Bush ‘serious about crime’

| 08/03/2012

customs Scanning arm (275x300).jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government has spent more than ten percent of its entire budget on fighting crime and the criminal justice system, the premier has revealed. Speaking at a special ceremony to mark the official inauguration of the customs department’s new hi-tech scanner, the premier said his government was serious about tackling crime. The new equipment, along with an earlier financial boost to the law enforcement budget on top of appropriated funds has culminated in the UDP administration spending more than $57 million this financial year on crime fighting and border security.

McKeeva Bush said he understood that people were frustrated by the rise in crime but his government had invested millions of dollars in the fight against crime and said government would like to do even more, but as everyone knows times are tough.

Bush cut the official ribbon Tuesday evening on custom’s new Heimann Cargo Vision Mobile (HCVM) x-ray inspection system, which, the premier said, would enable the department to check “every nook and cranny” of containers coming into and leaving Cayman. He said he was very pleased that his administration was able to acquire the specialist equipment that the customs department had been wanting for several years.

“This is an important day for crime fighters and customs officers as the equipment can provide 100% inspection,” he said, adding that it fulfilled a long held goal of the department.  “This will enhance our capacity to protect the integrity of the Cayman Islands from imported threats and will secure government revenue without interrupting the flow of business.”

Before the state-of-the-art scanner arrived on island customs officers had to randomly inspect containers manually, which meant many units came and went without ever being inspected. As a result of several seizures of weapons found in containers secreted inside toys and household appliances, it is clear that gun smugglers are using the port as one of their means of smuggling in weapons and other illegal contraband.

Bush said his government has spent the money because it was serious about crime and protecting the borders. The new system cost around $3 million but not only will it be used to clamp down on smuggling of drugs and guns it will also improve in revenue collection for government by enabling officers to check every container against its manifest.

Jeffery Jackson, the project leader, told CNS that so far the equipment has been tested on around 80 containers, most of which were empty, but of the dozen or so units carrying goods it has already found undeclared items in one container, enabling officers to collect the extra revenue.

It will also help the local customs department to meet international standards and with regional partnerships. The premier said at the special ceremony that the equipment would be a welcome boost to government coffers but it was welcomed even more by the police as it would now mean that the customs department could directly assist the RCIPS in is fight against gun crime.

He asked for everyone’s patience while the new system became fully operational. While there would be some early delays, in the long run it would speed up the process, he said. The premier also revealed that ten new jobs would be created at customs as a result of the introduction of the new security system and he called on the country to be more supportive of all young officers who were learning the job.

Bush said people needed to criticise less and be more supportive in general of the country’s law enforcement officers in customs and immigration as they all worked very hard and were tasked with the tremendous responsibility of protecting us all. “It is very easy to criticise and say mean things,” Bush added, as he called on the community not to criticise but to encourage and support all law enforcement officers.

The premier also said that while Cayman had experienced a spike in crime recently, it was still much more secure than many other places. “When all said and done, we have much to be thankful for,” he added.

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Category: Crime

Comments (35)

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  1. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    Fearless Leader "I'm very serious about




                                                                  inward investment



                                                                     out-ward investers

                                                                    my stooges


                                                                     West Bay

                                      That's it".

  2. Alan Nivia says:

    Day of Prayer. Day of Prayer.

  3. Not UDP or PPM says:

    I know im gonna get 50 thumbs down on this comment but that is understandable cause we have at least 50 of u whiners but here we go, I hear all of you condemning Mr Bush and Julliana but seriously  what do you all really want people to do when ppm was in it was the same thing you all are just a bunch of crybabies you wake up in the morning looking for something to whine about .I dont care who gets in office it cant please you all.  So STOP the whining and appreciate what Mr Bush, Julliana, Dart and whosoever is keeping these little Islands going in these hard times ya now. Now go ahead with them thumbs down and see if that helps.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yeah sure "serious about crime"… Let's take his own home district as an example. We can ALL see how well Meglo-mani-Mac has done with tackling crime there.

    • Anonymous says:

      LMAO LMAO pick me up off the floor, he is getting serious about crime???? 10 years to late don't you think??? Remember this crime was creeping up on us a while back and all he said was we the cayman people are peaceful people there is no crime here in the Cayman Islands…give me a break…in the States Presidents are impeached when the people and the government think the president has done something illegal or can't function as the president, in cayman we just dig a bigger and bigger hole for ourselves…

  5. Just cool Man says:

    After 57 million hell we better get someting to show.This whole subject of crime is a travesty taking into consideration all the criminal activity that has taken place on this island since they started throwing this huge amount of money on crime. A full acounting of how this money was spent and why it was spent would probably be a crime itself. Yet we keep the same persons who enabled this crime situation to get out of hand or control to continue to wasting our money. Come on Commissioner Baines you know who they are and what needs to be done yet you continue to allow those responsible for this situation to hold high office. Do the right thing sir! do the right thing sir!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I applaud the Premier's effort however, I think that just throwing money at the problem has diminishing returns.  Its like parenting a child and every time the child misbehave you buy him/her something to stop the behaviour.  This instead of punishing the child in whichever manner is fitting.

