Cops cement gun amnesty

| 01/07/2011

(CNS): Representatives from the Royal Cayman Islands Police officially launched this year’s month long gun amnesty by breaking up and recycling last year’s haul on Friday morning. Cops gathered at the site of the new RCIPS Marine Unit base in Newlands with the broken pieces of firearms which will be set in concrete to create permanent sea moorings for the unit’s vessels. The amnesty was officially opened the day after Kemar Golding was senselessly shot in the face on Wednesday night by masked would-be robbers at a chicken stand in Red Bay. Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said this latest gun crime made the amnesty even more important. (Photos Dennie WarrenJr)

“This is the reason why we have launched the amnesty,” he said. “No one in the community wants to see these kinds of crimes in Cayman. We are appealing for any unwanted, unlicensed and illegally held guns to be handed in so we can get the weapons off the street and prevent them from being used to kill and maim people.”

Golding, who is miraculously alive, was shot in the face just after 11:30 on Wednesday night as he assisted his friend to take out the garbage. Bodden explained that when the victim and his friend were heading toward the bins they were confronted by three masked robbers one of which was carrying a handgun. They had demanded cash and when Golding said he did not have money one of the suspects turned to the gun man and said “let him have one.”

The suspect fired immediately and shot Golding in the eye in a shocking senseless act of violence before he and his accomplices made their escape empty handed on foot.

“It is impossible to suppress the frustration and anger I feel over this,” said Bodden. “This is very, very disturbing when you think he was doing such a simple chore to help a friend. It was so un-threatening  — just think you are putting out garbageand you are not safe.”

He called on the community to help the police hunt down the gunmen but also called on people to help in the goal to reduce the number of guns in circulation by handing in weapons. The senior officer explained that the police were making in-roads into the supply chain for weapons on the island with a number of seizures over recent weeks but he said there were still weapons out there. “We still believe that the guns are being shared so we need to encourage the public to work with us to keep breaking up the supply of guns.”

Speaking at briefing on Thursday in the wake of the shooting Bodden explained that the police were not drawing any conclusions yet about the three men that they were hunting for but had not ruled out the probability that they are the same three that have been described in some of the more recent robberies where shots have been fired.

“We are keeping an open mind but three masked men is a common denominator in several of the recent gun crimes,” he added. The DS said that he believed that there had now been around 50 armed robberies on the islands so far this year. He said this was the fifth in which a gun was fired at the scene. Bodden confirmed that bullets have been recovered which have been sent overseas for ballistic testing to see if they can be linked

Once again he emphasised how crucial it was for the public to come to the police with information.   “We have said it many times but this is a partnership, the police have their role and the people theirs — and there are more of them than us so we need the public to help. We are really pleased that we are getting more and more assistance we have seen a definite improvement we just need more consistency,” he added. Bodden said he believed remaining silent has not helped to stop the violence so people are more willing to come forward and help the police.

The gun amnesty will allow people to bring any firearm to George Town, Bodden Town, West Bay or Cayman Brac police stations anonymously with no questions asked. All the public need do is drop the unwanted, unlicensed or illegal weapons and ammunition into the secure box located in the reception area of the stations.

 

Category: Crime

Comments (14)

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  1. Law & Order / CSI / NCIS says:

    Detectives!

    What are Cayman's detectives doing in all of this? I'm sure that they are working hard, but they are not getting results. Even when they do get a conviction, it usually takes far too long.

    Why can't we have some hardened New York style detectives down here, that are prepared to put significant pressure on witnesses. Hard, unpleasant pressure. I am sure that no witness willingly just wanders into a police station one Wednesday morning to give his evidence, and leads! People need pressure…serious pressure, in order to talk.

    Arrest people for obstruction of justice; for wasting police time. Make their lives unpleasant until they divulge what the police know the witnesses know.

    According to a statement by the RCIPS a few years back, they know who all the serious criminals are on the island. So pressure them endlessly. Hassle them. Push them. I'm sure people will complain on here, but tough. It's your civic duty, under the law, to come forward if you have any information which may prove helpful to a case.

  2. PB says:

    This isn't the answer – the parts are steel, will corrode (rust) and the rust expands, cracking the concrete. 

    Why not have the government export the firearms to gun dealers in the United States (which is where they come from) for resale? The income would offset costs of seizure, perhaps. 

     

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    “We have said it many times but this is a partnership, the police have their role and the people theirs — and there are more of them than us so we need the public to help."

     

    The RCIPS numbers some 3-400 officers, as has been reported in the media.

    Is Mr. Bodden claiming here to have some knowledge as to exactly how many gang members and gunmen that are out there floating around carrying out these atrocious crimes…

    And that they outnumber the police force ?

    I don't believe for one minute that any intelligent member of the Caymanian public believes that.

    What I do believe is that most members of the public believe that the RCIPS is a police force that is equipped to handle the more peaceful, less violent aspects of the policing the Cayman Islands but…

    Are totally, inadequately prepared to tackle this tide of violent, gun-inspired crime wave that is now washing over Cayman and…

    That their commanders are at a loss for any effective plan that would call for a confrontation of these criminal gangs and so are hoping that these gangs will just quit, hand in the their guns and become model citizens all on their own….so the RCIPS can get back to its comfort zone of 'peaceful policing'.

