Violence fuelled by acquittals

| 22/09/2011

(CNS): The police commissioner has suggested that the recent acquittals by the courts may have heightened gang tensions and fuelled the sudden spate of violence. After a year of relative calm in relation to gang violence, which were a result, he said, of the police removing a number of people off the streets and charging them with crimes, the resurgence may be down to the recent run of not guilty verdicts. David Baines has said that the acquittals have had two effects on existing tensions. Firstly, that some people may have felt betrayed by the results, and the other is that some of those who could have been involved in the violence in the first place are back on the streets. (Photo by Dennie Warren JR)

Speaking on Cayman 27’s Daybreak show on Thursday morning, the commissioner stated that the condensed period of violence was triggered by a sudden heightening of the local tensions. He said there probably are a lot of reasons why the tensions have resurfaced but the acquittals could have played a part.

“Those acquittals have had two affects … It has left one side feeling betrayed or angry about the lack of people being held to account, and possibly released some of those who may have been involved in violence to begin with,” Baines said, adding that people may be thinking that they can sort things out themselves if the authorities can’t hold people accountable.

He said the first three killings in West Bay last week – Robert Bush, Andrew Baptist and Preston Rivers — were tit-for-tat shootings between the members of the Logwoods and Birch Tree Hill gangs. Baines explained that while the police managed to get between these gangs in West Bay and that direct feud, the violence has now spilled over into other districts this week.

On Monday night two men were gunned down in George Town, when Jason Christian was shot dead and Keith Montague was severely injured after receiving four gunshot wounds. Then, in the early morning hours of Thursday, police on patrol in East End found the gunned down body of Asher McGaw. Baines said that athough these were probably gang killings, they were not directly connected to the West Bay feud.

He echoed comments made by John Jones earlier this week that police were now in the process of rounding up known gang members. “We are using any and all legislation to make arrests,” Baines said, as he explained that police were bringing in potential victims as well as people who may be suspected to be the gunmen. He said the goal was to try and calm things down and the police were working with the legal department in an effort to keep people in custody lawfully while tensions subsided.

Last March, when there was a surge of gang killings and several live murder enquiries open at the same time, the commissioner had enlisted the temporary help of UK officers. He said he had again contacted a UK force and was hoping to get two investigation teams from Merseyside over to Cayman shortly to assist the detective in the current investigations and relieve local officers.

He said the police were currently stretched to the limit and it was a very challenging time. Although the MLAs have voted more cash to replace the posts which were cut, Baines said it would take time to recruit fifty people, but in the meantime all leave days had been cancelled.

Baines also spoke about the most significant challenges his officers now have in the face of these killings, which is turning information into evidence and the community's acceptance of the gang culture. “We have always suffered the problem of people saying 'I’ll tell you but I won’t give evidence', and that’s happening now,” he said, adding that people are giving the police information but they say they won’t give evidence. As a result, he said, the police have nothing to give to the legal department to make a case. 

“So everybody in the community knows who has done the shooting but they actually tolerate it, condone it, and do nothing to take them on,” the commissioner added. “Knowing who has done it and proving who has done it are very different things.”

The public had seen the evidence in the cases that have been taken to court, and he said it was the best available evidence that the police could get. He pointed out that while people continued to say that the police had to sort out the gang violence, it was clear gang culture was accepted and glamorised. He pointed to the recent pictures on Facebook where whole communities are glamorising guns. “There is no glory when are you terrified, in last minutes of your life, or when you are six feet under,” he said as he urged people to hold their communities, their friends and their family members to account. 

See the commissioner on Daybreak here

Category: Crime

Comments (78)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    People are certainly speaking their mind nowadays, thanks to CNS.

    This is clearly a start to solving problems. Now thepowers that be only need to take heed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry just read in the caymania Compass that Jason Christian was to appear in Grand Court last Friday on a gun charge, but he is now dead.  18 years of age a gun charge.  No way anyone can say he was a good boy.  Unfortunately he took the wrong turn!!!  And you are going to tell me that his parents or parent HAD NO IDEA he was running with a gang?  He was barely 18 years of age. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ok we know you are unhappy about the recent court case but instead of distracting from the issue can you just deal with the situation we now have?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I believe you Mr. Baines. Yes,we ARE in the midst of terror! And all I ask is, please, you ALL try catch them!

