Catron pursues offender’s list

| 28/10/2008

(CNS): As a result of the continued delay on the government’s part to introduce an official sex offenders register, local activist Sandra Catron plans to circulate a petition which will be handed to government giving them until May 2009 to set a number of initiatives in motion in order to tackle the issue of child abuse within the Cayman Islands community.

Catron is calling for  the mandatory reporting of sexual offenses; the implementation of a comprehensive sex offenders registry that includes convictions from the past 10 years with full public access; longer and stricter sentences for offenders; a requirement for offenders to provide current addresses and updated photos subject to five years imprisonment for non-compliance and to work with international agencies like CEOP Centre based in London to make sure that all visitors/residents are subjected to both domestic and international policing and checks. If these regulations are not implemented Catron says she intend to establish her own register online that she will, if necessary, host offshore.

 “I dare say that with the next general election around the corner we need to now exercise our power as voters and demand a sexual offender registry law be put in place before May 2009. It is unacceptable for politicians and senior civil servants to stand by and do nothing while our children continue to be preyed upon by the vilest of our society,” she said.

At last week’s post Cabinet press briefing the government said it had not seen the details of the police plan to introduce a formal offenders register and therefore it could not offer an opinion on the subject. However, the Minister for Education, Alden McLaughlin, offered a word of caution as he said that identifying the perpetrator in small community like Cayman, not least because the perpetrators were often family members, was tantamount to identifying the victim.

 “Although we haven’t taken a position as a government, I personally have pointed out in the past that it is understandable — we all want people who perpetrate these crimes held up to public criticism. But the concern I have is that in a place as small as Cayman to identify the culprit means to identify the victim,” the Minister said.  “So we have to ask ourselves, how do we strike the balance? But as a country we certainly need to do what we can to protect ourselves from sex offenders and hold them up to public outrage.”

He also noted that while government would support tougher sentencing measures, he felt mandatory sentences tied the hands of judges. In the recent controversial case over an alleged light sentence handed down to a sex offender, the perpetrator actually has a serious mental illness.

“You have to be careful in meting out full justice that you don’t place the courts in a position where they can’t consider all the circumstances” he added. “There is no point in sending someone with a mental illness to HMP Northward. Our problem is we don’t have adequate facilities to deal with these people.”

Catron dismisses the comments regarding the identification of victims. “The people in the Cayman Islands have been subjected to a continual veil of secrecy that has and will continue to destroy our children, families and communities,” she said.  “I am baffled by the lack of political willpower to demand a sex offender registry.”

Catron argued that the idea that a register would be detrimental in a community of our size because it exposes the victim is nonsensical, political doublespeak. “We all know that given the size of the community we normally know information about both the victim and the abuser almost immediately,” Catron added. “Over the years I have had many victims and mothers of victims contact me because they are often at a loss of what to do. In one case, a local offender is nowdriving a school bus.”

She said that while our politicians sit back and look for reasons not to support this initiative, our children are being directly put in the line of sight of these known abusers who pose a very unique and different risk to the most vulnerable.“ Community supervision and oversight has proven to work,” Catron said. “The usefulness of this registry cannot be underestimated and I stand by my contention that the government has failed us in this respect. A sex offender registry should ideally be a government initiative that is both mandated and maintained by them.”

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great Idea! I think that the 2 incidents that have recently come to light – especially the one from last week are confirming that we need this now more than EVER.

    These molestors walk around harming our children and feel that there is no long term recourse for their actions? They are allowed back into society to prey on unsuspecting children whose parents do not know anything about them. What Sandra says makes sense. What if I were a Caymanian away when someoen went to jail. I come back home and this monster is now my neighbor – how would I know? Also, the registry will help police keep a tab on where these people are including where they are employed – they should not be employed around children or driving school buses or working with youth groups, little leagues etc. Right now, there’s no monitoring in place at all and that means they are free to do whatever they so desire. Community monitoring works and it deplorable that we do not have anything here on this island.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Reading the comments listed, I would dare say that if we do not agree with Ms. Catron’s try at trying to stem these types of offences, then we should offer the better alternative.

