Guns and gang culture unacceptable says governor

| 12/07/2009

(CNS): Despite thefact that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has persistently avoided stating that Cayman is suffering from a gang problem speaking at a press conference last week Stuart Jack the governor said the “gun and gang culture among a small section of our community is totally unacceptable.” In the wake of two fatal shootings in a matter of days he called on the community to fight against it.


He said the government and the police were determined to do whatever they could do to, “fight this culture.” However, Jack said gun crime and violence could only be reduced with the help of the whole community. “Without information from the public the police are going to be less successful” he added. “The community’s role goes way beyond just providing information on specific crimes. As parents, as brothers and sisters, as neighbours, as employers and work colleagues, as teachers and fellow students at school, as leaders of churches and community groups everyone can help create an atmosphere that does not tolerate violence or the threat of violence.”

He said that the young men in Cayman’s community need to understand that guns are not cool and that they may end up killing the young men who use them or putting them away in prison for many years.

“As a country we must not only deal with the crimes and criminals wealready have, we must also do more to address the causes of crime and prevent more crimes and criminals in the future,” Jack stated.

He spoke about providing a constructive path for all our young people so that fewer of them are tempted to get into gangs and into crime. However he also said the community should not “over react to these recent terrible incidents.” As he said the Cayman Islands remain a low-crime, law-abiding country. “Compared to most other countries, certainly in this region, the chances of a resident or visitor falling victim to crime are relatively low,” he added but then immediately went on to say that there are still too many crimes and most certainly too many violent ones. “We cannot relax our efforts to reduce crime of whatever sort, not just the most serious offences such as we have seen in the last few days,” the governor said.

Flanking him at the same conference were three members of cabinet including Mark Scotland, Mike Adam and Rolston Anglin who also encouraged the public to cooperate in the police investigations.

“The people of this country, from government officials, to Caymanians, to non-Caymanians, must decide what kind of society they want to live in today, and what kind of society they want to pass to the next generation,” he said.

“If you have information regarding this tragedy, if you saw or heard anything, please call Crime Stoppers and share what you know.”

He said government was collaborating with the police to call on the community to help and whilst those efforts would not bring back those who had been killed he said they will help us to avoid similar tragedies in the future as he asked the community to reject violence. .

“Reject the gun culture and activities that support it. I am not asking you to place yourselves in harm’s way. What I am asking is that everyone remain vigilant; when you witness suspicious activities in your community, report it,” the Deputy Leader of Government Business said.

“I can assure you that government is doing everything in its power to support our police service and to provide the resources they need,” he added.

Anglin stated that one ounce of prevention was better than a pound of cure and the community needed to find a way to create opportunities for young people away from crime.

He told young people to watch the company they keep to pay attention to their surroundings and consider the consequences of their actions.

“Nurturing and providing opportunities for our youth and by extension, our community is a top priority – and crime, violence, and fear has no place in that.

So today, we are sending a united message to the criminals in our community. The call is out for the community to come together, to help stop the violence,” Anglin said.



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