    Here's to RCIP!!! On a positive note, we thank you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I always thought the cops were supposed to be factual, gathering undisputable evidence to present in court to get convictions.  Here is the Top Cop expressing OPINION and it is my OPINION that there is a hint of sour grapes against the judicial system because he has failed to get those convictions.  Its time for you to go sir, you are turning into a politician and not a cop.  If you had discipline in your officers and officers that were beyond standing on street corners slowing traffic to read license coupons we might stand a chance. Have you not realised that the public do not appear to have any confidence in the cops?  I cant speaks for everyone but these blogs dont offer you much support.

    • truth says:

      First of all he is not in a court room and he is not giving evidence.  Next he IS the top cop on the island and his opinion is that of a very informed and experianced person unlike yours.  The fact that many bloggers on Cayman don't offer police support speak more on the type of people on Cayman than its does on the type of officer he is.  And also why he has a hard time stopping island crime.  But that is just my opinion.  On the facts everyone can see.  If they want to.

      • Anonymous says:

        Top Cop -ha. This man is a joke.  He may hvae experience but it's not in handling matters in jurisdictions such as ours or even cultures close to this one. 

        He spends too much time blaming his shortcomings on everything or everyone else. 

        Maybe if he one reestablish the traffic department he would have more officers on patrol.  You could drive from one end of this island to the next and not see one police.

        I have no faith in this man. He came here and further destroyed the confidence of civilians, in the effectiveness of the Police.

        BTW you may want to euip your officers with GPS/or maps so they can stop asking the locals for directions.  Lord help us.  How can they get to crimes on time if they have to ask for directions to well known places on the island.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yet you possess miraculous powers to determine that I am uninformed!  My post never stated he is in the court room giving evidence, but he is ultimately responsible and that is why he is paid big money.  Money that comes from my pocket in the form of taxes and I want value for my money, not empty words.

        We pour money into a very inefficient police service with helicopters, fast cars etc, but they are all useless in the fight againstcrime when you have incompetence.

        Incidentally my opinion is formed from direct contact with reporting crime to the RCIPS and their disinterest in even gathering the facts.  I have given statements and one officer even asked me what I think they should do!

        It also comes from the police themselves who have come to me and expressed their own lack of confidence in their leadership.  And as for your comment on negative blogging, just deal with it.  I thank CNS for the outlet and I believe the powers that be should take not of the vox populi.  If they did they might be in a position to turn public opinion around, but it seems they dismiss it.  Sadly they take this attitude with solving crime also.  When you ask for the publics assistance you cannot possibly expect it to be all a bed of roses.

        I will gladly praise the RCIPS when there is something to praise. Until then I thank CNS!

         

         

         

        • Anonymous says:

          I only possess common sense.  I have also been robbed and have gone through the incredible fiasco of Caymanian police work that is the norm here.  And Caymanian planning dept., and Caymanian vehicle inspection, Caymanian insurance fiasco, Getting a Caymanian drivrs license, etc.  They all have one thing in common.  Incredible incompetence!  But takeing it out on you is about as incompetent as takeing it out on Baines or me.  Wait wait. Your Caymanian right?  OK.  I understand.

  5. Anonymous says:

    "Violence fuelled by acquittals"

    I think the headline should read:

    "Violence fuelled by imbeciles" …"at every level"

    • Beachboi says:

      Absolutely correct!!!  He is saying that the crime spree is a result of the courts not being about to convict criminals, but that is because the RCIPS cannot provide decent evidentuary material.  Hello!!!!!  I just do not understand why it has taken so long for officials to realize that they dont have the resources to fight crime.  They need additional training and weapons.  Lets face it the criminals dont fear the police and are brazen enough to commit crimes in broad daylight and drive away from the scene and go to the bar and celebrate.  The axe needs to chop from the top down.  First the govenor, then Mac and then Baines.  Simple math!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    There are many people posting and many interviews with members of the RCIP almost daily, but all we keep hearing is exuses upon exuses. Socially the people of this Island have reared too many children unable to care for them and at the end of the day produce a noraml human being. Then these humans are producing more humans and the cycle goes on and on. It is a breeding ground for criminals or a criminal cultrue to take hold. Then also you have parents that are well to do and can afford to provide anything and everything a child needs, but fail to do so as they lack any real outward affection for the child or children they have. Wild apes have more maternal instinct then what one views on this Island. When the above children get into trouble it turns into more exuses or complete denial of the reality that they are the parent of a criminal or drug/alchol addict. This is a social reality for Caymanians. The TV is not to blame as the lack of values taught and being SHOWN BY EXAMPLE are lacking. Mama has a boy friend or Daddy holds a good job but drinks alot and beats Momma are what many grow up to see. And this is a good family. Now there are few great familys here that are loving and caring from all walks of life but the constant talk of let us get them back into church is not the answer as the above attends or did attend church.

