Cops offer gun amnesty

| 09/06/2011

(CNS): Police will be holding a month long amnesty on firearms this July in an effort to repeat last year’s success. Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said that this time the amnesty would be promoted at a local level through a series of town hall meetings where police would discuss the issue of gun crime with residents in the community. He told CNS Wednesday morning that he believed the reason why there had been no murders in the Cayman Islands so far in 2011 was because of the successful amnesty last year in which some 23 firearms and ammunition were removed from the streets and he hoped to do the same during July’s no questions asked hand-in.

Acknowledging the increase in robberies involving firearms, in particular those where weapons have been fired recently, Bodden pointed out that while this was of significant concern, last year there were eight murders in Cayman and a similar number the year before. “This year we have had zero killings,” he added and said he truly believes that amnesties assist significantly in reducing the number of weapons on the street.

Last year the police focused on the warning that firearms related offences, even where no one is hurt, attract a minimum of ten years and asked people to give up weapons before they found themselves spending the next decade in Northward. This year, Bodden said, the police would be taking a different approach but would still be encouraging people to give up the guns while they had the chance.

The police ran the 2010 amnesty in May and June, and while gun crime continued throughout the month long reprieve, police still collected an impressive array of weaponry and ammunition. Bullets, cartridges, shotguns, rifles automatic weapons, hand-guns, homemade guns as well as adapted guns and even a crossbow were collected from the streets.

Speaking to Cayman 27 on Tuesday evening, Bodden said the police were still doing everything possible to get the guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

He disagreed that the police did not have a grip of the robbery situation but he said the RCIPS could only do its job if it was assisted by information from the public about where the guns are, as he said the police cannot fabricate evidence. He said that people were criticising the approach police were taking and suggesting they should be more aggressive.

“The RCIPS is aggressive,” he said, “but what individuals don’t understand about the RCIPS is that we are intelligently aggressive.”

Although the country’s murder rap sheet is empty, so far this year there have been an unprecedented amount of robberies, many of which have involved firearms. While in some cases the guns were imitation weapons, in the last few robberies the armed assailants have chosen to demonstrate that their weapons were real during the execution of the crime by firing their guns.

The police have made headway and made a number of arrests and brought charges in several of the robberies at gas stations and grocery stores but the three armed bank heists remain unsolved.

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Comments (61)

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  1. Rorschach says:

    What no one wants to admit within the RCIPS is this..It is NOT the policy of the UK police to confront armed and/or violent criminals whilst they are in the act of committing the crime.  The train of thought goes along the lines of, "let them leave, do NOT confront or try to hinder them in any way and once they are safely away, then we will try to track them and bring them to justice".  THIS is why the police are slow reacting to incidents and always seem to be just minutes behind the persons who are committing these crimes…Sad to say, but this is a reality…You bring in Chiefs from the UK and you also bring in their way of doing things…get used to it…it's only going to get worse…

    • Anonymous says:

      The Police are clean up and complaints dept only, they are NOT first line of defence.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    if i am a criminal why would i turn my tools of trade in when business is good, which it has been for robbers and thiefs here lateley..that would be like a good mechanic saying you know what i dont need that socket wrench any more..here Timmy you take it!

    I think the Police need to be more stealth with thier patrols where as they should  use un marked cars and plain clothes officer walking the streets!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, you mean like communist Russia or Cambodia of a few years ago or maybe like some examples in South America all of us could think of? Dont you just love well thought out ideas?!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Put a woman in charge of the police and you may actually start to see some positive results!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Getting Tough Means Gettin out of their cars. Now you stretchin it

  5. Anonymous says:

    I suggest the police familiarize themselves with the "getting tough" strategy that was applied by the then mayor Giuiliani in New York which has widely been credited for huge reduction in crime on the streets of New York.

    At this stage everything else is just pussy footing around!

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is that the legalisation of abortion is also argued to have been directly responsible for the reduction in crime. Are you suggesting we all jump on that band wagon as well?

      • Anonymous says:

        So we shouldn't be cracking down on low level crimes and send a message that if you break the law there will be consequences no matter how "little" the crime?

