Gun amnesty hauls mixed bag

| 12/06/2010

(CNS): Some 26 guns, a crossbow, tear gas, a Taser, a grenade and more than 200 rounds of ammunition were collected during the police gun amnesty that ended last night as a result of the public being willing to come forward and help police make the streets safer. The weapons, which were deposited at police stations across Grand Cayman, were a mixed assortment of weaponry, including some home made (left) as well as modified weapons. With the amnesty now over, however, police have warned that they will begin a proactive hunt for the individuals who have not made use of it. A bounty of $5,000 has been placed on the heads of the local gunmen. (Photos by Dennie Warren Jr)

Declaring the amnesty a success, Commissioner of Police David Baines said that the modified weapons and replica guns indicated that genuine firearms are not as common on the island as people suspect. He stated that the home made weapons, which were viable and dangerous to the user as well as those they were aimed at, indicated that it was not so easy for criminals to acquire the real thing, hence the trouble taken to construct or modify things such as the risky adaptation of flare guns to fire bullets.
The amnesty also resulted in a number of genuine firearms, including rifles, shotguns, pistols and handguns, which the police say will now be safely disposed of. The commissioner said that although he was unable to confirm at this stage if any of the weapons have been used in the course of a crime, the serial number had been erased from at least one weapon, which indicated it was likely to have had a criminal purpose.
“The figures speak for themselves,” said Baines. “These weapons and the ammunition surrendered as part of the amnesty could, if they got into the wrong hands,kill — let’s be in no doubt about that.”
He said that by taking part in the amnesty, people had demonstrated that they were no longer willing to stand by and let gun-wielding criminals terrorise the islands. “They are no longer prepared to live in fear. I personally thank every single person who took part in the initiative – and decided that they want to be part of a safer Cayman.”
The commissioner said the amnesty was just one part of a multifaceted approach to reducing the demand and supply of guns, and following the amnesty on the weapons police were now turning their attention to the people.
“Today, in conjunction with Cayman Crime Stoppers, I am effectively placing a bounty on the head of anyone who holds an illegal or unlicensed gun,” he said on Friday afternoon, adding that a $5,000 reward was being put up for anyone who could help in the conviction of a gun related crime.
“The Crime Stoppers Board and I agree that while this is a substantial amount of money to many people in Cayman – it’s a small price to pay to ensure that we cut gun crime in the islands and ensure those responsible end up behind bars.”
Lauding the success of the amnesty, Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said the proverbial gloves were now off and the police would be executing the ten year plan. “The joint RCIPS and Crime Stoppers approach will mean that more people have an incentive to come forward and give us the valuable information we need,” he added, indicating that the police would now be taking a very aggressive approach to putting the gunmen behind bars.
Anyone who has information about people who hold illegal or unlicensed guns, or about anyone involved in gun crime is asked to contact their local police station or Cayman Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).
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Comments (10)

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  1. Rorschach says:

    Honestly speaking, how do we know what was REALLY turned in and what may have just been pulled out of the ol "evidence locker" and trotted out and placed on the table just for a good "photo op"??    How do we, the public, whose faith in the RCIP is at an all time low, really be sure that this is not just another publicity stunt?? 

    • Lotophagus says:

      All gun amnesties are just publicity stunts.  They don’t have any other use.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Commissioner of Police should be giddy by now after all that spinning. It is obvious to anyone with any grain of intelligence that there is no shortage of good workable firearms available to criminals on this island as evidenced by the number of actual shootings that we have had in recent years. I believe that the commissioner is intelligent, I can only assume that like his predecessor, he refuses to accept that the image they had in their mind’s eye of the Cayman Islands is flawed, and would, in true English style, rather spin the facts than admit they were wrong.

    WISHING SOMETHING SO, DOES NOT MAKE IT SO

    An honest assessment by the commissioner would reveal that these items turned in were not from the violent criminals roaming our streets but rather, items found or otherwise held by otherwise Law abiding citizens who decided to get rid of them. Not to say that this is not a good thing, because it removes these items from possibly being found or stolen by the violent criminals. However, the commissioner should not be hyping this or spinning it into something that deep down he knows is not true.

    Wake up and smell the coffee. After last night I wonder if he would like to retract his statement that criminals were unlikely to pull their guns on police. Besides last nights shots fired at police, wasn’t a police car shot previously and the DTF shot at on the high seas?

    We all wish that we were not living in a time of criminal gun culture, but that does not change the fact that we are. Hiding the truth does not change the truth.

    Our police officers need the equipment necessary to protect themselves and Law abiding citizens who wish to have the ability to protect themselves should be allowed to do so as well. Instead of us having to wonder if the person next to us in the gas station is an armed criminal going to rob the place and possibly shoot someone, lets have the criminals wondering it the person they are considering robbing can shoot back.

  3. Anonymous says:

    WE NEED A TASK FORCE NOW!!!! not next month!!! and we also need

    a curfew until we get this under control!!!!!!

     

    IT SEEMS NO ONE IS SAFE!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

     

    "Genuine firearms are not as common on the island as people suspect", how can you say that when you have evidence of many more real guns handed in than home made? The crazy young men on the islands who have the real guns are look more guns, not looking to give in guns for you to down play the true situation. I don’t know where you are getting your intel, but you better start getting the real thing or we all are on a fast track to disaster.
    The home made guns that was handed over to police, was done so by mama or papa who found Jonnyboy (age 15) with something he should not have had. (Please be reminded at age 17 Jonnyboy will have the real thing when money starts flowing).
    Mr. Baines, tactics used in the UK is NOT effective in the Caribbean. Experts have said that over and over and over! Mentality is also different in the Caribbean than that of the UK. People will shot you in the Cayman Islands, then think about it later. In the UK, people think about it, then decide if it is a good idea to fire a shot or two. Another thing that is bad and downright wrong, you expect to have your unarmed officer chase down armed suspect without guns. Armed support units are usually not the first to arrive on majority of the situations where guns are used to commit crime, leaving the first critical moment open for criminal to do what they want.  One of these days you will havemultiple situations happening at the same time on the island, one which might just be in East End, the other an hour later in West Bay. Your officers in West Bay will have to run and hide for at least 30 minutes, as that is how long it takes to drive from East End to West Bay at 70 MPH, and if you ask me, I say one hour based on the crazy rules you have in place for engaging criminals.
    Based on the rules you have set out for officers to use fire arms, it is in my opinion only implemented to protect your job and not the Cayman Islands. When will you be true to the people of this land and honest regarding the current situation? One day you will pay the price for hiding dirt under the rug, as you are just as much at fault as the criminals when you fail to do something that could have been done.  

    Written by: Island Boy

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Island Boy — truth be told — it’s your dirt! Turn in the people you know doing illegal and bad things!

  5. Sheerluck Holmes says:

    A complete waste of time and resources – like all gun amnesties. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jeez – One a month and you’ll make good money!

    $5K is a lot. Turn someone in and it beats robbing a place for a couple hundred.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Some thumbs up this one and I wasn’t  kidding. I am a professional with a university degree. If I knew some of the criminal element here I would make a lot more turning them in than I would sitting at my desk.

      Do what you know needs to be done and turn the XXXXXX in! At least nowyou’ll be making a good and decent wage.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The homemade firearm is amazing. Someone obviously spent  time designing something, probably testing so it wouldn’t kill them too. Just wish that work had gone into something more constructive than a device to kill someone.