    Now the Police are not the cause of the above BUT they are the body that is suppose to protect us from criminals that harm our community and bring those to Justice without judgement nor favor to anyone. It is not concearn for the most part why these people are the way they are but are to ENFORCE THE LAW. Baines has not and the constant excuses are getting old. The lack of convictions and proper cases being produced is no ones fault but his own and his charge. The lack of response is his faulit and his charges.  Blaming the community is getting tired and sad.The community cannot respond to an armed robbery nor a murder scen where there are suspects. That is the Police to do. The fact that this is going on id crazy. If we had real gangsters on this Island we would all be in real trouble. These things we have here are mostly kids that may be violent but lack any real thinking skills, however appear more intelligent then most of the RCIP . Something is wrong here. We have about 60  mostly kids not even 20 that are just above retarded status on an IQ measurement and they are able to avoid any kind of capture that puts them in prison for long periods of time by a Police Service of almost 400.  ME thinks that there is something wrong with this picture.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Blame ……there is lots of it to go around …..

     

    1. Parents for not raising being parents especially fathers …..
    2. Government for not identifying kids with issues and helping them early
    3. Government for placing children in boys home where they are taken advantage of sexually
    4. Teachers for not reporting abuses
    5. Neighbors for not reporting crimes
    6. Police for not knocking on doors and doing police work
    7. The court system for letting the killers back on the streets
    8. Immigration for  allowing people with criminal records in the country
    9. Government for not talking the profit factor out of drugs, hello the “war on drug” is not one even the USA can win with all of their resources…..do like countries in Europe legalize the drugs and use the money to provide treatment for the drug users instead of using force use your heads.  
    10. The YOUNG people for not taking advantage of the opportunities given to them
    11.  ALL OF US  for pointing fingers instead of trying to help.  
    12. Voters for putting the same old men in the House who know nothing about national pride only about pimping the island out to the highest bidders.
  8. Anonymous says:

    You know if you actually brought in good American cops from Miami, I guarantee they wouldn't want to stay here forever like the UK cops. It would have the following benefits:

    1. Caymanians could be trained (who actually wants a foreign police force in their own country) 

    2. Mother England couldn't destroy your country from the inside out

    3. You would avoid the failure of EVERY other former BOT (Trinidad, Jamacia, etc).

    Get real.  This country has a lot of problems, but with regards to crime you really do need to get rid of your British mother from controlling your security.

    By the way, I am sure I will get a lot of "thumbs" down…but just think about it, Caymanians need Caymanian Police/Security force period. (by the way I am an expat so I can't imagine how a local would feel about a foreign police force, I wouldn't like it at all in my own country).

    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking as an American I would have to say that Good American cops would come here,  See what they are up against including who they are working for,  See what kind of laws and rules they have to follow and still get the job done and then tell you all very respectfully that they don't do impossible jobs which is what makes them good cops.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that American Police Officers would be much better suited for this environment. However, as a matter of interest, when the Americans started experiencing these problems in the 1980's, they went to Jamaica and certain other countries to recruit police officers to deal with it. I was one of those who was approached, but chose to come to the Caymans instead. Many of those Jamaican police officers are top cops in Floriday, NY and many American cities today. They recognised that you needed to understand the problem to police it properly, and so, they recruited Jamaicans and people from other Caribbean islands to deal with the Caribbean populace and Jamaican Posses.

    • Anonymous says:

      This sounds like "blame the UK for everything". So how come the murder rate in the US is seven times that in the UK? Or are you including the USA in your list of failed former British territories?

  9. Not PPM or Big Mac says:

    While I have some sympathy for the road blocks (current laws and lack of public assistance) facing the RCIPS, there is no excuse for what is simply bad policing. This combined with a completely absent set of social framework to support the less fortunate of these islands and government administrations for decades who haven’t had the foresight or leadership to do anything about the rising gap between the haves and have not has brought us to where we are today. It’s like trying to fight cancer with painkillers, we may dampen the symptoms but will never stop the growing problem unless the root causes are identified and fixed.

    For example, the $100+ million dollars spent on the new goverent building would have done a lot more good if it it was spent on building a school for engineers, carpentry, plumbers, etc. This would help equip Cayman’s youth who are not necessarily book smart or want to be lawyers. The fact that a school such as this does not exist considering Cayman’s boom in construction over the past 20 years is absolutely mindblowing.

    While this goverent keep giving money to churches who will attempt to pray away the problems, where is the money for youth organizations, support groups, after school programs, etc? Churches can play an important part of society but only as a complement, not as the main tool for nation building.