    Just to start by saying that I am not a police officer and have no vested interested in the Police as I do feel that most street officers let the level of authority go to the head (on varying degrees)….that said, I do feel that we need to ask the Governor to consider stricter hiring practices and promote a more tactical police investigative type of service along with a powerful strike squad to break up and distrupt current criminal elements.  This will of course cost money, but if we clear of some of the officers we currently have (i.e. fire or sack or let go) and raise the salary level to an acceptable standard and loosen some of the regulations just a touch we might have more successes. 

    I feel that a Caymanian should be allowed to run the force in terms of decision making about bending the rules and maybe an Asian officer share the top post with him in terms  of planning and execution of the force.  Lastly, the British should also have a spot at the top for the public relations side of things .

    So in the end we have 150-200 officers making $65,000-$75,000 on average…these will be trained professional who will actually get the evidence to secure convictions. Not sure how much of the current force would remain but I know some would..like the officer who arrested that guy at the hospital for all those armed robberies. CNS can you find out if they gave that gentleman a raise or special praise as this is the sort of officer that should be making the $75,000 plus range.

    as opposed to

    300+ with an average salary of say $35,000 who are just driving around doing nothing because hey! I don't get paid well enough to do a proper investigation so I will just do a half ass one or I wait on the Governor to be his chaffuer. End result is the premier, deputy premier, AG all need special "Body Guards". 


    Would you need these Body Guards if you had proper police force and we could cut down the crime.

    And I am not bashing UDP or PPM I am just saying that we need leaders who think outside the box and we need them to push the issue with the Governor.  Bring it to his attention, when budget time comes around Reps please dont appropraite any money to Police make the Governor do it…It seems like the Governor should be an elected post too because  the politicians are so busy pointing fingers they don't point them at the Governor and blame him and curse him; they just say "it not in my hand".  Foolishness, you can get up and make it plaster the compass headlines that the Governor and Government are in a big disagreement over policing.  As a voter, I would appreciate any politician who would make this an agenda point before the upcoming election and really push hard for a change.




    • CaymanFisting says:

      While I agree with the majority of your post I can’t help but find myself reading over and over again your suggestion for “an Asian” and “a caymanian to run the force in terms of decision making about bending the rules”. IMHO the person in charge of “decision making about bending the rules” caymanian or not is destined for failure. I am not naive to the point I disagree with looking the other way of someone were to commit a petty infraction (say smoking a spliff in the privacy of their own home) but the problem here lies within how to quantify rules that are subjected to being bent. The majority of officers I have had the honor to come in contact with hardly deserve the meager salaries bestowed upon them. Flush 3/4th no scratch that 9/10 of the current force and bring in some qualified and intelligent officers (regardless of where they hail from) and I am fine with doubling the pay just so as long as they deserve it.

    • Cheese Face says:

      So if a South African or a Russian or a Jamaican Police Officer, who has an outstanding track record of getting things done was to apply for a "top spot" we should just ignore them?

      I would loveto hear your thoughts on Immigrationa and Human Rights?


  7. Anonymous says:

    Let us arm ourselves then you'll see a drop in crime, right now the advantage is to the criminal as they have all the guns. The world is changing and its not getting better at least give the honest people a chance to hold on to the things we work hard for. They might think twice about robbing you when they are looking at the barrel of a gun.

  8. Knot S Smart says:

    The bouquet of flowers that I gave my girl friend for valentines looks not so withered this morning, because for the first time I can say:

    'Mac and crew, did something good for the country',

    byinstalling this system!

    • Anonymous says:

      Was the scanner in use. when the explosives were found by Customs.  I wonder at times how lenient some people are dealt with and then. how others are dragged through the mud.  It is time for indigenous Caymanians to fight for our rights.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yet another new toy for government to have spent millions on.

    I hope this scanner doesn't end up like the one Customs has sitting in the airport doing nothing. When they first got it they literally used it to examine everyone's bags and now it just sits there taking up space. It's never used and I hear most of the time it doesn't even work.  I hope the new container scanner can be repaired locally and someone is familiar on repairs unlike the RCIP helicopter that has to be flown off island to be repaired. When making purchases that cost the coffers millions should be thought through i.e. quality of service, repairs etc.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Serious about crime maybe, but not about tackling it!  Get real Bush – people's houses are being invaded.  Why can't the government bring in sniffer dogs who can sniff out drugs and guns and search the whole island.  Its not that big!  Or at least seach the houses of the known or suspected gang members and other criminals.  How hard can it be.  AND what happened to the huge budget put aside not that long ago for a comprehensive CCTV system?  There should be high quality camers at all road junctions and in high risk areas, so these people could be traced after criminal acts are committed.  Its not rocket science.   If this crime keeps up, everyone who brings jobs and money to this island will leave – what will happen to this place then? 

