Leader summons top cop

| 20/10/2009

(CNS): Following an unprecedented number of crimes in the last week, including Cayman’s seventh murder of the year, as well as a number of armed robberies in the heart of George Town, the leader of government business has said he wants the commissioner of police to come to the Legislative Assembly and talk to government and all members of the House about what is going on. Aware that the elected arm of government does not have responsibility for policy, he noted that it does have responsibility for funding and he said the situation was not satisfactory.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Monday morning, shortly after yet another armed robbery had taken place in Shedden Road, George Town, McKeeva Bush said that all members of the House were as concerned as the wider public with regard to the spate of criminal activity. He said that while the governor had been in discussion with Commissioner David Baines, given the serious rise in crime and the various statements over the last few days over the investigations, he was not satisfied with what is going on. The LoGB said the commissioner needed to come and talk directly to government and to all the members of the House.

Bush did not say when it would happen but indicated that he expected the commissioner to come as soon as possible since Cayman had to be extremely careful as the rising crime could do serious damage to the jurisdiction. In the recent Finance Committee proceedings, close to $33 million was appropriated from theCayman purse for police and investigative services.

The commissioner told CNS a few weeks ago that, although there was a perception of an increase in crime, in reality the figures were not that much higher than last year. However, since then, Cayman’s seventh murder of 2009 took place on Tuesday night in Newlands and a spate of armed hold ups at local businesses in broad daylight, as well as a spike in street muggings at gunpoint and an excessive number of break-ins and attempted robberies has caused turmoil in the community.

There is little arguing that Cayman is in the grip of an unprecedented crime wave. However, there has been limited information from the RCIPS as to detection levels, arrests or charges during the recent violent and relentless crime spree.

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  1. Anonymous says:


    We are not the only ones facing these same issues folks. This is certainly not a coincidence.

  2. Anonymous says:

     Bizarre. This notion that two weeks ago there was nothing to explain but with a spate of armed robberies, suddenly Baines is supposed to explain "what is going on". 

    Well Mr Bush, what is going on is that your country is turning into Jamaica from the 1970’s  with guns and drugs all over the place. It’s been happening for ages and having a few more guys wandering around on foot isn’t going to stop it – that’s just a PR exercise that has been proven the world over to make zero difference to crime rates.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lastnight I was watching a program run by the US Marshal’s where the officers went on one scene and arrested around 16 guys on warrents and during that raid they got drugs and guns off the streets.

    I proposed that the Commissioner of Police should go to the US Marshal’s Office or the DEA in the UNITED STATES not the UK and hire a few guys who do this every day.

    I would say about 10 or 15 of them since you know that they are that amount of known criminals re gun related.

    Get several warrents issued and knock down a few doors, look for drugs, guns and if you find any arrest everyone in the house.  Have Social Workers on hand to take the children and so on.  Do this for several months, stop this spot check rubbish, go in the areas because you all know them and if you don’t you should not be working as a Police officer. Full Northward Prison and the jails.  Work your a** off and we will help you when we see that you mean business.

    This would be a good start.  Don’t forget your cameras and build your database of these criminals.

    my 2 cents

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here is a very insightful comment from a blog on one of our fellow islands.

    It seems that there is much in common in the British approach to the Overseas Dependent Territories. Put certain pro-british voices in the territories (Gordon Barlow) comes to mind for Cayman and this is in no way any kind of slur.
    Use the voice(s) to promote a so-called voice of reason, but all it does is create confusion and panic as we start thinking we cannot survive without the intellectual Brits.

    Cayman, look outside the box. Soon there will be no more Cayman for the Caymanians. This place is earmarked for a swift overthrow as in Turks and Caicos and soon the british passport will be supreme with the Caymanian one a clear indicator of the underclass or the harijans of Cayman.

  5. Dred says:

    Look I know the Police are part of the problem but what we need is a ground up approach at this problem and here are my recommendations:


    1)      Review of Prison system bringing into question the following points:

    a.       Hard Labor –Prisons need to be feared not looked at as a vacation destination.

    b.      Food – Food needs to be prison quality food not choice. Prison should also cultivate some of their own food. Raising chickens, growing potatoes, etc. Get rid of the variety element.

    c.       TV – TV for them is the night sky. Many different programs on depending on where in the sky you are looking at.

    d.      1 Year – 12 months not 9. Why should they get time discounts?

    2)      Review of Penalties bring into question the following points:

    a.       Capital Punishment – This needs to return on heinous crimes. I would have a panel of 5 judges and all 5 must be in favor of the punishment based on:

                                                                   i.      Intent – Was it premeditated

                                                                 ii.      Severity of Crime – One shot or 5 shots. One stab or multiple. Was it intended beyond all reasonable doubt to kill.