    Unless things change from the ground up, we can keep crying out to the RCIPS to do a better job, but things will never really change until such time that WE demand more from our politicians and hold them accountable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its not about closing the gap, its about bad policing, and a falling standard of living.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hold on. Many churches do not simply "attempt to pray away the problems". Instead, some play in an integral role in all the matters you have mentioned: they have youth organisations which seek to instill good values in our youth, after school programs, rehabilitation of prisoners through prison ministry etc. The only legitimate reason to give money to churches is if that money is to serve a public purpose and they should of course be accountable to ensure that is done.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear the sound of WE demanding more from your politicians…………………………………………………

      …………………………!  Thats what I thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      Engineers?

      I think you mean Craftsmen such as welders in a trade school. Proper training of Engineers requires 4 years at University, and two years of college will make you a technician mate. 

      An Accountant would be insulted if you called an accounting clerk an Accountant.

       

  10. On the Fence says:

    If the headline is true, then the gangs are only following the law’s set forth by GOD.

    An “Eye for an Eye”….. They aren’t goin so flash on the “Shall not Steal” part but!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Our justice and legal culture think it is better to aquit 99 guilty parties than to wrongfully convict 1 innocent. This is why the burden of proof is set so high.

     

    Lennin felt that it was better to wrongfully convict 99 innocents than let 1 guilty party go free. In this case, the burden of proof is set very low.

     

    If the burden of proof is set to a lower standard, unethical persons would find it very easy to get rid of people that they find inconvenient like opposition politicians, business competitors, people with different points of view, etc.

     

    So be careful what you ask for.

     

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    All this is fine & dandy, but if Cayman cannot show that the country is managing the increase in gang related crime, murder, assaults and cannot demonstrate the country is safe for tourists to come here, the long term effects will be felt far and wide across all levels. You have the media ( correctly)portraying Cayman as a place where criminals conduct their bidding with no threat of aprehension & conviction. This is being posted on web forums and travel guides. Tourists are cancelling their vacations as a result & the image of Cayman is being painted with a very dirty brush at the moment. Not good.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good for those tourist who do not want a bad experiance.  Wait!  Thats all of them.

  13. TEAM U.S.A says:

    Who's the best man for the job?  TEAM U.S.A

    Who's the better man for the job?  TEAM U.S.A

    Who can help stop crime?   TEAM U.S.A

    Who has the best expertize when it comes to any crime?  TEAM U.S. A

    Is it Canada?  HELL NO!

    Is it England?  HELL NO!

    Is it Jamaica?  Are u kidding me???

    Is it Cuba?  Duh!!!

    What about Iraq?  No answer….speechless….

    Who can solve these unsolved cases?  TEAM U.S.A

    Who can solve these missings cases?  TEAM U.S.A

    Where should the 4million dollars be spent on to hire more cops?  TEAM U.S.A

    My Caymanian people give me a "Hell Yeah" If u want them to bring down "TEAM U.S.A"

    "HELL YEAH"   "HELL YEAH"   "HELL YEAH"  "HELLYEAH"  

    Who do youwant??  TEAM U.S.A

    Who do we need?? "TEAM U.S.A" "TEAM U.S.A" "TEAM U.S.A"

    So Baines get on rollin hear those Caymanian people shouting for "TEAM U.S.A"

    Baines there is no more time to waist our young people are dying day by day the vote is 100% for TEAM U.S.A!!!!

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is this idiot about TEAM USA? If this person knew anything he/she would also know that "TEAM USA" has an out of control gang problem as well for years and while the are messing up other countries their owe country is falling apart because of gangs. Oh and because the 1-2 gangsters that are caught and displayed on AMERICAN TV for u.. making u think they are doing something good. Think again. Take a good look at there stats then talk. Oh and the US don’t give a **** about us firstly we don’t have oil for them come for. 

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you going on about?

    • Anon says:

      Bartender! No more Bacardi for this writer please…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes that's great, look what they did to Iraq?

      The United States Army is an extension of greedy corporations and we don't want them here.

  14. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Re: “…whole communities are glamorising guns.”

    Commissioner Baines, I wish you would spend your time fighting crime instead of demonizing firearms.  Try it sometime; you might just start to lower the rapidly increasing violent crime rate, which is increasing under your watch.

     

    Firearms don’t kill people anymore than pencils misspell words.  Let me put it another way, did the trigger pull the gang member's finger?

    • Anonymous says:

      ok Dennie see if you can get your little mind around this, a person loses their temper they have no gun but a baseball bat, they use the baseball bat, now switch that baseball bat out for a gun, which weapon do you think has a more lethal effect if the upset person shoots the gun instead of swinging a bat at the individual unlucky enough to be on the receiving end??