  11. Anonymous says:

     “When all said and done, we have much to be thankful for,” he added.

    The words of a man with a ten foot wall around his house, security guards, security cameras and god knows what else.

    For us minions in the real world its scary.


    There has been absolutely no decrease in serious crime at all, its now a daily occurrence. The premier lives in f"ing La La Land.


    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect that most of the money was spent to build his "Mac-o-lot" compound where he barricades himself into every night. He could give a rat's a$$ how scary it is for the rest of us.

  12. so Anonymous says:

    Funniest headline EVER!

  13. Demi O'Crassy says:

    Hey Bushie, if you are so committed to fighting crime, why don't you pay into the coffers the money you wasted on stupid ideas like the Cohen deal or knifing GLF by not following the "good governance" process?  By my reckoning that would total about another 10% of the crime fighting budget and incidentally be about the same value as a certain property at the Ritz . . . .

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mac, seriously, when was the last time you called for the revocation of immigration permissions and deportation of convicted criminals who may not be, or may have recently become, Caymanians.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’m pleased that we have the equipment available to scan containers, but I seriously doubt it was purchased as much to fight crime as it was to rescue lost revenue through non-declaration of items. So Premier Bush, call a spade a spade. So, as for the budget provided to fight crime, I’m sure the shiny new cars will help a lot. The crime on this island is OUT OF CONTROL. As much as I hate to make a comparison, and will apologize to my Jamaican friends in advance, but Cayman is reminding me more and more of Kingston. People who can leave what was a beautiful paradise will begin to do so, and then what. How will tourism fare when our reputation is similar to that of Kingston, at least they have alarge island and there are still relatively safe places to go, where do we go for safety here? Must we all move into the Premiers house?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lots of money for such poor results.

  17. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    If he was serious about crime West Bay would be cleaned up long ago which proves he is not being honest with us again. Remember, this is the same man that said "we don't need education". What does that tell us?

    • Hibernator... says:

      He don't need no, edjumacation, he don't need no, self control…

      All in all, HE's just another, brick in the wall!!!


  18. Anonymous says:

    Stop accepting the world with open arms and do a through background check.  Too many have landed on our shores with false credentials and other documents and have been accepted into our society.  Do Backgroung Checks!!!.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let's make it an equal playing field for all by insisting all persons in the Cayman Islands are subject to background checks, police checks, references, medical examinations, means tests, xrays and HIV STD tests.

      That way we are all starting on the same page.


    • Anonymous says:

      The only background check Mac is concerned with is the sise of thier bankaccounts.  Remember "Cash is King."

  19. Anonymous says:

    Should have written me a check  and I take you out in the parking lot and kick square in your dingle berries.

    It doesnt take a genius to tell you that there is no border patrol over on the sister Islands and one can just fly into Grand cayman undetected with Hard drugs or weapons.(of course not Ganja)

    Next the boats and x-ray machines are either broken or not used.

    And last but not least its a bit too late,because they are so many weapons already on the Island. The barn door was left open for too long and all the animals are far gone. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Can the new equipment detect "financial crime" and official corruption?

    • Anonymously IRON CLAD says:

      ROTFLMAO…  but im sure the whales off Alaska have detected the 'official corruption' and financial crime from this here Pirates Lair. So strong it's perhaps the reason we have had whales beach themselves on our shores and just die.

      • Anonymous says:

        Imagine if this fancy piece of metal could read Mac's thoughts…….

  21. SKEPTICAL says:

    Well if I was Bush, I would ask for my money back, to help cover the $20 million deficit – because a 1.3% reduction in crime over a twelve month period doesn’t look to me like a good return on any investment. Unless of course you have your cash with a Bank,

  22. Anonymous says:


  23. Anonymous says:

    Serious about crime huh – I wonder what that means in terms of corruption.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Typical, throw money at it and hope for the best, and say "we are serious about crime". BS!

    deal with the real issues, the root causes of some of these serious issues. Instead of handing out money and whatever other freebie the constituants want, try encouraging them to hunger for education and self empowerment.


    Instead of giving John McLean Jr. money for a boxing gym, how about putting the money towards helping the children of East End Primary how to read!!! East End Primary (and others) are failing!!! That is where the problems are starting.


    An educated population is a progressive population, then again, which politician wants an educated population?! Easier to control when there is ignorance amongst some.