        It is my firm opinion that if the majority of traffic offenses and "little" crimes would ensue a consequence, more people would actually follow the law and perhaps criminals would sit up and take notice and have some sort of respect for the police. Right now it doesn't seem that anyone is respecting them – not the general public juding by the daily traffic offenses I see, not the criminals judging by having 2 attempted robberies within a time frame of what 24 hours?

        Obviously whatever the police is doing now isn't work so well is it?

      • Boston Tea Party says:

        Yes. It is outrageous that abortion is not allowed in Cayman.

        • Sheerluck Holmes says:

          It is perfectly legal if you are a middle class girl.  It is euphemistically known as "a shopping trip to Miami".  The current law only forces the poor to have children they don't want and cannot afford.  And that starts the cycles which leads to increased crime 16 years later.

      • Foxtrot Oscar says:

        There is more credible evidence that the expansion of abortion rights had more to do with the drops in crime during the relevant period than zero tolerance policing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for being blunt but…..No one is going to turn S..t in! With the criminals having so mucg success nowadays.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Frequent road blocks all over the country EVERY day at random times and locations, where cars are inspected thoroughly, might help to find criminals.

    At least it will hinder them in their mobility.

    At every bank, gas station, supermarket at least one visibly armed guard.

    Do this for a period of 6 months and crime will drop.

    In addition, legalize a limited use of marijuana. It will take the number one income source away from organized crime and will create a source of income for government. And it gives police more time to do important things.

    If i call crime stoppers to inform them about a guy selling pittbull puppies, I want them to act on it, not lose the record of my call. 

    Use undercover agents to mingle with the wealthy on this island to infiltrate in the cocaine business.

    Enforce the law that prohibits the existence of gangs. We know the colors, so pick them up.

    And, if you know it was a green honda civic, then give me access to the licensing database, and i will pull it up. And if it was a 5'9" black man with jamaican accent, then give me the immigration database and I will pull him up.

    Unfortunately nothing of these suggestions will make it, since this tiny island is governed by XXXX policians and powerfull churches.

    They are the ones that not only cause, but also benefit from our misery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Roadblocks hinder everyone's mobility and most of us are not criminals.  Further, the roadblocks never seem to yield much.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We need to end the robber amnesty through the admission that the RCIPS are not your first line of defense.  Vulnerable tenants and business owners with cash businesses (bars, banks, money transfer locations) should already be training staff on how to conduct themselves under a robbery scenario, what to observe and listen for.  Collectively insist that landlords (particularly in mall areas) install CCTV in parking lots and escape alleys and common areas.  CCTV is cheap now and provides the critical identifiers that the Police just can't divine out of thin air.  The robbers of today are using a variety of weapons, and could just as easily show up with a machete or squirt gun – the problem is the lack of opposition.  We need the risk profile for this criminal activity to radically shift.  Some of these perpetrators will need to get caught, injured, or worse before the needle will move.  It is up to Cayman's business owners and landlords (and their insurers) to audit their processes and make necessary changes so we can put the shoe on the other foot.      

    • Anonymous says:

      These two comments are honest and make a lot of sense…

      If there was a unified intent to stem this tide of robbery and violent crime.

      However, The Cayman Islands is a segregated, polarised society and this is the major and almost immovable block to any unified action.

      Most businesses are members of their industry associations; it is from this level that action can be organised and demands made on the police force as an organization.

      The Chamber of Commerce is the main business association in Cayman, yet have they made any strong statements on this state of affairs ? No.

      Why ?

      Because, although some of their member businesses have been hit, the majority of businesses being targeted are small, unconnected businesses who have no voice to speak for them.

      This is another unpleasant truth; the families of many of these robbers are members of these churches and political parties.

      Are the churches and political parties making demands on the police force; no.

      Why ?

      Because if the police force in Cayman was to take the measures necessary to stop these armed robbers, some of them would most definitely end up dead; shot bythe police.

      Do these churches and political parties want to be burying and mourning the children of their members ? No.

      Why ?

      Simply bad for businesses and votes, all round.

      This is the sad state of polarisation and paralysis in the Cayman Islands today.