      • Anonymous says:

        With the right swing?….it doesn't take much more than that now, does it?

      • XXX says:

        You say if he can get his little mind around this.  I think you are the pot calling the kettle black.  Do you really think you cannot kill someone with a baseball bat ?  How many times have Medical Examiners said cause of death due to blunt force trauma ?  Gun just may be quicker but a bat can be just as deadly.

      • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

        It is an indisputable fact that firearms are neither inherently good nor evil, because they are inanimate objects (incapable of doing right or wrong).  It is the person/operator, including police officers, who are capable of doing right or wrong with natural and manmade objects, and that is why firearms are not sent to prison by the courts.  

        Demonizing firearms is an attack on lawful private firearms ownership, because it is an ignorant attack on the object itself.  Commissioner Baines should instead be attacking criminal behavior.  That is his job.  Get it?

      • Bushwacker says:

        I truly wonder if the author of this response to Denny Warren’s post really sat back and read their illogical remarks prior to posting?! Baseball bats in the hands of an individual who has lost their temper and overall restraint is just as lethal as any gun and or other implement that can be utilized as a weapon at the time. Professional Boxer’s hands are deemed lethal weapons, many a fighter have died in the ring due to these gifted hands. History will corroborate this statement. Therefore, should Boxing be prohibited all together?

         

        In fact, in recent years a death of a man in Bodden Town was caused by blows to the head whilst he was in a busy shopping centre’s parking lot; initial impact was a rock to his head, then of all things the attacker’s feet. Therefore to Denny’s point, did the rock cause the Attackers to throw it, or his feet to continuously stomp the victim’s head until he succumbed to death’s harsh grip?

         

        Therefore, I respectfully urge you to really give good consideration to what Mr. Warren is saying  by endeavoring to remove whatever prejudice you may have developed for whatever reason because it is unwarranted and irrational. Every society requires sound and caring reasoning not petty name calling and ignorant statements. Maybe that is why Cayman is in the predicament we are currently in?  

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Your reasoning seems to be pretty irrational, if baseball bats and pugilists were as efficient as guns when it comes to snuffing out someone's life can you explain why these tragic deaths were all a result of gunshot wounds. No, let'sbe in denial, let's glamourise guns, they are great, they are so great let's put em in every movie. Nothing beats a good book except for a Smith & Wesson.

    • Firearms qualified since 1976 says:

      Spot on Denny.

      It was this fanatical drive to blame violent crime on firearms (which are after all just inanimate lumps of steel and other materials) in the run up to the UK's infamous 1997 handgun ban that made them so attractive to kids being drawn into the growing gang culture.

      If you go out of your way to tell people, using movie actors like Sean Connery, that firearms are dangerous and deadly as happened here in 1996 what happens? Kids go out and try to get one. While vilifying law-abiding shooters during this period the anti-gun lobby did more to promote the illegal use of firearms than any 'gangsta' rapper on this planet. The figures speak for themselves – gun crime in the UK has, despite the ceasefire in Northern Ireland, increased dramatically.

      Sadly Baines has brought all this crap with him from the UK where the police are scared of guns and there's no concept, as there is in the USA and many European countries, of responsible private firearms ownership.

      Read this – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article2409817.ece

       

  15. Anonymous says:

    What does this mean" we are using all legislation to make arrests"???

    This should be a strategy applied all year around, not just when things get out of control. Police needs to be pro-active and enforce the laws constantly, not turn a blind eye to all kind of offenses (see the daily traffice offenses!!!!!) and then try to do a knee-jerk reaction when matters get heated.

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of Baines and take back Haines and Cayman will be a better place when he finish cleaning it up. As we all know he no joke.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Interested prospect – Baines is "hoping to get two investigation teams from Merseyside over to Cayman."

    Sounds like someone finally got the message and the Met weren't invited back. I just hope someone keeps a close eye on how much this little exercise costs.

  18. Katina Anglin says:

    Mr. Baines' words have had two effects: to interrupt the mechanics of our judiciary system again, his department being an integral part of that mechanics; and to continue to fuel a war that has already "erupted" in this country, very possibly as a result of his first biased, prejudicial and reckless comments against the verdict and not because of the verdict itself, even though a person of good thought can see that his statements as stand are severely erroneous. However, if taken for value then:

    There has not been error in the judges' verdicts. The error has been in the investigations which were conducted maliciously and of the highest prejudice, resulting in not guilty verdicts because the people charged were innocent in the first place and therefore the evidence required to arrive at a guilty verdict was non-existent.

