The root of Cayman crime

| 26/02/2010

While one is reluctant to kick a country when it’s down, sometimes it needs to be done. The Cayman Islands—specifically Grand Cayman—feels like a society on the brink these days and we are long overdue for some frank talk. We are too down the road now to worry if feelings may be hurt.

Violent crime has become commonplace and there can be no hope of reversing the trend without an honest assessment of what went wrong in the first place.

Yes, better police work, improved intelligence gathering, more tips from the public, and public security cameras are relevant to the discussion. But all of these only address the symptoms. They do not get at the roots of Cayman crime.

First of all, it is unlikely that the sort of crimes making headlines these days—rapes, machete attacks, armed robberies, and murders—are a result of economic desperation as many people claim. Many of these crimes are related to greed, perhaps, but certainly not literal hunger and deprivation. We must keep in mind that any healthy young Caymanian male who knows how to set an alarm clock and dress himself in the morning can easily get and maintain a job. If nothing else, he can get a job on a dive boat or in a fastfood restaurant. No matter what the whiners say on our radio talk shows, employment is not a crisis here. Advancement may be a problem in some cases, yes, but basic unemployment is not the driving force behind murders and bank robberies. There are many thousands of foreigners here on work permits. Labor demand is monstrous compared to the population of work-age Caymanians. Therefore, it is ridiculous to suggest that vast numbers of Caymanians cannot find employment and have become desperate predators as a result. The job they prefer may not be available but surely some job is. And for straight-thinking people any job, even a low-paying one, is preferable to robbing and killing people. No Caymanian male is driven to violent crime in this country out of rock-bottom economic desperation. Most likely they pick up a machete or gun because they are pathologically greedy, wounded by bad parenting, or simply because they joined up with the wrong pack of peers.

The reality is that young Caymanians find themselves in one of the world’s most fortunate situations. Being a Caymanian in the Cayman Islands is about as good as it gets for a young person concerned with job opportunities and job security. Just ask a typical teenage boy in Zimbabwe, Yemen, or Mexico if they wouldn’t jump at the chance to have the sort of job prospects taken for granted here. People who continue to claim that our violent crime is about poverty and unemployment are not only wrong, they are distracting us from real problems we need to be focusing on.

It may be a boring explanation, but much of the new crime we are experiencing is probably due to nothing more than our population rise. We have grown very fast, doubling our numbers in less then 50 years. It makes no sense for people to complain that the crime rate is not the same today as it was back when our population was less than 25,000. More people inevitably mean more criminals. Still, we seem to be suffering far too many violent crimes for a “gun free” society with a population well under 100,000.

Clearly something has gone wrong with too many of our young men. Maybe we need to reconsider our approach to raising boys. We Caymanians love to talk about using “the strap” on children and raising them up in the church. But do these things really work as advertised? It’s a safe bet that virtually every thug who is terrorizing Grand Cayman today was beaten frequently and taken to church often as a child. Spanking is very popular here and, according to a government report, an overwhelming majority of the Caymanian inmates at Northward Prison attended church regularly in childhood. Maybe it is time to rethink those two revered pillars of childrearing. Perhaps Caymanian children need more love, guidance, and attentionand fewer beatings. Perhaps in today’s world Caymanian children need a little less prayer and a lot more homework.

The police make an easy target for complaints, but they don’t deserve 99 percent of the blame heaped on them by the public. If criminals are the fire that threatens us, our police should be viewed as firefighters. We must focus our anger on those who set the fires in the first place. So who are these social arsonists? Why, they are our politicians, of course. Who else but them could have engineered such a rapid descent to barbarism?

Cayman’s elected leaders of the last three or four decades seem to have done everything possible to bring about the current crime wave. Despite past economic booms and a small manageable population, they failed to invest in the things that keep societies healthy and safe. They failed to respond to problems that obviously would not correct themselves. There is no great mystery about the things that should have received meaningful attention in recent decades. Just ask a teacher in a government school about childhood illiteracy and behavioral problems here. Ask a couple of veteran nurses at the government hospital to share some of their horror stories with you. Ask a high-ranking civil servant how much money is wasted on egos and paybacks at the ministerial level. Cayman did not fall apart, our politicians tore it apart, thanks to their greed and inaction. Instead of confronting growing social problems our leaders consistently pretended they did not exist.

Cayman’s politicians have not spent all of their time dodging responsibilities, however. They also made sure to nurture a culture of dependence. This is why today one so often hears defeatist comments from Caymanians who should be working hard to seize opportunities and determine the course of their own lives. They scream, “Government isn’t doing anything for me!” when they should be so busy taking night classes and working their way up from entry level jobs that they have no time to think about what government is or is not doing for them. Our politicians have thrived amidst these corrosive feelings of entitlement and dependence. They spent the bulk of the last few decades bickering and blustering over meaningless matters in the Legislative Assembly while the country was steaming toward crisis. Anyone over the age of 10 who has ever listened to a Radio Cayman replay of the day’s Legislative Assembly proceedings is sure to agree.

Sometimes the stupidity and negligence of our politicians is borderline criminal. Does anyone remember back in the 1990s when one of our government ministers declared that there were no criminal gangs in the Cayman Islands? When pressed to admit the obvious, he would only say there may be some “groupings” of young students but definitely no gangs.