      In the meantime, these robbers might even be seen as justified by some in the society; modern-day Robin Hoods if you please.

      Therefore indentities and weapons are readily secreted on their behalf by friends and family.
       

      This is an extremely sad state of affairs that the Cayman Islands has finally come to.

      • Anonymous says:

        I disagree with the prevailing opinion that this is a Police problem that they can solve.  If you enable criminal behavior, either intended or otherwise, you become a target of opportunity by your own hand.  The Police are merely the reporting authority after something bad has happened – hopefully it makes you feel better telling someone about the experience, and there will be a record filed for insurance recovery, but make no mistake, there is no intelligent CSI crime fighting force here.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not just amnesty.  We should offer a buy back.  Someone in a house with illegal weapons should be allowed to steal them and sell them to the police at a discounted retail price for each gun.  Money would be a better a motivator than fear of prosecution.

    We can fund thisfrom the legal and HSA budgets, but not the police budget..

  10. Anonymous says:

    Does anybody know where the Commissioner of Police is? When is the Chamber calling it's next meeting on crime? We need to hear from him..

    Thanks Marlon, but we know you are only being put out their to deflect any need for the Commissioner to speak or God forbid, come up with a plan to resolve our crime wave.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Should be a minimum of 30 years with anyone caught with an illegal gun and life for use in a criminal offense no exceptions.

  12. bradley says:

    Marlon / Baines, I am sorry, but this is an embarrassment!!  Amnesty??  Marlon, you mean to tell me that is the best you guys can come up with to fighting crime!  Don't get me wrong, it does help, but what people want to hear and see now, are efforts being made to capture these arm robbers!  I am amazed that after one gas station was hit or robbed, just after 24 hours, another one was hit and robbed, and there was no police presense in wait for these crooks.

    WHERE IS YOUR INTELLIGENCE???

    I would have thought that you would have plan some kind of surveillance in order to intercept these crooks.

    IT IS STRATEGY PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR!!!

    NOT SOME "ANNUAL" GUN AMNESTY, WHICH GIVES ROBBERS HOPE OF BEING PARDON AFTER THEY HAVE COMMITTED SERIOUS CRIMES!!!

    • B. B. L. Brown says:

      Bradley, I agree with you!  Everyone should be aware that the robbers are NOT going to turn in their guns.  What's wrong with surveillance?  If the high-risk places were put under surveillance you would certainly have a good chance of catching the robbers.  Maybe you should arm the police, too…..  It's not easy getting the cuffs on someone when he's shooting at you.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What we need is for the Police who are armed to be patrolling on foot and in cars in GT and outlying areas where there are banks.   Banks lock you doors and have card entry only, or if you don't have a key, the security guard lets yuou in.  Its only a matter of time before someone gets shot because most of the regular citizens have had enough.  I work too hard for my money to have it taken away by someone else.  Tourists will feel safer if they see a strong police presence- because the rest of the world is watching and tourists will soon stop coming here.  

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let's put this kind of exercise in perspective.

    The UK held a firearms amnesty in April 2003, 17,216 guns and 483,000 rounds of ammunition were handed in.

    Details on what came in vary depending on the source of the information but it is clear that the vast majority of these 'guns' were blank firers, replicas, air guns or even just bits and pieces of firearms. Many of the rest were legally held firearms the people either simply didn't want any more and had no resale value.

    In the target (sic) areas, inner cities with serious gang crime problems, turn in was negligible as was the impact on armed crime.

    Also remember this is just about a year after the last amnesty in Cayman.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Not going to work, only a fool would believe it will.

    Remember last years “success”? 8 robberies during the gun amnesty period.

  16. cayman - I care ! says:

    Marlon, keep on doing your job!!

    Its so easy to criticise someone when they're not the one risking their life.  Any effort to take guns off the street is better than not making an effort at all.  One gun taken off the street is one less for someone to use against society to endanger lives.

    If they were exposed to a situation where the only weapon they had is a pen in their pockets, like the police, and you were told to fight criminals that were carrying guns, where would you be? Hiding behind a car? Don't show up at the scene?

