrown in the swamp.

    • Anonymous says:


      Don’t forget the cell phones (even BlackBerry they have up there), outings, DVD players, fans and groceries that can be brought in for them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Something needs to been done here in Cayman. Make these XXXX criminials BE AFRAID of Prison.  This link is calling Northward the Holiday Inn of Caribbean Prisons.  is that the reputation that we want. " Hey young man, if you committ a crime you can get free housing, 3 full meals a day, AC room and unlimited TV watching all day"  That is exactly what these young "thugs" are hearing.  Throw them in the most violent place in Jamaica or the USA and make them learn a lesson.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Did the gas station not have camaras maybe they can retreive the liscens plate number

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am pretty sure the lead investigator could have gone about this another way. Total discretion is needed and this lack of foresight does not worth putting the potential witness at risk.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mr.Marlon Bodden doesnt this gas station have cameras ??????? 

  21. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous reporting methods:

    Cayman Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS (8477).


    These are anonymous and not difficult people.


    USE THEM!!!

  22. Anonymous says:


    Why is it that the R.C.I.P. has forever been crying out for witnesseses to come forward during their many investicagations and no one has come forward? Its simple, the Police chat too much!

    Look at the various reports that Police have released to the Press on the few that have dared to come forward. They practically tells the whole Island who gave them the info, thus putting that person’s life in danger. Look at the recent report on Immigration Officer identifying a possible suspect in the Quick Cash heist. Might as well have just published the Officer’s name.

    R.C.I.P. has no kind of protocal that truly protects its informants. Even if they dont report it wrong in the Press, they tell their family and friends and before you know it the whole world knows who snitched!

    I support you guys because I know your job is tough but you are making it tougher. Stop snitching back on your snitches to the Press and your peeps! Damm! Thats elementary, for God’s sakes!!

    If people are not buying in your restaurant, probably you are not cooking properly. Change the damn chef! Change your methods!

  23. Kman says:

    That car description sounds like one of the unmarked police cars

  24. For sale says:

    White 4 door sedan car.  Going cheap.  No bullet holes in it.  Yet.  Owner must sell quickly to protect life.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Here is a suggestion for Commissioner Baines and our MLA’s.

    The public perception right or wrong is that police officers or civilian staff working for the police may be too likely to pass on information about the identity of witnesses.

    As I recall the Commissioner has stated that if he finds out that any of his officers have been passing information to the thugs that they would be disciplined, perhaps even fired.

    This is simply not good enough. Why should a person risk death for telling the police anything when the officer he tells might only get a 2 day suspension for taking the information directly to the criminal gangs?

    If a police officer is releasing information on the identity of witnesses that may place a witness’ life in danger then surely the officer ought to be charged with a serious criminal offense. In my view any officer passing on information to criminals whether directly or indirectly ought to get between 5 and 20 years in prison with no parole. When the risks associated with the information are shared more equally by the good citizen coming forward with information and the police officer who receives it, that information is likely to be treated properly. Severe penalties for police officers and civilian employees who leak information  might redress the present risk imbalance and restore a bit of confidence.

    • anonymous says:

      The police leaking such information on armed robbery and  murder cases should get no less than 50 years to life in prison. This is an accessory to the crime at the same level of the person carrying out the act.

      Good Govenor please consider and impose these harsh penalties on police that should uphold the law and break the law to the extent that they jeopardize the lives of innocent menbers of the public .

      Enough is enough, and we have got to start somewhere in this fight against crime.

      Starting at the top is the right thing to do and let it trickle down.

  26. Anonymous says:

    in response to Plausible Perspicacity Thu, 02/18/2010 – 19:58. comment: 

    good god, no man.  you have way too much faith in the police and the judiciary to do the right thing.  do you really think that the police and the judiciary are capable to determine who is withholding information and who is not?  i’m not saying that the cops are corrupt, though some probably are, but what i am saying is that far too many are incompetent and inept.  aside from giving out a ticket or two, many are incapable of proper investigative work, or any work that requires a bit of brain power.  remember, our very best forgot to pick up bullet casings from a crime scene – never mind them being able to determine something as subjective as who knows something or who doesn’t.  as for the judiciary, i’d rate them just a tad higher than the police…

    • Anonymous says:

      In my opinion the idea of treating people who refuse to cooperate to bring these criminals to justice are themselves behaving in a criminal manner and they ought to be prosecuted and locked up. I don’t see you posting any better idea.

  27. HAVE A HEART says:






  28. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see. You gave a great describtion of the car and the fact they had just filled with gas. So if the clerk does not know if the person was male, female ,old, young, dark or fair then he or she is not doing their  job. It could not of been so busy you did not look at this person.  Also if the car was just filled with fuel then maybe this person used a debit/credit card. Must be records??? Come on "Police" do some real work please!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so stupid!!!! The police have did all that!!!! 