CITN hosted a live talk show about crime in the mid 1990s. Several members of the public phoned in pleading for the government to take gang activity seriously and to do everything possible to eradicate it before it became deeply entrenched and lives were lost. The callers pointed to gang crime in other countries and asked why we couldn’t learn from their experiences and avoid their mistakes. As usual, our politicians did nothing and look where we are today.

The reason politicians deserve blame for Cayman crime today is not because of one or two failings here and there. It is because collectively they have behaved as if they are either incredibly dumb or simply do not care about the deterioration of our society. How much brainpower could it have required 20 years ago to recognize that Cayman was heading for serious trouble with its young males? If nothing else, the fact that increasing numbers of children and teenagers were slipping through school without an adequate education should have panicked every politician. Anyone would have taken meaningful action to defuse a ticking time bomb of too many aimless and illiterate or semi-literate young men comingout of high school every year. Well, anyone except a Cayman politician, that is. Based on their record, it seems clear our “leaders” are obsessed with votes, ego, power, and money at the expense of all else. The safety and welfare of the people in this country clearly are secondary to those concerns.

Bad as our politicians are, however, it is the voters themselves who are deserve the greatest scorn. That “majority of voters,” whoever they are, keep putting these inferior politicians into the LA to sink us all. They repeatedly give immense power to liars and buffoons who eagerly exploit their own homeland for personal gain. Whether they are tricked by childish speeches about God’s blessings and expat invasions or coldly trade their votes for bottles of beer and washing machines, these voters have doomed their country by placing incompetent and corrupt people at the helm.

Cayman is a society that derailed itself long ago. For too long we have been trapped inside a perfect storm of greed and incompetence. Most disheartening is the fact that there are intelligent and honest Caymanians out there who could have served this country well. But their kind never ends up in the Legislative Assembly. Few if any of them ever even try. Perhaps they are too dignified. Maybe they just can’t bring themselves to swindle simple-minded voters with empty words and kitchen appliances. Therefore, we keep playing the same game with the same players every election year, and we keep ending up with the same dismal results. Given the dysfunctional nature of our government leadership over so many years, is it really surprising that we now have armed predators roaming our streets? One might argue that the only surprise is that things are not worse.
 

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (64)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I lived All Over The Us Walked Through So Called Hoods And Ghettos From  Down South To The West Witness Shootings Did Home Invasions And Went In And Out Of Jail Its Sad When All These Years I Been Waiting Go Home and I See Cayman Change,But I Say To My Self It Was Bound To Be xxxx America Is Desroying The World With Its Economic Breakdown and its affecting every nation,But In Despret Times Comes Crime So Get Use To It Cuase its only going get worst…

     

  2. Anonymous Chicago JJ says:

    Cayman was so well managed, governed and maintained in the decade before Ivan. Reconstruction (magnificently done) brought with it lots of "outside problems" however. I believe it is the drug culture and a corruption within the police and administrative/ governing departments of Cayman that are ruining this beautiful Island. Is ther an internal investigative bureau that attempts to remove corrupt cops? Fact is, the druggies advertise. They don’t work and they drive the customized BMW’s and other high line cars. Wake up!! Call it profiling or taunting their ability to operate without fear of recrimination…..Cayman is no longer on our list of "safe" vacation venues. There are too many places to spend our hard earned dollars without fearing gang and drug culture violence. Get tough or you’ll find yourself competing with Haiti for the vacation dollar while we spend our money in Great Azuma, Turks, etc.

  3. rocky says:

    Your beautiful island is certainly worth defending against greedy politicians and punks.  Your accounts of the etiology of crime there seem unfortunately realistic.  Seek people of moral character to set a new course.  Get tough.

  4. M McLaughlin says:

    An excellent, well written and timely article.

  5. Kabbalah Student says:

    Human beings are at the point in which we do not conduct ourselves correctly.

    We are a cruel and egostical people, look around pay attention to this social reality and only when you have done this will you see the simple truth and answer to correcting this social reality we have created  

     

  6. west bay says:

    Having lived and worked with youth in West Bay for a number of years, I agree with much of this article.  However, I see the problem as more of aproblem with the caribbean culture in general, not just Cayman’s culture.  How many men impregnate young women, only to leave afterwards?  How many Northward inmates grew up with two parents, their biological father and mother?  The island is full of "men" who have children everywhere but take no responsibility for them.  If you have that happen for 20 years, you’re gonna end up with a generation of crime.  Hello, Cayman today.  The breakdown in the home has caused a breakdown in the society.

  7. what a mess says:

    Very well said!

  8. G man says:

    The problem in cayman is not unique. There has been the steady "dumbing down" of many Western societies with the advent of Rap, gangsta and "entitlement" culture.

    Cayman has got caught up in this race to hoard luxury goods that dwindle away in value. The race is  toappear "wealthy" but in reality own nothing but a car and jewelry

    The epidemic of teen aged girls having children and the requisite chaotic  "family " structure is probably the biggest contributor to the crime wave. The lack of a strong male role model (or any male role model at all) and requisite low income of the single mother household is always correlated with youth crime in the US

    This really isn’t the governments failure, but the failure of cayman Culture  itself to reverse the societal slide to single mother families as the norm , rather than the exception. I was shocked at the age of the cayman mothers in the Georgetown HP maternity ward, one was 14 when my wife had a child there. I was the same age as the grand parents. I am sure the child born to the grade 9 student will grown up to be the next CEO of Bank of Butterfield (not very likely)

    Regardless of the root causes, there will always be lazy ne’er do wells that degenerate to drug use and crime. The question is, will the gov’t have enough cash to fund a bloated prison system to incarcerate all the rapists, robbers and murderers spawned from this culture of "stealth wealth" and single parenthood? 

