Local activists get VOCAL about crime

| 14/09/2011

(CNS): With crime one of, if not the most pressing concern in the Cayman Islands community at present, a group of people have come together to form a new public grassroots organisation that takes the neighbourhood watch concept a step further. The organisers of VOCAL say the goal is to get people to be more aware about what is going on in their communities across the island and share information and help each other when needed. With the growing fear of crime gripping people on Grand Cayman,, VOCAL hopes to flourish into a locally based crime prevention group that has a local face and can bring communities together to help themselves not become victims of crime and offer meaningful solutions.

Organisers are asking people to simply e-mail the local volunteers about any concerns at all that may be crime related, such as suspicious cars in the street or anything that seems out of place. Acting as a crime-watch body for the whole island, people can e-mail the information which will then be shared with the local police where necessary or other agencies that may be able to address the issue.

VOCAL, which stands for Voice of Cayman Allegiance, is designed to support law enforcement agencies and also help the police communicate crime prevention to the public. Organisers said the goal was about passing on what would be considered non-emergency or non-immediate crime related information to a trusted local source as more volunteers are recruited from the districts across the islands.

The organisers are currently in the process of recruiting a volunteer force that can assist their communities to stay safe in a number of different ways. From helping a woman alone in the middle of the night with a flat tire to watching homes when people are on vacation, the idea is to bring the community together to create environments that are unattractive to criminals.

“VOCAL is an Independent, not-for-profit, community-based anti-crime programme designed to provide citizens with a means to anonymously share preventative tips, suspicious incidents and criminal activity with each other,” one of the organisers spearheading the group said. The programme is open to neighbourhood watch groups and everyone who wants to fight crime is invited to respond and participate

People are asked to e-mail information, requests, or concerns, to:  Vocal345@hotmail.com where they can also register for email updates or offer their services as a potential  VOCAL district representative.

Organisers stressed that it is not an emergency response hotline and all urgent matters should be referred to the police or other emergency services but messages to VOCAL representative will be dealt with within 24 hours.

See VOCAL report form below:

Category: Crime

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a very good effort in my opinion Cayman needs saving more now than ever, crime is the number one issue but there are so many other, good startand good luck people.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the problem neighbourhoods there is lots of watching; our problem is not enough neighbourhood reporting and testifying!  How do we make these people feel comfortable coming forward?

  3. Nomad says:

    This sounds wonderful on face value, but Cayman should be very careful we don't end up with  programs that exists in some less than desirable locations like Cuba ,North Korea where the only criminal around is the Government apparatus some would not mind being a spy but these neighborhood watch programs like crimestoppers have certain controls and rules and protections in place for a reason Could you please tell us what Vocal345@hotmail.com has in place.There is is a reason why intelligence gathering is or should be left up to the government or law enforcement, No problem with citizens trying to help with crime,but this is frought with so many legal issues from looking at the crime report form. My question is who exactly is behind this initiative or program????

  4. Anonymous says:

    I applaud your efforts to help Cayman be a safer place to live. In my opinion crime and violence should be attacked from two different directions.I agree neighborhood watches, sharing preventative tips, suspicious incidents and criminal activity with each other and everything else written in this article. It also must be attacked using prevention stratergies as well. We need to teach our children that vilolence is wrong and they should treat eachother the way they wish to be treated.

    Children also need to learn at a very young age that adopting the gangsta additude of intimidating other children through bullying is just as damaging to them long term as it is to the child they are threating. It becomes a part of who they are. Many of these trouble makers in school end up in gangs and are more likely to be vilolent adults who abuse their wifes,children and people in general. Look at the inmate population at Northwood.

    These are the same people that were bullies and trouble makers in school when we were young.

    I hope we stop putting our heads in the sand saying we don't have a problem with our young when it comes to violence and bullying.

    Thank you for caring enough to start this group.

    From

    Save Cayman

    savecayman@yahoo.com

    • Anonymous says:

      So Save Cayman is still alive.

      Where were you during the South Sound development debate about dredging?

      Where were you about moving the landfill site to stop the leeching into North Sound?

      How can I trust you really want to Save Cayman or simply pick and choose whats best for you?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hello to the person that posted at 07:33.

        You musthave me confused with someone else. This was the first post I have ever made and I chose savecayman as a nickname  because I feel strongly that we as a society need to save this country of ours from the escalating vilolence and crime we are currently facing.

        I don't understand your negativity.

        What did I say that was so wrong?

         

      • Anonymous says:

        we are talking about crime – not the environmental issues

  5. Anonymous says:

    APPLAUSE!  Residents cannot expect the government to do and solve every issue.  It is great to see the community stepping up in an effort to help combat crime. This is a great start to a long awaited program. I hope to see this program succeed and better our community.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me explain something, I lived in a neighborhood where there was criminal activity going on.  There were enough law enforcement people in the neighborhood WHO KNEW what was going on, and never did they attempt to do anything to correct the situation.  Just turned their heads the other way and ignored the problem. 

       

      As far as reporting things to the police, not worth the headaches!!! Sorry, but this is the way it is.  This is what has happened to Cayman!