Archive for January 1st, 2014

Worst behind us, says Alden

| 01/01/2014 | 77 Comments

(CNS): Pointing to a feeling of optimism for 2014, Premier Alden McLaughlin said there was “a feeling that worst is behind us and that 2014 will bea good year” in his New Year message. “There is a new spirit of unity, a sense that all of us – Caymanians and residents, visitors and investors, government and private sector, government and opposition – can and will work together in pursuit of what is best for Cayman,” he said after reflecting on the recent events since the May General election when the PPM won the majority of seats and formed an inclusive government. McLaughlin also pointed to the historic vote just before Christmas when all members of the Legislative Assembly came together, despite differences of opinion, to vote unanimously for the National Conservation Law.

“This was indeed a triumph for our democratic process and a testament to what I hope is a new spirit of cooperation and compromise among the elected members of the House,” he said. “There is much to be done in this New Year and I am fully cognizant that the government will have significant challenges to meet. But meet them we will, just as we have done these past seven months, with courage, conviction and a willingness to listen and compromise.”

Rejecting recent talk of independence, the premier spoke of the renewed relationship with the UK and the country’s acceptance of the government’s long term plan to return public finances to the black and develop the economy.

See full message below.

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New Year’s Day jewel heist

| 01/01/2014 | 103 Comments

(CNS) Updated Thursday: Four suspects, all aged between 22 and 32, have been arrested in connection with a jewellery store hold-up in downtown George Town at around 8:30am New Year's Day while at least two cruise ships were already in port. Police say a search of the area turned up a quantity of jewellery and a firearm a short distance from the store, Diamonds Intentional on North Church Street. Police say the suspects were caught thanks to the actions of Police Commissioner David Baines and several members of the public who assisted without a second  thought for their own safety. A fifth man, aged 48,  who has been arrested on suspicion of theft, is not believed to have been involved in the robbery but entered the store after the crime had taken place and grabbed some jewellery, which has now also been recovered. 

It is understood that shots were fired during the incident. However, police have said that no one was injured as a result of the shooting, though one of the suspects is in hospital following an incident which occurred during his arrest. Unconfirmed sources tell CNS that the robber was struck by a car that was driven by the police commissioner after he drove his car into the getaway vehicle to stop the suspects fleeing the scene.

The police confirmed that members of the public as well as Commissioner Baines and other police officers were involved in arresting the various suspects but they have given no details regarding how the fourth suspect was hurt.

Commenting on his involvement in a release from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Baines played down his own part and heaped praise on the members of the public who came forward to assist.

"I did my job; it’s as simple as that," he said. "I only did what I would expect any officer of the RCIPS to do. However, today once again demonstrated the great community spirit in the Cayman Islands and the selfless acts we see time and time again where members of the public step forward to stand up for what is right. Without the brave actions of those exceptional  people today, we may not have effected such quick arrests in connection with this crime."

The management of Diamonds International told CNS that they would like to acknowledge the bravery of the commissioner and all those involved in the arrest of the suspects.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have been in the area or who has any information about the crime to call  949-7777 or 800-TIPS to remain anonymous.

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