     

     

    • Victor E says:

      And this post highlights some of the factual links between violent crime and our abortion laws.

  9. Right ya so says:

    It seems that most of this article & comments are about the boys – please remember that the girls are as bad – they may not yet (and I stress the "yet" – soon come, my friends!) be as "gangsta" as the boys but they are well on their way.  And the baby mammas/girlfriends of these gangstas are fully aware of the criminal behaviour of their gangsta boyfriends ..

     

  10. Commons Sense 101 says:

    Very well written and I agree with the points made.  I would only add that while the root was correctly identified, the illegal importation of cocaine, guns, and the penetration of American gang culture via TV, Internet and Radio to our shores were the final elements needed to complete the development of our serious criminals.

    In addition to the above, the fact that a child born and raised by a criminal is highily likely to follow in his father’s footsteps magnifies the problem and I seriously doubt that a hardened criminal is interested in parenting classes.

    In the early 1990’s president Clinton was credited for reducing serious crime in the US as a result of his initiatives against crime, mainly recruiting  100k additional cops and legislating the 3 strikes law. No doubt these initiatives would have helped to reduce crime, particularly by taking repeat offenders off the streets for good.

    However, a study showed that a major reason crime dropped in the 1990’s in the US was due to the controversial abortion case Rode v Wade in 1973.  The ruling made in this case by the US Supreme Court gave women the right to choose abortion in certain circumstances.

    What the study discovered was that as result of this case, abortion spiked by women in the 70’s choosing to abort because they didn’t want their babies and therefore would not have been good parents.

    This resulted in tens of thousands not being born who would have been in their 20’s by mid 1990’s and most of whom would have likely entered a life of serious crime by that time.

    I would like to make it clear that I am not an advocate for abortion but thought that the above study was interesting (but very sad) finding.

  11. Victor E says:

    One of the most significant contributions to violent crime in Cayman is the country’s abortion laws.  Rich pregnant girls go for "long weekends" in Miami, poor pregnant girls don’t.

    Tight abortion control leads to higher levels of violent crime. 

    • Anonymous says:

      What a disgusting post. What will you propose next – sterilization of mental defectives? Been reading Mein Kampf, have you?  

      There is no proven causal link between legal abortions and the crime rate (except that abortions are themselves the violent taking of another’s life which ought to be criminalized). You can argue correlation until the cows come home, but there are many other factors which could equally explain any drop in the crime rate in countries which do have legal abortions. 

      Absolutely staggering that there are human beings who think like this – let’s make room for more babies to be killed lest one day sone of them should turn out to be criminals.  

      • Victor E says:

        The evidence linking the availability of abortions to violent crime is overwhelming in terms of causation and goes well beyond correlation.  Compare crime rates of different states in America over times with varying abortion rates and the evidence is there as plane as can be. 

        The moral issues behind abortion are not part of my post.  Personally I believe it should be available (and is if you can fly to Miami with a few grand).  But pro-lifers must accept that their position accepts increased violent crime as a direct result of their stance.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          You keep posting the same nonsense. There is no "overwhelming" evidence. The paper by Donoghue and Levitson that makes your claim has been roundly criticized by other social scientists. Didn’t anyone teach you that correlation is not the same as causation? The idea is based on the simple fact that in the early to mid 1990s there was a drop in the U.S. crimes rate which correlates to the age of 18+ that those had been legally aborted would have attained, coupled with the statistical fact that those born into poor/single parent families are more likely than those born into other families to become criminals. At the end of the day, it is an idea dreamed up by liberals to justify legal abortions.

          You are clearly advocating a policy of legal abortions, so it is not sensible to declare that "the moral issues behind abortion are not part of my post". It is the old idea that the ends justify the means and morality of the means is not my concern. It is the same idea behind sterilization of mental defectives.  One must consider the moral implications of what one is proposing even if there was a proven causal relationship, which there is not in this case.

          As for the rest of the thumbs down, you are as morally reprobate as "Victor".     

          • Bull Dog says:

            Given that you can’t spell either Donohue or Levitt properly I doubt your appreciation of behavioural economics goes beyond google and wiki.

             

            • Anonymous says:

              Yes, I was bit careless on the spelling (which of course I  would have avoided by using google and wiki).   

              Try addressing the issues rather than making personal attacks.

               

        • Anonymous says:

          Bogus argument. Actually, the increased access in the US to abortion since 1973, has led to fewer middle and upper class births.  The increased sexual encounters by those who feel that abortion is always available as birth control has resulted in more single parent familes (4-5 times more).  It has also resulted in more teenage pregnancies at increasingly younger ages, which you might suggest hinders the ability to lift themselves out of poverty. This is hardly overwhelming evidence in favour of your claim. Hey, but don’t let the facts get in the way of a convenient theory.  