    Don't take any offense to the negative blogs.  Many of us sensible and intelligent individuals understand that our police WANT to be equipped with the necessary gunfire and ammunition to fight today's criminal activity but the power for such authority does not rest in your hands.

    Caymanians, you need to address your concerns to the GOVERNOR, the RCIPS COMMISSIONER, the PREMIER and if necessary, the FCO.  These are the persons in control and with the authority to make a change – a difference.

    We will get more positive results if we became proactive in our country, came together as one people, supporting each other rather than tearing down each other and being a discouragement or disrespectful.

    One never know when a time will come that the life you fight to save may be your very own.

    • Anonymous says:

      you could give the cops all the guns they want.  They would still run away.

      Risking their lives?  I don't think so

      • Anonymous says:

         

        The crime on this Island has escalated to a serious and deadly level of criminal activity. 

        Unless we put extreme pressure our law makes and the responsible commanders, you will soon find that it will be us civilians are the ones that will have a gun pointed in our faces and any given time of the day or night.

        God forbid that the day should arrive in Cayman where 18 yr olds are policing our Islands, walking our streets armed with machine guns like our neighboring Bay Islands.

        Lets get a grip of our present situation cuz when this reality hits, the proof will be in our pants.

         

         

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      My mild criticism regarding firearm matters is directed towards the top brass, not the frontline officers.  Not if, but when a police officer is killed in the line of duty or off duty, because he or she was improperly armed to respond to the criminal threat at hand, the Commissioner of Police will understand how mild my current criticism really is, and the same is true regarding private firearm ownership, where person wished to be armed, but discouraged by theCommissioner of Police.

      • Jungle Juice says:

        And you really trust the crop of po-lice we have on this island with GUNS!?!?!?!

        I would predict a lot of inocent people being shot by incompetent officers of the law.

        Sorry dude terrible idea! Stick to taking pictures.
         

        • anon says:

          Why not?  Have them tested and properly trained.  They do it everywhere else.

        • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

          No person is perfect, but yes police do need firearms to capture armed criminals.   According to your logic, would you rather yourself and the policeto be disarmed because if attacked by armed criminals, you wouldn’t want imperfect people to help you, where they can.  Oh I’m so sorry, you would never be attacked…, right?

          Preparing for the next crime photo!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Awe Man…..That's funny. Not one Criminal will turn their gun in. The Police should be saying, we'll give you a chance to bring us your gun before we stop your car, raid your home or dig up your yard to find it and then put you in prison for a really long time campaign. That won't happen though. Human rights and abuse of powers when you have Barney Fife and Boss Hog administering the law…so better get used to it. Jollly good show Commisioner, Governor…Mekeewa..oh sorry Mekeewa, that's not your job, you off the hook to Spin your wheels on the latest. Elio? Everyone should borrow from their pensions so they can buy a house….all be living in Wooden Stick Houses makin rope when no more tourists come and big spenders move on down the road for greener pastures. Why can't you guys just start thinking different.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      " Why can't you guys just start thinking different."

      or hell, just start thinking, period!

  18. Jacky boatside from oldbush says:

    “Police cannot fabricate evidence”.What! when the hell did they change that policy Come on now Mr Baines you are taking away every single investigative tool left in the police arsenal.AAAAH boy this man has got to go! How the hell we going to get this S@#& done now?

  19. Anonymous says:

    News Flash!!!

    People who break the law don't care about gun Amnesty!!!

    That is why we call them…… (let the cops fill in the blank)

    This is another attempt to give the citizens WHO obey the law a false feeling of some sort of safety and return to more peaceful days.

    What a shame, can't even put bars on your windows… Planning Department will instruct you to take them off!!! All so we don't give the impression that we are not safe.