    I'm convinced that there are no more than 50  gun-toting criminals who are regularly carrying out armed crimes, if that many.

    An effective police strategyto indentify who those are can and would have been carried out in former times under other police regimes…

    I will say no more because its not my job to tell the police how to do theirs.

    Until the police begin to do a real job, the robberies and shootings will continue; of that you can be certain.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously, if the Police can't even campaign "the public" into signaling properly in roundabouts, imagine how little respect and control they command over any other conduct?  Violent crime escalated post-Ivan because it was met with little resistance.  The government, public, and private businesses are all guilty of turning a blind eye to the causal factors as we all point fingers at one another in futility.  If we want to stop the gun crimes, we need to stop contributing to criminal cartels by buying their drugs.  Why do all the gas stations sell Rizla rolling papers with impunity?  The prolific "harmless" pot smokers are a big part of this puzzle.  As is the energetic fellow at work with the inch long pinkie finger nail.  These people are all around us all the time and are net contributors to the significant impacts of our tourism, businesses, and quality of life.  Until we get serious about the social drug users among us, our problems will never cease.

      • Anonymous says:

        For real! Ganja use is the silent epidemic which is being ignored by the (mostly foreign) police&judges.

        New research this year confirms that is mind-stunting, but its still ignored.  I was behind a "big truck" the other day and it was like a chimney…are these drivers given drug tests before being hired to drive commercial (pote ntially very dangerous) vehicles?

        But then again, the designer drug/extasy etc  issue is also ignored in the clubs!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    OK  – cute symbolic move.  Now, can we have some RCIPS presence in West Bay – specifically the Botabano corner.  The double-attempted-murder trial is now on, from the same corner where the liquor store has now been tripled in size, and is about to have a Grand Reopening Celebration! And YES – booze is a big factor in the area – which has seen crime quadruple since it opened!

    I wonder if they also plan to rub it in with an obnoxious wall mural outside.  Plus, to add insult to injury, they now have a huge Cayman flag flying outside – rain or shine, day and night!

    Seems like the authorities have taken an attitude toward the public of "Let them eat cake…"

  5. Anonymous says:

    so tell me….. this is going to be a regular thing now? gun amnesty every year to show some people are "kinda" interested in being seen to make a tiny effort to rid the island of old guns so they can go and buy new ones? or is someone eventually going to do someting one day? look around us people. our island is a disgrace with crime involving guns and weapons and we having an amnesty AGAIN?  oh please.

    what a joke .

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, so while the cops are 'gathering' and patting themselves on the back for making boat moorings, the media continues to report crimes with guns.  One would hope that the expensive boats that the public pay for are hardly moored at all, but out there intercepting the boats bringing the guns in the first place.

     

    RCIPS you  really are a joke!

    • Anonymous says:

      RCIP, the time for "soft policing" is long gone. At present you are clearly incapable of controlling the criminal element in our midst. As an organisation you are in need of a complete revamp. You are viewed as a joke by the general public, sadly. When are you going to get serious and demonstrate to your employers (the public) that you can get the job done? Example : you mean to tell me you can't respond within thirty seconds to a bank robbery within the confines of a minute area like GT? It's just ridiculous. Get your act together NOW!

  7. Chris says:

    The gun amnesty is a good gesture but misguided.

    Only "law abiding" people will hand in their weapons such as, "grandpa died and left his 12 guage which is no longer licenced".

    It is an undisputed fact that the police cannot be everywhere at once.

    It is also a fact that RCIP gun amnesties have not taken any firearms off the streets that have been proven to be used in violent crimes.

    Why dont the police push to have gun holders licence their weapons instead of handing them in?

    Based on the statistics on the level and trend of gun crime in Cayman, arrests and successful convictions, we can all conclude that the police need all the help they can get.

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    Where is the crime lab?

    Quote, "Bodden confirmed that bullets have been recovered which have been sent overseas for ballistic testing to see if they can be linked."

    Back in 2007, when Stuart Kernohan was Commissioner, plans were in hand for the RCIPS to have its own forensic facility, which would have been able to do thiswithout shipping the evidence to the USA.

    Right now the RCIPS cannot even do basic GSR tests on-island and are being forced to claim toys or replica firearms as legitimate gun seizures to keep the media happy.

    Whatever you think about the RCIPS and their leadership there are times when they appear to be fighting crime with one hand, as the saying goes, tied behind their back. Someone should be asking, "Why?"

    XXXXX

     

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    Gun crimes are becoming all too frequent now.  I agree with the gun amnesty program and recommend that it continues for atleast another three months to allow the police to collect as many guns as they can whether illegal or legal.

    What I recommend after the amnesty is that anyone that is caught with an illegal gun should be sent for a minimum of 5 years (the first five years of their incarceration time) to a Supermax prison anywhere in the world and then returned to complete the rest of their sentence here.  I am sure they will not want to see or hear about a gun again and they would get the experience what doing real time is.

  10. Anonymous says:

    yada yada yada be warned

  11. TEb says:

    Gun Amnesty is good, but I am afraid it is not enough. Criminals are the last ones who will want to hand over their guns if it's helping them to get what they want. With Gun Amnesty, what is also needed, is a new management of the Police Service. I am afraid that the UK COP is not doing such a superb job.