    • Anonymous says:

      what is this nonsense based on??….. please read the article again in full…

    • Anonymous says:

      Access to condoms in Cayman is made awkward for teens as they are located behing the counter….. most embarrassing given the cashier may be a relation or a family friend.  Perhaps the Gov. health department should think about  subsidising condoms and having them more easily accessable.  When asked why they are behing the counter "because kids steal them"….. While i don't want to encourage shop lifting, I congratulate them for being responsible for their sexual activity.  

  12. whodatis says:

    Very good article. I co-sign on most of the points raised therein.

    However, I would like to stress that what we see happening in Cayman today is nothing out of the ordinary in modern society.

    Have you guys taken a walk through many of the ‘hoods in the USA or the UK recently?

    Have you heard of "Derrion Albert" for example? Google the name for the details (and perhaps video evidence) of that shockingand tragic story – while you are at it do a quick search on "Anthony Walker". Both of these incidents involved the heinous murder of kids under the tender age of 18 – and both required mind boggling levels of savagery.

    A high percentage of young peopletoday are living their lives as if human life has no value whatsoever. Never before in history has there been such a celebration and promotion of outright hatred, disregard, and ferocious brutality directed at the young people (men) of the world.

    I have personally witnessed this ever increasing dilemma in countries and cities as diametrically opposed (culturally, "racially" and historically) as Cayman to London, Liverpool to Berlin, Glasgow to Chicago.

    What is the common factor?

    I have an inkling as to what I believe is a definite factor if not the actual catalyst for our current state of global affairs – however, I shall expand on that at a later date.

    Right now I would just like to stress to all readers that what is happening in Cayman today is by NO MEANS unique to our tiny island nation. Even our "mother country", the UK, (and I dare a single Brit to challenge me on this point) is struggling to get a grip on what I like to refer to as "domestic adolescent terrorism".

    For example, that country’s own media corporations have renamed itself as "Broken Britain". (Adolescent crime, teenage pregnancy, sexual transmitted diseases, teen alcoholism, teen substance abuse – Britain has outpaced all other European nations in the aforementioned categories at one point or another in recent years.)

    "Caymanian Conscience" has penned an excellent thesis on the specifics of the (political / governmental / parental) history that has brought the Cayman Islands to his current position – however, in the coming days I would like to add to the writer’s perspective a few worrying observations of my own.

    To conclude, CC is absolutely correct when they pointed out that Caymanian youths are / were in perhaps the most enviable position and set of circumstances in regards to opportunity and life advantages. Clearly many have failed to realize this and furthermore, many of our PARENTS have spectacularly failed to guide our youths in a sustainable and realistic manner.

    Again – what we are seeing is nothing extraordinary by today’s standards and realities … this point is especially directed to the "expats / foreigners" who seem to relish in the alleged breakdown of Caymanian society – "Forget not from whence you came".

     – whodatis

    • Matt says:

      whodatis:  I think CC’s article was very well written and accurate. My own impression is that the root of the problems faced by Caymam today are:

      1. Poor education system

      2. A local population with a unrealastic and unsustainable sense of entitlement

      3. Outdated and lazy parenting

      4. Corrupt and totally inept politicians

      5. Recruitment and training in the RCIPS led by a desire to have the right Naionality as a cop above the desire to employ a good cop.

      To compare Cayman to the UK in relation to gang violence and murder rates is laughable. The UK has its fair share of probems sure but the murder rate there is usually under 2 murders per 100,000 population per annum.

      Compare that to Cayman – with a population of under 100,000 how many murders have there been…….

       

      • whodatis says:

        @ Matt:

        "1. Poor education system

        2. A local population with a unrealastic and unsustainable sense of entitlement

        3. Outdated and lazyparenting

        4. Corrupt and totally inept politicians

        5. Recruitment and training in the RCIPS led by a desire to have the right Naionality as a cop above the desire to employ a good cop."

        While it is hard to argue against these points – it begs the question …

        "What then are the reasons behind this epidemic in other countries?"

        Again I say – this issue is NOT unique to Cayman.

        We can use the UK as an example yet again. Not only do the statistics support this fact but one can clearly see for himself the fear that teens and young men strike into the hearts of decent law-abiding people on a daily basis.

        In that country, grown adults – even frail retirees, are scared out of their wits of 14, 15 and 16 year olds! There are many instances of old grandpas being attacked by gangs of these degenerates for simply daring to chastise or defend himself against these youths.

         

        Re: RCIPS Cop nationality preference

        Interesting point. However,  studies and research carried out in the UK itself has shown the importance and advantages of ethnically assigning cops relative to the dominant ethnicity of the area. For example – Asian cops in Hounslow, London, Afro-Caribbean cops in Brixton and Anglo-European cops in Romford, Essex. However, for some odd reason these studies do not seem to be of much importance here in the lowly territories. (At the same time, I will admit that we do a have fair share of questionable Caymanian characters within the mid and upper ranks of the RCIPS.)

         

        Re: Cayman vs UK – Gang violence & Murders

        Matt, I am sorry – but I have to disagree with your perspective on this one. Whereas your actual statistics in regards to "murder rates" may hold some water – Cayman is still not anywhere close to the rates of violent crime levels of the UK.

        The UK has tight gun laws and gun crime has only become a major problem in the last decade or so – an excellent track record versus the USA for example.

        However, if we are discussing "serious crime" – then we will be forced to address the VERY GRAVE issue of KNIFE CRIME in the UK. (Google "Glasgow UK knife crime")

        In a nutshell – teens and young men are being stabbed to pieces in the UK on a daily basis! Its really as simple as that.