    Mr. Baines has said it quite clearly: he expects the judiciary to be his execution squad against people he prejudicialy believe to be guilty of any [other] crime and is dismayed and appalled when this is not achieved. I have paraphrased this, but you all can read the articles for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

    I spoke once before of us living in a police state. I want you all to understand that this type of thinking has certainly moved us from its threshold and is certainly putting us through its door.

    Mr. Baines, you should be full aware that you are not a lawyer and you are certainly not a sociologist or psychosociologist so you are therefore unqualified to pass these sort of remarks and need to refrain from making these statements. You have already acknowledged my risk and for you to continue to insinuate that the reason for this "eruption" is a result of court verdicts is as ludicrous as it is dangerous. YOU are endangering my life.

    You, with your outlandish statements, are jeopardizing the lives of many here.

    Now, Mr. Baines, this is my next plea: stop intensifying the risk of retribution against me, as this is all your comments serve to do. And against many other young men in this country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Outstanding observations, written by someone who clearly understands the dangers of these mindless attacks on the judiciary.

      Maybe you should be doing Baines job?

      • Katina Anglin says:

        http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/09/26/Police-commissioner-entitled-to-opinion/ 

        It doesn't only concern me that the Commissioner made such remarks, when there is protocol on how he can and should address such concerns amongst government departments; what also concerns me is the obvious and apparent prejudice that surrounds those remarks.

        Before this particular verdict three men had not long been released from prison for murder of another. However, nothing was said about justice being denied on that day, that being a desperate day for justice. The victim's young wife was taken away in an ambulance, so distraught over the verdict that she had not expected. That seemed to have been a very desperate day for justice also, especially as far as she was concerned.

        The Commissioner having freedom of speech is not the concern here (and I must applaud our people for recognizing that rights do exist), but the impact of his speech against the government, by whom he is employed.

        The writer of this letter also questions why a QC would feel it necessary to speak up; but isn't his letter also a freedom of speech? A better question would be: who is more qualified to defend the law in this country than a lawyer, especially one at Mr. Alberga's status.

        Perhaps it would be suggested then that it is ok for people of the Commissioner's calibre to pass public remarks against the judiciary that have the capacity to spark unrest in our country, and we can just label it freedom of speech?

        Please, not in my country. Mr. Baines can relocate back to Merseyside, Oldham, Middleton, Chesire or any part of England that he chooses. I have to remain here with my family amongst whatever peace or riot may exist.

        As advisor to the Chief Justice, Mr. Baines should have advised him in the appropriate manner, through the appropriate channels. I have never heard the Commissioner advise the Chief on any matter through a public television broadcast before and certainly do not expect to see it in the future.

        A public apology is due.

        As far as half of Cayman knowing the evidence of that case, nothing could be farther from the truth. I was in the courtroom every day, all day and with the exception of my family's presence in the courtroom, there were sporadic visits by Mrs. Ebanks-Barnes and her mother, Shorty was there every day, six unknown members of the public visited over a 2-week period, the prison officers and the court employees were there along with the defendant, his team, the Crown team, the media (who were not always present either) and lawyers who visited to observe the case. I was greatly disappointed that there had not been a greater turn out for observation of such contradictory evidence being presented in the most controversial case in this country's history.

        We can argue about whether or not the Commissioner should apologize but we can never change the evidence that was given or how much of it this country witnessed first hand.

        As far as the age of the judge, that argument is moot. He was imported by the Crown to ensure a fair trial, to serve for the Crown, agreed upon by the defence and the Crown, had served here before and served here since that case. The Constitution, as far as I am made to understand, allows for such waivers and extensions.

        Don't attack the defenders of the system because you have your own personal goals and opinions. Mr. Alberga is one of the most respected people in this country in the legal environment and to challenge his opinion from the stance of a layman is equally as disrespectful as the Commissioner to the Justice.

        An apology is due there also.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Baines,

    You make more sense than you know who but that is the past and now we need to stop throwing blame. Ignore McKeever he has completely lost it.

    Please let's work on the situation and get it under control.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Baines, the past aquittals were the police not giving or gathering the proper evidence.  THe last aquittal was the parents couldn't get their stories accurate and the judge had no choice but to aquitt the person.  So hence, again, we have an incompetant police force

      • B.B.L. Brown says:

        Are you saying the police are responsible for people's testimony in court?