     

  20. Rafaelle says:

    Caymanian boat Captain you are absolutely right the actual fact is alot of these guns that were handed in were in fact licensed guns in which owners have willing given up or owners are deceased.The reason alot of owners have decide to hand in their weapons are for two basic reasons. It appears that there is a deliberate UK engineered licensing policy,designed to frustrate licensed holders with requirements and lengthy delays which will drive or compel owners to give it up their guns and second is some owners no longer feel comfortable or safe storing their guns in their homes or offices.That current state of mind of not being safe in your own home is disgraceful and shameful and for the Police to be the indirect benefactors of this situation says a lot. The laws that forbid the carriage of arms only disarms those who are neither incline nor determined to commit crimes. The very big assumptions and correlations made by this officer with regards to the decrease in murders is misleading and a bit ridiculous. What proof does he have of this? Why doesn’t he hand his gun also?.

    • chris says:

      The british government are one of the last governments on the face of the earth that trust their own people with firearms. Do you want the same thing to happen here like it did in egypt where the people took to the streets and protest and there was nothing the corrupt government could do?

  21. Truth Police says:

    They got a saying…

     

    "Don't p#ss down my back and tell me it's rainin' !"

  22. Brutus says:

    With this well-armed crime wave going on I'd expect even the law-abiding among us to be trying to get guns for self-defence.  The idea that anyone is going to turn in that which is obviously valued is ridiculous.  

    If the gun were "used" as it were, I'd expect it to be dumped in the ocean.

    • CC says:

      Wow, this idea is going over like a lead balloon.  May we please hear from the UK top-cop?  You are getting a large salary to work with the people and PR is in your job description.

      No girlfriends or aunties of these punks are brave enough to turn in a criminal's weapon, so this amnesty will only adress locals who are not criminals (parents passed away so gun is now theirs, etc…)

      Where is the real enforcement?  300 officers on a small rock and everybody knows everybody, time to round up some bad guys ya think???

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is the best the Police can do??? Lord help us! It certainly goes to show the police don't know what to do so know they are asking the criminals to bring their guns to them. Good luck with that!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Check out the calibre and the backgroung of some of the police… ex-gardeners,ex-construction workers …what do we expect?

      most of them just putting in their time,waiting for the 7 years to come around, to apply for PR or status, don't you all see where our country is going?

      I would fire  half of them, appeal to the U.S.A for help, ask them to send in their special security unit, to fight the type of crime we have been infested with here in Cayman, hire them on a 6 month basis, this way they will come in,do their job and leave. no liabilities. 

      These special security forces are hired by the US army to hunt, and  take out talibans, and Insurgents in Eraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (The war Logs task forces)

      Caymanians, if we don't get serious and fight this crime with drastic measures, we will lose everything.

      The crime has reach to the point where we have to fight fire with fire, get rid of the Human rights…now! they will destroy these  Islands like they did Europe.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bring in the Mexican, Colombian and Brazilian police!  Don’t they deal with this foolishness everyday? But alas none of the specialists will be brought in; these idiots are well known by the police, politicians and the wider community.  They are somebody’s, cousin, sister, brother, kid, nice/nephew.  They are connected somehow to somebody and we have to protect ‘ole Johnny and Sally.  They are such good kids, besides “they ‘my’ family”.

        So bringing in specialists or not will do nothing.  It will be just like the fishing program “Catch and release”.  Or even better catch them, make the community feel good and then when it gets to court, they will either be let go due to insufficient evidence or a conviction which is a joke. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    I am still wondering where our Police Commissioner is….Can the Chamber of Commerce please have a meeting so that he can tell us in his "proper' English how much crime is down over last year despite everything that is happening now? 

    His response to all of this is to send out the "token Caymanian" so when the preverbial crap hits the fan he can blame it on someone else.

    It's time for him to go!!!!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    When all the robberies was in central george town, every morning I was greated by several Police Officers along Shedden Road, Dr. Roy's Drive, Water Front and Eastern Ave.

    What happen now, put some Police Officers in plain clothes by the banks. (Arm them too, shoot to kill and not for them to call in and ask if they should) 

    Take back this country and make it safe for us all dont worry about what our visits say about police carring guns, they all come from countries who police officers are strap.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Since my business cannot be protected by a armed security guard, let do something different.

    My business would pay the government to have a arm Police Officer during business hours. 

    You said the government is broke, you need the money, I will pay you to protect my business because you rarely charge anyone for these robberies.  