      • Caymanian says:

        see this is what they are talking about? How would you know that!!!!????!!!!  More leaks in that place than a rusty bucket!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Cause i’m on the team stupid!!!

          • Caymanian says:

            Great!!! this is who we have trying to solve our murders.. LMFAO!! hahahahaha…faantastic.. If you’re on the "team" then don’t you think you should just read posts and try to get something from it, other than BLURTING out "we already did that!!" and "i’m on the team stupid".. Jesus man, can someone find out who this complete retard is and get him/her fired!!

          • Anonymous says:

            Jesus wept

            If this is the standard of officer protecting us, then we might as well give up.

            It used to be that you needed a basic level of intelligence to join the police. Clearly standards are falling and we now let in the utter dregs of society.


      • Pending says:

        "You are so stupid. The police have did all that"


        Who’s the stupid one, clearly you understand the concept of grammar.


        And secondly, since you a re apolice office and part of the "team",  maybe you should be out trying to catch these people instead of adding posts to CNS! Retard!

    • Q says:

      Yeah! And while we at it why don’t we also tell the docters, nurses, teachers, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, electricians, builders, firemen how to do their jobs.

    • FlorenceGoring-Nozza says:

      The ignorance and bliss that is displayed in the handling of this serious crime involving the loss of an innocent four ear old is as sickening as a dog taking a dunk on my dining table!

      If it is a fact that the killers had just filled up their car with gas, then why in heaven’s name isn’t there no mention of attempts by the police to remove fingerprints from the gas hose pump handle?! The finger prints is the identity of the person driving the car and responsible for the crime!

      Why are these gas stations and other businesses not mandated by law to install surveilance cameras which could have recorded the license plate number tracing it back to the killers?. Business locations is the most highly likely place for the scene of a crime.

  29. Anonymous says:

    BLOOD on your hands!!!  

    Any person(s) who have witnessed this crime, or any of the other murders and is not assisting the police or are not willing to provide the witness testimony in court, have the blood of this child on their hands.  They will also have the blood of those who suffer from the other crimes which are going to be caused by the DEMONS who did this!

    Have a soul, unlike the monster(s) who are committing these crimes!

    Call 1-800-TIPS at the very least! 

    • Anonymous says:

      i’ll bet any money that the person who put thumbs down to 23:48 comment knows something hence the thumbs down! shame on u!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s only 800 TIPS no one (1) before.


  30. "Baited" says:

    Now we see why persons are reluctant in giving information. This particular vehicle seems to be a regular customer, therefore if cameras were in place, a licence plate should be quite visible.  If we are trying to PROTECT persons and wanting them to come forward, why go to such details in giving a FULL description of the vehicle that was seen on the pumps.  You are needing help in solving this crime, but on the other hand you guys just "baiting" up a man.


    • Anonymous says:

      Because the police may need this testimony to actually convict these killers and given the almost ZERO history of civic support by giving information this was almost a desperate plea to this person to step forward.

      Do you want these people to go free?

      • Anonymous says:

        I hear what you say, but this is a bit of a double bladed sword so I also hear the reverse argument: do you want this witness and potentially his family too to die/be injured?

    • Anonymous says:

      "…therefore if cameras were in place, a licence plate should be quite visible."

      You watch too much TV. 

      • Caymanian says:

        Why? because the gas stations, especially in WB should have security cameras? Maybe he/she does watch too much TV, but maybe the cops should spend a little more time watching TV, for instance "The First 48" or "Crime 360", maybe just maybe, they could learn a thing or two about Real crime fighting from these EXPERTS on TV.. Me personally, i think it was wrong what they did, all they did was put another innocent by-stander/witness at risk..  Everyone knows what everyone drives in WB, especially if it has rims on it..  Let’s jut hope they can find this poor witness, before the dumb thugs find him/her..  They really didn’t think this one through, as usual… frigging shame..

        • Anonymous says:

          ..for instance "The First 48"

          Watch the show and tell me how many times the police get tips from citizens.

          And tell me, how many real security cameras have the resolution to pick out license plates?

  31. Anonymous says:

    So sad that this poor boy had to lose his life due to a bunch of low life punks. XXXX We have a serious siuation here that blame can be pointed to poor parenting, breakdown in morals, loss of Christian culture, poor social environment, lack of proper education and outside influence. Too many young men are having 3-4 children with various women by the age of 20 lets face it Cayman has a teenage parenting and pregnancy issue. I’m a Caymanian born and bred yet it is such a sad situation when you have apparently nice girls having relationships with gangsters, for what don’t you have self respect, a future to consider, guidance and love.