        (A 2007 study averaged a figure of 400 victims of "knife culture" per week throughout the UK).

        If stabbings carried the same death rate as gun crime I am certain the UK would be leading in the statistics in this regard for westernized nations. I guess this leads into a sub-issue of "Who is more violent – the knife criminal or gun criminal?" How do we rate them – by the actual death toll or by actual attack?

        Anyway, this debate is getting dangerously close to turning into a UK vs. Cayman matter and this is really not my intention. What really matters here is the state of our youths in Cayman. The fact remains that things have changed drastically in recenttimes – however, when one examines the bigger picture – this is not a dilemma unique to the Cayman Islands.

        I just hope that this particular message is getting through to Caymanians and they will not unfairly criticize or over-analyze themselves – adding even more to the very present inferiority complex from which many of my people suffer.

        Meanwhile others get a free pass when the reality of their own society is in perhaps even greater decline …

         – whodatis

        • Gaussian says:

          I think I would rather face a man with a knife than a man with a gun.  And bystanders tend to get killed less by stray bullets in knife attacks.

          • whodatis says:

            @ Gaussian:

            Fair enough.

            However, if the UK knife-man had easier access to a gun then rest assured he would be a UK gun-man.

            Plus, personally I believe a knife offender is no less violent than a shooter – perhaps even more. A stabbing requires close direct eye to eye combat and a stronger sense of purpose.

            Any yellow-liver punk can aim a gun from a distance, fire and then flee into the bushes …

      • Anonymous says:

        You try to make the problem an entirely domestic one and therefore are almost certainly an expat. While a big portion of it is, a substantial amount of it is not. We also need tighter border control. The writer is correct that we have grown too fast. The idea that we should immediately seek to grow our population to 100,000 for economic reasons is shortsighted as it will only exacerbate the social problems, including crime.   

    • noname says:

      Grand Cayman has a higher murder rate than the US or UK right now. The US murder rate currently is at its lowest since the 1960s.

      I feel safer walking around Manhattan or London at 10pm on a Friday night than I do George Town, Grand Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        lol

        Belly-busted, rolling over in laughter. Where did you get such nonsense?

      • Ex Pat says:

        LMAO – whether the murder rate here is higher or not, I know where I’d rather be walking late at night and it certainly aint London (where I came here from).  Your comments has my belly busting with laughter too!

  13. Anonymous says:

    the root of caymanian crime is caymanian parenting.

    • Anonymous says:

      My friend, this nicely SUMS up this Article.

      But I sadden…
       
      To be more specific, the root cause of crime in the Cayman Islands, are parents and those in leadership roles, who are too occupied and busy to deal with the affairs of the Now. Why I say this?  They are so caught up that –
       
      Many mothers have forgotten what it is like to take the time to dress a child for school, or take the time to prepare them breakfast in the mornings where everyone would sit down at the table – father and mother.
       
      So caught up in the world of meaningless thinking that –
       
      Many fathers go out to the bar, club, or some girlfriend’s house, and fail to spend time with raising their sons and daughters. No time to talk and communicate with them.
       
      So caught up in the world of meaningless chatter that –
       
      The television, internet, game box, or cell phone, rules the entire household, and robs the family of that interaction necessary to resolve disputes. Children are even force to watch and learn from the television day and night, because they get on their parent’s nerve.
       
      So caught up in the world of the meaningless mind that –
       
      That people pass you along the street in George Town people and ALWAYS have no time to say, “Hello, How are you?” and at least, listen to what you have to say! No time for the employer to see to his employee’s welfare, but to micromanage them like computers all the time. No one to even notice the disturb faces of boys and girls leaving school who have no real home to go to… And you rightfully know it takes an entire community to raise a child!
       
      So caught up in the world of meaningless chatter that –
       
      All society talks about is more acquiring more knowledge for their young, for money’s sake! Education for greed (how much you can acquire), instead of living to experience life, loving others, being down-to-earth, and keeping in touch with families and friends. Society has shifted all importance from the individual person to a “societal ideal” instead – pure idolatry!
       
      So caught up in the world of rush and meaningless thinking that –
       
      No time for taking time to be holy! No time for being a good human being! At work, you have employees walking over other employees, talking behind their backs, greed, lust, hate, and so occupied about position and salary – the home is neglected and even one’s health and wellbeing is put on the back-burner.
       
      So caught up in the world of meaningless thinking that –
       
      This is what Cayman is becoming!
       
      More and more, parents and those in leadership roles are too occupied to pay attention to the "little things" of life. To at least, give God thanks for a new day, and count your many blessing and name them one-by-one! But no… they choose to study and follow thinking, emotions, and long-term goals instead. They fail to even listen to themselves and notice they are slowly killing WHO THEY TRULY ARE at the core!
       
      It is so sad what we have becomethus far!
      • whodatis says:

        You know … your are SO spot on with this post.

        During the few minutes it took to read your above comment I became so nostalgic – amazing!

        Frank, blatant and honest analysis here.

        Really took me back to my own upbringing in the 80’s and 90s.

        Thank you.

        (Please – someone…copy and paste it into an email and forward it to a huge mailing list – urging all recipients to do the same. Send to all Facebook contacts as well.)