    The news will say the Police have a few people arrested or being questioned, but that is all.

    My business need to be protected and NOW.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What a stupid XXXX waste of time just making us all laugh at the Police. If I am a gangsta planning on robbing a bank, fast food place, supermarket or convenience store, why the hell would I surrender my gun? XXXX, Baines, move out of the way so someone else can come in with something better than this twaddle.

    • Pending says:

      I dont mean to point out the obvious, but I hope every police officer is out on patrol at all banks, gas stations etc….because its THURSDAY.

      Stay tuned for todays events.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Why would those criminals hand in the guns when I only heard of a few who was sent to prison for a short holiday.

    The prison is a hotel, they sleep in a/c and eat better than me.

    Start by giving them 20years in the hotel when they are sentance and maybe, I say maybe they will slow down.

     

     

  29. Caymanian Boat Captain says:

    A "Gun Amnesty" is good in the sense that every "illegal firearm" that comes off the street is one less to be used in the commission of a crime. Not all firearms that were handed in last year's amnesty were illegal per say. Therefore I totally disagree with Marlon that the previous amnesty is now responsible for the decrease in homicides in the Cayman Islands. If this were the case, then we would certainly see a decrease in "Armed Robberie's" which hasn't been the case at all, especially with firearms now being blatantly discharged at the scenes of such robberies. The reason there is a decrease in Homicides thus far is very simple, most of the killer's are now behing bars. However, being charged with murder and behind bars is one thing and being convicted of murder and behind bars is another. It's going to be very interesting to see in the months coming whether convictions for murder will be secured against alleged killers XXXX. If convictions are not secured, then what we faced 18-24 months ago is going to seem like a walk in the park.      

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is your reported quote:

    “The RCIPS is aggressive,” he said, “but what individuals don’t understand about the RCIPS is that we are intelligently aggressive.”

    This is what he actually said on TV:

    “The RCIPS is aggressive,” he said, “but what individuals doesn’t understand about the RCIPS is that we are intelligently aggressive.”

    "Who is intelligent?" OR "Who are intelligent?"…

    That remains to be seen…..

  31. Anonymous says:

    I believe a gun amnesty is a good idea.

    Most parents seem unwilling to turn in their little punk kids who are committing these crimes, but at least if they turn in their guns it might save one life.

    I don't expect any criminals to have a change of heart and turn in their own guns, but someone other than the criminals must know where the guns are hidden, and an amnesty might appeal to their common sense.

     

  32. nauticalone says:

    This is NOT a sensible Policing Strategy.

    Annual Amnesty? This is being "intelligently aggressive?

    We don't need a 300+ Police Service costing a fortune for that! We could just have volunteers at designated collection sites periodically (during amnesty month) for that!

    This response would be funny….if it wasn't so serious!

  33. Adam Smith says:

    Gun amnesties have no positive crime prevention effect.  They tend to be PR stunts at best.  The opprtunity costs of police time advertising and running an amnesty problems means that they have a negative value in terms of preventing crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are suggesting that police officers holding local meetings in town halls and getting to know locals is a wate of police time?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeh that will work!

    Why don't these lazy cops stop having stupid meetings and get on with fighting crime?.  Do you really expect the criminals with guns to hand them in?

     

    Are you going to add that to your statistics to show crime is falling.

    'He told CNS Wednesday morning that he believed that the reason why there had been no murders in the Cayman Islands so far in 2011 was because of the successfully amnesty last year where some twenty three firearms and ammunition were removed from the streets'

    That's just garbage because a 'belief' is just that and is not evidence.

     

  35. Anonymous says:

    I am getting sick of hearing about Amnesty!  I think Amnesty is just encouraging criminals to bring more guns here and do their dirty work with the hopes of handing over the guns without getting charge for it. No… Marlon…. what we need is strategic operations and surveillance on key locations in order to fight crime and capture criminals.

    • DF says:

      lol   comes in like the Immigration Amnesty for Overstaying. Many people are overstaying now because they know that down the road, they will be able to freely leave and come back to this island without a conviction.  Soon you will hear talks about Amnesty for Overstayers. watch and see