    The Police have started arm patrols yet for how long and is it too late? I’m an optimist yet I strongly believe that the powers to be don’t want to change this conflict. There’s a high level of corruption here that first and foremost needs to be addressed. This is the main reason witness won’t come forward which is not good and puts us all in a sad pridicament of possibly losing our lives. I asked that the Law Enforcement Agencies, Governor, AG, Chief Justice and Elected Officials will all agree that we need the FBI and Coast Guard Operations here otherwise there will be more innocent lives loss. Let us all unite and work for a better Cayman. Oh and tell the Premier to get back home and sort out his district and stop with the ski trips we know you can’t ski.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I can understand why this person could be scared to come forward.  But, our children and grandchildren’s future depends on it.  Its a big sacrifice to make but this person does not take the risk to come forward the days ahead are going to be very grim for all of us.

    If this person doesn’t even come forward, there has to be many persons out there that know who this customer is.  If you go to that gas station regularly, know someone who drives a car like that, have noticed a friend or family member in shock over what has happened, you need to call crimestoppers. 


  33. Anonymous says:

    If the police know or have some idea of this car that they are looking for, why don’t they ‘stake out’ the station for a while, after all, how long does a full tank of gas last?, (they’ll need to get gas again eventually, and will probably go there without thinking since they are believed to be a regular customer).  Why don’t they speak with the cashier/staff of the gas station, again, since they are a regular customer the gas station staff should be well acquainted with the driver.  Hello, it doesn’t take much ‘common sense’ to know this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your common sense should tell you that he wont be going back to that gas station again. However with that discription of car it should not be difficult to check the system for all cars of that discription and hunt them down, or better yet perhaps the license plate was visible on the camera. Why are UDP waiting so long to mandate CAMERAS and more sub stations? As we can see the only lead that we has had to any of these crimes is from the cameras.

      • Caymanian says:

        I wish i could give you 5 thumbs up…  Just like the police, some people don’t think things through before they open their big mouths..  Maybe… if they had staked out the gas station before publicly announcing who their ONE witness is, it probably could’ve worked.. 

  34. Anonymous says:

    Come on! Why are the police asking for  the owner of the Hyundai Lantra to come forward.  Duh, why not go to the office that has all of the vehicles in Cayman on file and find the owner this way.  Maybe if the police show up at their doorway then they will tell what they might know.  Unless, they are part of all of this and maybe called someone to let them know who was at the station then left. Regardless the police have information available to them they just have to do the "WORK".  

    If and when these 4 people are released there will be he*l to be paid for and everyone had better run for cover. I am sure the police are aware of this.

    New brain storm. Let all these gang members meet up somewhere and just kill each other and get all of this over with.

    Question? Does anyone know if the 4 people being held are expat or Caymanians

    • Anonymous says:

      caymanians, so we can blame all the expats as we like but it is mostly the caymanians doing all of these terrible crimes

  35. Anonymous says:

    Members of the RCIP…..

    Do you think that publicly singling out an individual…..who you admit may be a regular customer at the gas station…..describing the car they drive…….without first approaching this individual by proper dectective work (i.e. asking members of the gas station who the car belong to…..and not asking the general public, which includes the suspects and their cohorts) they going really come forward?

    The RCIP has a track record of showing how they can protect individual witnesses from intimidation and violence……taking for example the witness being kept at the Grand Caymanian being shot while under police protection … did they know where to find them?

    How about the public knowing when an arrest is going to be made, before the potential suspect does…like in the case of the husband of the late Estella Roberts (who you had no evidence to do so!!!)….?????

    You need to keep the information on witnesses and on your potential suspects out of public knowledge……but the public know that is hard for unna to do…..

    So what is your suggestion or promise to them?  You’ll send their entire family (cause everybody knows who family to who) to Cuba for police protection?

    You need to put in place laws that protect witnesses identities before and during trial for these cases and you need to gag all the police that chat to their wives, girlfirends and bar-buddies to much……then you may start having people come forward!

    Until then… your jobs and keep possible witnesses’ cars and daily routines out of the headlines!!!!

  36. Plausible Perspicacity says:

    CNS – please allow me this space to propose a simple, concrete, and potentially controversial partial solution to our current reign of terror. My suggestion is to change the legal definition and scope of the concept of perverting the course of justice to include the withholding of evidence relating to violent crimes. The basis for my suggestion is the realization that people who refuse to provide information regarding violent criminals are a threat to our society and should be treated accordingly, even if we may have some sympathies with their position.