        • Anonymous says:

          No but when the police take statements at the station and if two people who "witnessed" a crime, stories are contradicitng each other then the police should investigate that before charges are filed and the accused is taking to trial. The testimony given in Court would prove to be damaging whether the story given in the statement is stuck to or not because of the contradicition from the start. The police and legal department would see and review this and should then decide whether to throw out a case or not instead of trying to add value to a contradiciting story. As seen recently. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! Blaming everyone will solve nothing. By the reccent acquittals it shows that those cases shouldn't have even reached trial much less receive a Guilty verdict. So please Mr Baines shut up and start working harder! Don't just press charges against someone to impress the community and when people are acquitted you start attacking the Judge or legal department and have the community upset. Ask for help if you need it and the police clearly need it within the Investigation department. People who read the news only hear about part of what goes on in Court. I've been in Court and the kind of slackness presented as evidence for some of these trials scares me. And it's quite sad when the Prosecution's evidence and experts prove the defendant's innocence. This happens a lot in Cayman. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    I predicted there would be renewed violence after the recent acquitals. I'm sorry to be right.

    • Jungle Juice says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble but I think even Stevie Wonder could have seen this coming.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone is whining about the crime issue…everyone is like when did this happen.  Come on folks it has been happening since the late 90's been everyone and I mean everyone was in denial…remember we had no crime, Caymanians were peaceful people, yeah right.  In those days everything was kept under the rug, but now the rug is overflowing so we can't brush it under the rug anymore.  This didn't happen overnight and it isn't going to go away overnight.  Unfortunately this is the parent's fault on what has happened with these teenagers and young men.  All you had to do is say "where are you going and whose house are you going to".  A simple phone call to the parents or parent would have at least acknowledged that they were or weren't going to their house.  When you have your teenage son having sessions in your backyard at all hours of the night, wouldn't you think to say something?  When your teenage son's school calls and states he hasn't been in school for a while, don't you think that maybe you need to find out what is going on?

        As far as the police are concerned, their fault is not being on the scene quick enough and screwing up the evidence after the crime has taken place. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Whatever

  21. Anonymous says:

    I agree the police need help but in the last paragraph where the Commissioner speaks about pictures on facebook, if the police have seen pictures that have evidence why has nothing been done. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I would love to know. The Facebook page "Logwoodz Donz" had pictures of boys with "hand signs" had pictures of guns with comments about how they going buss it and NONE of them have been arrested are charged. CNS I know this for a fact because I've seen it. I'm not lying on anyone. They've deleted them now but Print Screening saves it. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    Probelm solved. All the police have to do is adopt the Immigration Board's time honored tradition of "If a Caymanian says its true – it must be true." No defence for the accused. GUILTY.

  23. Anonymous says:

    So what the Chief is saying here is people are being shot because the police cant gather the proper evidence for a judge to find people guilty. please hire someone to look over all the evidence before wasting money that is not there trying to convict when we all know it will be a costly exercise. total tit if you ask me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, you are obviously an expert on the legal situation. I'll just point out that the police do not decide if someone will be prosecuted – prosecutors do that. If you watch the Daybreak clip on the website, I have to say I thought the Commissioner came across very well, knew what he was talking about, and called it pretty straight – people will tell the police what they know, but they will not go on the record and give evidence. If people will not do that, there is nothing the police, however well equipped and led, can do. People out there need to get a backbone – lots of guys know who did these murders and where they are now – so tell the police and give evidence. If not, this is not the fault of the police, the governor, or even teh government. It's our own fault, and we have noone else to blame.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I support the Commissioner and believe he is correct in saying that the recent aquittals may be partly to blame for some of the escalation in violence.   It is puzzling to the educated and intelligent amongst us as to why these criminals have been aquitted even with sufficient evidence for convictions.  It must be very disheartening for them to be in the line of fire with these lowlifes, catch them, produce evidence and have the criminals return to society without even a slap on the wrist or at the least probation.  XXXX  Keep up the good work Commissioner….there are those of us who know you are doing your job XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Sufficient evidence? Oh please! You need to go listen to a trial I can guarantee you, you would think differently.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Baines if people give information and even try to help the police, it puts the evidence givers automaticaly in harms way, however with all the recent aquittals and witnesses that have came forward and put their life on the line to find out in the end their information is not valid, it is just sad that they have to go back and live their life in fear not knowing if they are going to be attacked or killed for testifying!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well said Baines. People will hate you for it but you are dead right. I have been here for 40 years and it has always been the same way. Caymanians know – repeat  KNOW – – repeat AGAIN and AGAIN KNOW –who commit the crimes but they will NOT say because of things like: ignorance and social dysfunctiality, family embarrassment, not wanting to be accused of having reared druggies/murderer, not wanting to be accused of having a child for a useless male who bred her and moved on immediately, relying on prayer to change the thug, the ease of blaming "company" for the problem (especially foreign company), not being seen by expats as being the real problem when it's easy to blame expats for anything in a community which does this as a matter of course.