    Everything in life has a reprocussion, but it is time that we stand up and do something about these crimes. Some do not want sex-education in the class rooms,  some do not want to talk about sex in the home (where most of these crimes take place against minors), then what do we want for this small island?

    Any crime is only a symptom of a more deep seated problem in any society, and more often than not that problem is seated in our stance of Duplicity in the world we life in.

    Ignorance needs to be combatted by properly educating our society on a whole- and we need to level the playing field where victims can feel free to speak up and say "enough is enough". We are not doing that. Sex is still a major TABOO in this small island, and until we can overcome that and each say that "right is right and wrong is wrong" things  will only get worst!

    To all of you who disagree with Ms. Catron, some times the voice of "vigilantism" is what it takes for a Government to understand that society will no longer tolerate offences. Personally, I am tired of these offences and the cover-ups, and if what Ms. Catron is doing will get someone’s attention, I am behind her 100%.

    We need to stop defending the Perpetrators and start caring for the victims of crimes.

    It is a small country, but we must stand up and do something and stop using excuses – if shame is one way to stop this, I say lets shame whoever the Perpetrators are, because many times it may be people who we would expect better from.

    Otherwise we will continue to breed dysfunctional people, and the cycle must be stopped somewhere somehow for the better good for a better future!

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    For the two persons that said this is not a good idea you must be sex offenders. Anyone with children oranyone in their right mind would want to have this list handy. If the government shuts this down it is just another attempt of them trying to control what we see and hear. We NEED to know who is out there and what they look like so our children are keep safe. I support this 110% I have two children and I want to know who is working at their schools, who is driving their bus, who is around them. This will also help employer’s find out more about their staff if they can look up your name and see that your a sex offender then you would certianly not be hired to work around children.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think Ms. Catron is on the right track, at least she is proposeing that we do something rather than nothing!  I too know of an instance where a sex offender was employed in a government school doing yard work.  This man was minimally supervised and worked during the day when children were in school.  This is terribly disturbing and disheartening to think that this person was even put in a position to have easy access to molest a child right on the school grounds.  How could this happen I do not know the answer, but those persons who employed him should provide answers, just as those persons who employed this other sexual offender to drive a school bus.  Yes, the community may rise up in anger against these people, but then again we need to rise up against criminal activity  and not continue to sit back and do nothing!  I too have a daughter and nieces and would hate to know that the person living next door could possibly be an offender and that I was not warned to take further precaution!

  5. Protect Cayman says:

    We need this registry and these lame a– excusses why we should not have one are just plain ignorant. I too have googled this issue and sex registry work!! That is why the most developed countries in the world have them. By not having one this just shows our ignorance and how far behind we are socially. Even Jamaica is going to get one!! Talk about vigilantism – now there’s a country where you will be killed on the streets for doing this sort of thing and they are still getting a public registry!!!!

    Educate yourselves and stop talking foolishness:

    http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-11746–17-17–.html

    http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-11507–9-9–.html

     

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    I believe we need a registry and this is a great idea! What is taking so long? Sandra we are behind you on this one. I have a daughter that I have to protect and although I know who this guy is by name I want to know his whereabouts when he comes out of prison. Get this registry done and as quickly as possible.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Criminilogical research also shows that these types of offenders cannot be rehabilitated.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Catron’s plans disgust me.  It is the worst type of ill-educated rabble rousing.  I agree with the previous post.  Her own comments are inconsistent – if everyone already knows who the convicted criminals are, as she says, why do we need a register?  Trust the professionals – these plans would do more harm than good. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    The police should speak out quickly to dismiss this ill-advised vigilantism.  Crimionlogical research has indciated that these types of registers, or the official equivalents such as Megan’s Law, do not reduce crime, and in fact hamper more effective social programmes for the monitoring and rehabilitation of offenders.  Sandra Catron’s plans will, if put in effect, be likely harm the children of Cayman and will almost certainly lead to an increase in violent crime on the island, through vigilante conduct.