    My rationale is simple. We as a society have loudly signaled, through the courts, the police and otherwise that there is no negative consequence for persons who refuse to give evidence if they say that are afraid. By doing so, we have told the criminals that fear is their most effective weapon in avoiding imprisonment. We have encouraged criminals to use violence and threats of violence against us. Rather than giving them such weapons, we need to disarm them. 
    Fear for the safety of oneself and one’s family make all of us selfish. When we are fearful we do not necessarily make decisions which are best for the society we live in, even if society wants us to do so. 
    As a society we need to create a mechanism which will re-balance people’s decision making so that the decisions of individuals in relation to violent crime work for society as a whole, even when people are fearful. Policy makers all over the world recognise this and other problems relating to the balancing of individual liberties and societal welfare. These policy makers adopt policies designed to counter criminal strategies which are based on creating fear. By way of examples, governments regularly refuse to pay ransom to extortionists and terrorists even if individual citizen’s lives are placed at risk. For the same reason, countries use conscription to get people into the military.  
    At present, witnesses of violent crimes in our community do the "risk/reward" analysis and rightly conclude that from a purely selfish perspective, they would be stupid to testify if there is even a remote risk that they themselves would be subjected to violence if they give evidence, and no tangible reward for giving such evidence.  Calling them cowards and begging them to come forward simply does not work in the "me" society which Cayman has become.
    One way to change this outcome is to alter the risks and rewards involved for witnesses to crimes. My suggestion would be to offer both a carrot and a stick to potential witnesses.
    The stick would be the threat of imprisonment for a period of 10 or even 20 years for anyone who has information regarding a violent crime, but does not provide it to the police. Let those who protect criminals go to live with the criminal element that they choose to protect. 
    The carrot would be monetary rewards dependent on the crime with payments up to $100,000 for information leading to the conviction of violent criminal "soldiers", to perhaps as much as $500,000 for the conviction of gang leaders. That may sound like a lot of money but consider the economic costs of doing nothing. 
    Other proposals such as judge only trials, witness protection schemes and offering witnesses anonymity while testifying may be part of the fix, but they are far from a solution that will turn things around. Things have simply gone too far for that and none of these lesser measures substantially changes the decision making process for witnesses to violent gang crimes. 
    We need tosend out a new message. That message has two parts. The first is that the provision of information to the police concerning violent crimes is good, and as a society we will reward it. The second is that the refusal to provide information to the police regarding violent crime puts all of society at risk and we as a society will treat those who threaten our society accordingly.  
    • Anonymous says:

      Great idea but it won’t work.  Society needs to change the fundamental fact that witnesses don’t come forward because they are scared of reprisals.  Let me ask you, which is worse, prosecution for witholding evidence, or being shot for providing that evidence?  Hmmm, let me think…..  

      • Anonymous says:

        Right – so then you are not convinced the original idea will work so what you are suggesting is that we should give people two choices – one is that if you don’t give information to the police we will prosecute and imprison you so that the thugs can easily find you and then let it slip that in fact you did pass on information relating to thug "X". The alternative would be to give information and then you would at least have a chance. Good idea. 

  37. Anonymous says:

    Published on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Our society is riddled with gangs and violence and drugs. Teachers who identified the gang problem long before it was a problem were told by our then American Chief Education Officer: “Dr I forget” to “shut up and sit down… we have no gangs in Cayman”. Our prisons are filled with many of those young men who seem to be better equipped to survive in there than among the “free”.

    2 years later. Reality is here on the front pages of the news and around the world….What’s next??

  38. V for Vendetta says:

    How idiotic can you be, giving away the identity of a key witness.  Message to the bad guys in bold letters:  A man/woman who is a regular customer of the gas station (meaning he/she lives in West Bay) possibly driving a white Hyundai Lantra with alloy wheels is a KEY witness that probably saw a lot."  I mean how dumb can you get???  Why not do some leg work, swamp West Bay with cops and find out the possible owner(s), instead of revealing this crucial information to the gangstas.  And then they have the nerve to try and assure you that your identity is protected.

  39. EastSider says:

    The police release too much information to the public.   The detailed description of the car only makes it easier for unwanted people to know who it is.  All the police needed to say was a white, 4 door saloon car that was at the station at the time.  Nothing more should have been released.  I guess this is why a lot of people don’t want to come forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree to much information about the description of the car.  Now they will be shooting at any white 4 door sedan car…

      • Anonymous says:

        "Commissioner has stated that if he finds out that any of his officers have been passing information to the thugs that they would be disciplined, perhaps even fired"


        Are you serious, did he really say PERHAPS even fired????  

        This need to be corrected FAST!!


    • Outsider says:

      I’m with EastSider

      Too much information.

      Whether the police are looking for a witness or a possible accessory, driving a car that dropped of the gunmen and then met up and picked them again they could do this smarter.

      What a wasted opportunity to build public confidence and trust.