         

    • ThEwOrLdIsGaGaGoNeDoWn says:

      I think there are several factors… a major contributor to our country’s demise is a disintegrating Cayman culture?…if there’s a lack of adequate culture then there’s a lack of national pride and respect. 

      Truth is the government, law enforcement & judicial system, everyday ppl, businessmen, parents, teachers, gangs, drugs,religious leaders etc. We areall at fault.  No one thing can be at fault to cause such a massive rise in crime and animosity amongst our relatively small community.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is an excellent article., very well written,.Perhaps Caymanian Concsience should consider a career in politics. We could use some straight talking, old fashioned common sense at the helm.

    • Anonymous says:

      probably not entitled to be elected due to the backward nationality laws regarding politicians….

      this is part of the problem too, no wonder the standard of caymanian politicians is so bad when they prevent the brightest minds from running for office

      • Politicks says:

        You assume the writer is not eligible based on what??????

        • Anonymous says:

          The lack of fill, washing machines or turtle meat they sent out around elections last year. When the system is broken because too many people expect handouts to purchase their votes, how can principled leadership emerge from those unwilling to "buy in" to our crap de facto electoral requirements?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Politicians are not the problem.  Who elects the politicians?  Who chooses to give the politicians their power?

    We do.  To paraphrase a famous quote,  "people get the government they derserve".

    Crime is OUR fault.    Until WE accept RESPONSIBILITY, things will not improve.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Take a read of the article again……………..this point was addressed.

       

      "Bad as our politicians are, however, it is the voters themselves who are deserve the greatest scorn. That “majority of voters,” whoever they are, keep putting these inferior politicians into the LA to sink us all"

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well written article. I might add however that more of the onus needs to be placed on parents not doing their job caring for and raising children. There is a reason why these thugs feel they can do anything they want to do. They learned that early.

    I respect your obvious differing opinion on prayer, God and attending church, but having faith does not create a criminal. I’ve found that it does the opposite. I’ve also found that correcting a child, including spanking does not create a criminal either.

    I do believe that beatings and physical abuse can and is statistically found in the backgrounds of criminals.

    Monitoring and supervising children takes time, patience and love. Knowing how they’re doing in school, who their friends are, whether they’ve finished their homework, teaching them to give and earn respect, manners, caring about others, community service etc. are important to the children and obviously (as we’re seeing now) society in general.

    God help us as we get off our behind and help ourselves. Neither God nor government is going to fix all this alone. If that’s what we expect, nothing will be resolved.

    It’s time for proper parenting, structure and discipline in the home and schools, volunteerism, mentoring and everyone being their brothers keeper in addition to some different crime solving and fighting strategies to deal with these obviously dangerous men that are holding this island hostage.

    My point is that we ALL need to step up, not just "gowment" or the police.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spanking is one thing, brutal beating is another.

      I have, many years ago, been witness to brutal beatings. A neighbour, who like me has two sons, used to cruelly beat them with a belt for small misdemenours, frequently for ducking out of mandatory church attendance during the week, not on either a Sunday or a Sabbath. These boys screamed for mercy, but got none. Both have spent time in Northward, and became drug addicts.

      Any time my sons misbehaved, a quick slap on the wrist, and a good talking to, sufficed. They have become model citizens and pillars of society. They went, and still go, to church willingly and happily.

      Without boasting, is there not a lesson to be learned here?

      p.s. Some details of the story have been changed to protect identities, but the general facts apply.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        "cruelly beat them with a belt for frequently for ducking out of mandatory church attendance"

        So they kept on doing the same thing even when they got beaten for it

        You missed church! time for your beating!, (Next day) you missed church again! same beating as yesterday, and so on

        This clearly shows:

        a) the kids were just dumb (doing the same thing over and over again with the same result is a sign of idiocy, so the same would also go for the father)

        b)corporal punishment doesn’t work, or

        3) you’re distorting the truth

        • Joe Average says:

          You’re not getting it.  Perhaps you don’t have kids.  Beatings do nothing to discipline.  They are merely degrading and a vent for adults.  If they repeated what caused the beatings they were trying to point out- vanely- that they were human beings, and perhaps even show the hypocrisy of a so-called "Christian" in beating them for not going to church.  Do you see the irony?

          You must.  Because I do.

          • noname says:

            There is nothing ironic or contradictory about Christians engaging in violent behavior.

            Christianity is violence. It is a religion based on human sacrifice (Jesus) and eternal torture (Hell). What is more violent than that?

             

      • The Truth is Out There says:

        So basically what you are saying is that you witnessed crimes without reporting them to the police.  You may consider yourself a good parent but you completely ignored your civic duty.  One call to the police could have saved these boys from a life of crime and drug use but you didn’t care becasue it was not your problem.  Guess what?  Now it is everyone’s problem.  .

  17. Anonymous says:

     The UK (our?) take on elected Government:

    "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter".