    Talk to the teachers. They know all these guys. They have made their lives terrible for years.Don't bother to talk with the Pastors (Cayman Ministry Association!!). These guys haven't been near them for years and years although their mothers and grandmothers have probably been praying for them  blah blah.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not embarrassment, its called DENIAL! I have never seen people being so much in denial about a situation as they are in Cayman.

      It's always someone elses child who is bad, never theirs!

      • Anonymous says:

        That's the way some people are in every country – not just some Caymanians.  Does your country have less crime than here?  Hope so because if you tell us where then we will have an exodus from Cayman instead of people fighting over these little rocks like soldier crabs fighting over one mango.

  27. cow itch says:

    cns, pardon me…. anyone with no license or insurance, dont go out on the road tonight and the night after… they almost caught me several times.  p.s. love, cow itch

  28. Right ya so says:

    Well produce better evidence then they won't be acquitted!

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen. The Judge is suppose to be neutral. He hears both sides and then must decide whether to convict or release someone. If you go in with half ass evidence you can't be upset when a conviction is not achieved. Police are too quick to charge without fully investiagting. The police were under a lot of pressure last year and when that 4 year old died thats when all of a sudden every crime(murder) after that someone was charged. Before the 4 year old died no charges were laid for the XXXXX. The police were frustrated and started laying charges left, right and center without reviewing evidence. Please remember its easy to charge someone but to convict them you have to prove they are guilty and that requires evidence not just a statement.

  29. ApprenticeONE says:

    That's right… put more cash in for the Police and not towards CUSTOMS and IMMIGRATION to protect the borders and prevent the smuggling of firearms and drugs. I understand that Immigration has about 20 odd Enforcement officers for the entire Cayman Islands and Customs not even pass that… UNBELIEVABLE!  And the Police is asking for more officers!  Stop giving money to Police and start giving it to Immigration and Customs. Provide Custom with more boats to patrol the sea. Provide them with firearms and provide Immigration with more Enforcement officers and provide them with better facilities. Come on… UDP… please stop bringing UK police officers down here for vacations.

  30. caymanshame says:

    No more UK cops. Bring in the yanks and kick some ass.

  31. Anonymous says:

    It does not take a genius to understand that when a legal system does not function properly people including thugs will take justice into their own hands. Beginning with the poor evidence gathering, then the poor prosecution and finally the odd decisions by the judiciary there is plenty of blame to go around. Meanwhile our youths wind up in pools of blood. It is quite incredible that for years this disgraceful state of affairs has just been allowed to exist. Now finally I hope that the relevant parties are placed under the right amount of scrutiny from the AG on down.

  32. Anonymous says:

    The Commissioner knows what he is doing. People work with him please! How many more of our young people are we going to have to lose!

  33. Anonymous says:

    recent not guilty verdicts? lets be honest. how can you expect a guilty verdict with half arsed evidence you produce? police enquiries not carried out correctly? dna lost or not items not even tested? blunder after blunder? trust me i see it every day in court.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol so true. The Prosecution helps to prove the denfendant's innocence in the crime most of the time down here. I don't think they review evidence before they press charges. He say, she say can't stand on its own it needs to have a lot more evidence to back it up. And when he say and she say are contradicting the CCTV then please don't send that to Court. Its embarassing and a waste of time and money! 

  34. AnonymousSick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    Baines put this particular “Soap Box” on the fire where it might at least be useful. You were wrong in your first attack on the Judiciary, and properly criticized by a man with a far greater level of intellect than you will ever achieve – just get on and do the job for which you are, on past performance, overpaid. Secondly, you are not a Clinical Psychologist, so please don’t try and analyze the workings of what little brains these morons possess. In most cases three or four more brain cells, and they would qualify as plants.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate to break it to you – Cayman is a backwater, most people in the world couldn't find it on a map, and the people practicing law here are not supreme intellects or leaders in their field – if they were we'd have many more convictions. Baines comes from work in Cheshire and manchester, massive police districts – just run a search for what he achieved in Oldham following riots and ethnic tension – I think you'll find he's an awful lot more qualified than you or I to provide information on how these people work. Police work is getting inside the skin of a criminal and understanding their thought patterns – keep your biggoted, small-minded, name calling to yourself.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please. The English – always quick to defend their own.  If he was so qualified we would see it in the results. This has happened under his watch.