    The German version:

    "vox populi vox rindvieh"

  18. Joe Average says:

    You didn’t pull any punches. Yeeouch!  But one of the things we often do out of desperation is go looking for reasons.  And a lack of education is used quite often as a reasoning for those that turn to crime and violence.  That is part of the reason but not the whole reason.  I’m not making excuses for thugs.  But what also must be looked at is the outlook. The future. And here we turn to your mention of politics.  When many of us looked at the world when we were younger, it had wars and poverty.  Of course, there have always been wars and poverty. Bungling politicans too. But there was also some degree of hope. Some inkling, that although the world was hurting, it was possible for healing to take place. And along with it a brighter future. That is not a message we hear any longer. Especially young people. What they see and hear, more often than not is nothing but bad news. One calamity after another. We "older" folks occupy our time with our own calamities, such as paying the bills, trying to get a better job, and bitching about the government. We’ve been there and done that, and what we would like is to maintain or improve the status quo. Or at least improve our position in it. From a high school student’s perspective that status quo doesn’t seem to be something to aspire to.  Can’t blame them for that because it is rife with corruption, inept politicans, an economy in crisis, and parents who are on the verge of giving up.  That is, when they aren’t complaining, or feeling helpless as none of these things ever seem to improve. I will play the devil’s advocate for a minute and point out that for them, young people,  there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of this tunnel. Or much of a future for them.  Given that the adults surrounding them don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.  Oh we march off to the polls, flip a coin and complain for another four years. But that isn’t progress and from their point of view appears to be pure silliness.  In North American Native culture, and others, young people, men in particular, went on a vision quest as they entered adulthood. The quest was often personal but was guided by the teachings of the elders and chiefs.  Not the clergy, as we have now, or the people we put in government, but those possessed of real wisdom, insight, and vision.  Without the agendas we now have attached. We can’t offer that. Not as long as we buy into those same agendas.  And we do. Look at us. We have the same problems as last time with a different cast.  Young people receive their "visions" from videos and television. We receive our supposed vision from false prophets and people who don’t know what they’re doing.  Is one worse than the other?  What we really need to do as a society is offer an alternative. Our own vision, and a healthy one, of what we want for our young people and each other.  And we won’t get that by listening to the same speeches and sermons from people who don’t have the responsibility for bringing up the next generation. We do and we have to offer an alternative.

    That is just as exciting, just as challenging, and more rewarding. Than a life of crime.  And give them some hope. A lack of education is a factor but hopelessness causes crime too.

    But first.  We… haveto have hope ourselves.  Look at these blogs.  Do we sound hopeful?  No, we sound desperate and discouraged. 

    But… we can change our/their world for the better.

    Honestly I don’t hold out much hope for any of the leaders in politics or the church I’ve seen to do that. 

    So we won’t include them. They can just go on blaming each other and the devil.

  19. slowpoke says:

     The other factor, identified in the long since shelved criminologist’s report, is the preponderance of HMPN inmates having teenage/young mommies and absent daddies.

    Those with financial/family resources, make the quick trip to Miami to have things "fixed".  So, the cycle of the more impoverished, with less education, fewer opportunities and lacking resources, having more children continues.

    We desperately need a greater focus on sex education, challenging false beliefs about birth control, and cultural norms such as "a real man does not use condoms". Also (to ensure that I get lots of thumbs down) we may have to revisit our stand on abortion.

     

     

    • au revoir says:

      some great points, but…  thugs don’t wear condoms – they are irresponsible.  no amount of education (as if they’re going to listen anyway) is going to change that.  solution, none that is workable.  personally, i’d round up all the thugs and ship them up north to Siberia.  they’ll be so busy worrying about staying warm that they’ll forget all about letting a million and one little gangsta Juniors loose on society…

  20. Young.KY.female says:

    Finally, Caymanian Conscience, a viewpoint I agree with!! An excellent commentary I hope is read by the masses!

  21. Cayman Conscience Fan says:

    Will you marry me CC?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don’t agree with everything in the commentary, but appreciate the general sentiments, particularly our "culture of entitlement".

    Let’s take these issues in bit sized chunks, so for this one, one specific suggestion would be to change the system for high school graduation.

    25 years ago, graduation for the government high school here was held in November, ie after the external examination results came in.. that way those who did well in the exams could be recognised / rewarded.

    So.. first, move graduation to November.

    Second, do away with the entitlement surrounding graduation by :

    a) making it based on attainment, not just attendance. We’re not talking about rocket scientists, just the three "r"s, but it must become about something other than just showing up for school

    b) right now everyone knows cases where kids have attendance / discipline problems and are told they can’t go to graduation…but their parents, instead of using  that as a teaching tool for their kids, instead use every influence (through MLAs etc) they can to get the rules waived for their kid. Stop that.. stop it.. now

    That’s just one simple suggestion.

     

  23. Anonymous says:

     I could not agree more with this writer.   I think I have posted  here before about my time in Cayman when I volunteered at the prison in the reading programme that the local Rotary  Club has.   For the 2  years that I volunteered in this programme, one of the most disheartening things that I discovered was the fact that you had grown men and women who were unable to even write their names.  They had reached the age of 22-30 and could not write their names.  As someone from a small Island who struggled to raise 2 children of her own as a single parent, pay her way through school while working, I just could not get my head around a country that was so blessed that could actually have its native sons and daughters locked up and unable to read and write.  My heart ached.  Young Caymanians do not make use of the opportunities afforded to them.  If you go to UCCI and ICCI in the evenings you will see more expats at school trying to increase their knowledge base than you see Caymanians.  A lot of these expats are on fixed salaries, have to pay rent, have to hitch a ride to school and back, have young children that they have to provide for, have no families here in Cayman, and yet they take the opportunity to increase their knowledge.  When I first came to  Cayman the first thing I did was join the library.  I had no friends, no family, no car.  Every Friday during my lunch hour I would walk from Shedden Road to the library and return my books that I had borrowed the previous Friday and get ready for some serious reading.  After Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the library was destroyed, as well as allthe books that I used to buy at the Humane  Society on Saturdays for $1.00, I started buying books again at the Humane Society as soon as they were opened for business.  Most Saturdays you go there you see more expats buying $1.00 books than you see locals.  You see more expats in the library, than you see young people.  As a child growing up in Jamaica, I joined 3 libraries because my parents could not afford to buy the Nancy  Drew and Hardy  Boys mysteries for me, so I went to the library and borrowed them. It also opened my eyes to learning as when there was nothing good to read, I borrowed the Encylopedia Brittanica and learned about the world.  Yes, politicians have done a disservice to the people of the Cayman Islands but the parents have done wrong as well.  What kind of parents allow their children out to clubs when they are under age? What kind of parents allow their daughters to have their boyfriends sleeping over on the weekends?  What kind of parents reward bad grades with a trip to Miami?  The politicians and parents are to be blamed for what is happening now.  The only good thing is that it is still not too late to nip this thing in the bud.  It will take a great amount of effort and willpower but it can happen if everyone wants it to  happen. 

  24. Caymanian overseas says:

    A friend of mine goes around to the schools and presents on certain subjects.  He has said to me that there is a whole generation of Caymanians in the public schools that the island should be terrified of.  The classrooms have 30+ kids and it is in complete chaos.  All the happens is that teacher yells over the noise and will go and get the headmaster if it gets too much.    Kids graduate high school based on attendance not grades.  His description of the classroom conditions was absolutely shocking to me.  If you are interested in seeing this for yourself, create a presentation (can be on what you do for living!) and ask the schools if you can show it to their 14/15 year old classes. Parents (if they care….) need to know how their kids are spending their day.  

    • Lawless Caymanian says:

      You are right, but not to be anti-anyone or anything (other than the effect of ill thought out Government policy) what would the overcrowding of classrooms be were it not for the Cabinet status grants. From what I can tell, there would almost certainly be an almost 30% reduction.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like the gang situation in the schools, people are very silent and unwilling to investigate / acknowledge the alleged prostitution problem in these schools as well.

      I’ve heard about it on numerous occasions. So we have a generation of kids coming up where the boys have absolutely no respect for women and see them as good for only one thing and girls who have no respect for themselves. Not that we don’t have too much of this already. So if we think domestic violence, rape, crime is a problem now??? Imagine all this in 5-10 years.

      Encourage these kids to come with you to speak up and they look at you like you’re crazy. They’re afraid. Apparently some are forced to do it.

      WAKE UP Cayman! Do you talk to (not talk at) your children about their day in the evenings?

  25. Thankful says:

    Here, here!! 

    Hear, HEAR!!!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. Very astute. One thing however, if buying votes with washing machines is illegal, and everyone knows it happens, why is this not the fault of the Police and AG who watch it happen, election after election, and do nothing?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the neglect and or incompetence of the police and the prosecutors is astounding. It is so bad that the only explanation is that the neglect may even be wilful, and if so, then that to me amounts to outright corruption.

      Yeah Governor – are you responsible for that?

  27. Mr. Bodden says:

    Don’t talk rubbish, there are no gangs here.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff!

  29. Anonymous says:

    While this made some good points, most of this was rubbish.  Cayman has become the most corrupt place.  I recall when there were no "police".  They weren’t needed as with a nation whose total population is the size of a small town, no one dared think to commit a [violent] crime because they would never get away with it – word would spread and they would surely be caught immediately.  There is no reason for the current "police force" to be baffled every time when it comes to solving a crime that occurs on an island that is 20 miles at its furthest points with a population of a single mega-church.  Ridiculous!

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       This is an excellent well written commentary. Thank-you…….100% with you…we have grown far to fast and kudo’s on the view about the MLA’s. Many have ignored the population as they grew there power and personal wealth. Especially their lack of foresight for schools, education and educators. I have often said, "image where we would be if during the 80’s we had focused on education". Parenting…..as we grew so fast many parents worked numerous jobs and the greed need for money surpassed parenting. One addition would be that with affluence came the introduction of the "real" world via TV, satelite dishes, videos dvd’s and films. We have a society of "wanna bee’s and posers". The kids growing up emmulate the rapers and gangs and losers they see in the media.

      Great commentary….hope everyone reads it 

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with most of what you say my friend, but rest assured that whereas they started out posing 10 years ago, Cayman now has some certifiable "murderers".

        They aren’t posing any more. They are the real deal. Sad to say. They evidence is there. We can’t use the tame crime fighting strategies of 20 years ago to deal with them. The police need to step it up. I am by no means saying it’s their fault, but as the writer inferred, the fire is out of control, we need some serious firemen with different tactics to out this.

        We shouldn’t have to say this either, but we also need parents to care about their children. Some kids go to school in mini skirts, pants belted firmly around their thighs, hair not combed, etc. And nobody says anything. So they get the impression that they can do what they want. Introduction to BADMANISM 101.

        The parents need to feel it. One morning the police need to be at the schools and every child that comes in not wearing the correct uniform AS IT IS INTENDED TO BE WORN needs to be sent back in their parents car or their parents called to come pick them up! The police is needed because the security at these schools can’t handle these kids. How many of them have gotten hurt recently stopping fights? Society out of control!