                                                                iii.      History on defendant

    b.      Gun Crime = Federal Crime = Maximum punishment

                                                                   i.      Gun involved in crime we start at 10 years (no early parole) and then we tack on. Gun plus robbery = 10 + 5 = 15 years = 180 months. Gun plus robbery plus assault = 10 + 5 + 5 = 20 years = 240 months.

                                                                 ii.      Violent crimes involving guns = Capital Punishment

                                                                iii.      Gun at a scene affects all participants no matter who is carrying gun. So the defendant does not have to be armed only participating in the crime. This should create rifts between criminals when deciding on what weapons to carry knowing no matter what they are armed with the most serious weapon carries the weight.

    c.       Knife Crime = Major Crime

                                                                   i.      Knife brought to scene = max time plus = 7 years plus. So if you hada knife brought to scene involving in a stabbing then it’s 7 years plus 5 (Assault) plus 5 (attempted Murder), etc. Again 1 year = 12 months.

                                                                 ii.      Knife at scene and used. Questions such as self defense need be questioned. If ruled out 5 years minimum plus other charges stacked.

    d.      Robbery = Severe Crime

                                                                   i.      Commercial Robbery = Minimum 5 year tack on to weapon charges.

                                                                 ii.      Residential Robbery = Minimum 7 years tack on to weapons charges. Judge discretion to add up to an addition 3 years depending on the evidence or past history of criminal.

    e.       Drugs – Severe Crime

                                                                   i.      Trafficker – Based on quantity. If treated as trafficker then it should be considered much like a murder charge in that its potential effects from distribution can kill. Therefore a minimum of 10 years should also apply. Then you stack on.

    f.        Child Molestation – Severe Crime

                                                                   i.      This will affect that child all his/her life and should be treated as such. The other issue is chance to do it again. For these reasons these criminals need to be off the streets for a very long time and therefore a minimum 10 years should apply. If there is a case of multiple victims then tack on an additional 3 years per victim. With crimes spanning years we should add a year per year. So a molestation over 5 years would mean 10 year minimum plus 5 years or 15 years in prison. Good Behavior would only be on the 5 years and be no more than 20%.

    g.       Crime Stacking – I would impose a crime stacking mechanism where you gain 2 years in prison per crime additional. So say someone goes to prison for an offense and comes back out and commits another crime. His time in prison this time would be whatever he is found liable for plus 2 years for repeat offenders. Also he/she is granted no more good behavior time off allowance. The idea is to get them off the streets on a more permanent basis. If say it’s a minor crime and he returns again after getting out it goes up by 1 year, so now it’s going to be liable plus 3 years.

    h.       Good Behavior – This can only be applied against subsequent charges that go beyond weapon and any minimums. A gun crime for instance would result in nothing under 10 years. So in a case where a gun is used at a robbery it would be only on the robbery itself. We adopt a 2 strikes and good behavior is gone policy. You are granted 1 chance at good behavior release and if you commit another crime you will never ever in life again get good behavior discount no matter.

    i.         Negotiated sentences can not break minimums. They will only affect add-ons.  

    3)      Policing

    a.       We need them trained. I would ship all Police Officers to US for proper training in their respective area of expertise.

    b.      More community based approach. Get back into the communities and become one with the neighborhoods they patrol.

    c.       Patrol regularly, day and night. Cross late opening businesses and even go into them to speak with occupants. Drive by closed businesses with spot beams. Circle thru neighborhoods.

    d.      Have business awareness event to teach business owners and staff what to look for during an incident that would assist officers. Things such as:

                                                                   i.     Height

                                                                 ii.      Build

                                                                iii.      Hair color

                                                               iv.      Skin color

                                                                 v.      Clothing style & color

                                                               vi.      Other notables such as limp, scars, tattoos, or marks

                                                              vii.      Accent if definable.

    e.       Neighborhood meetings – This is part of thereconnection with communities. Learn the various good and bad elements of your area. Know who to look for and what to look for as each area presents it’s own set of problems and opportunities.

    f.        Crime Scene Overview committee – Develop a tier system on crimes and when crimes are at a certain level they must go thru the CSO Committee to determine evidence collection, possible missing details, suspects review, etc. This is to try to prevent lost evidence or incomplete cases going to court. This committee is made up of past retired detectives with solid reputation.

    g.       Evidence – Not just logged but filmed, sampled, photographed and secured. A case need to be able to proceed without the physical evidence should it grow legs. A complete review of the evidence lockup procedures need be done also.

    h.       Onboard Police Cams – Police cars should be met when coming back in from a days work by a records officer to log car cam files and clean for new crew.

    • Anonymous says:

      Finally, someone with a constructive plan! My only wish is that the ‘powers that be’ were actually reading this and, at the very least, willing to consider and/or investigate its merits.

  6. Sad Times we live in says:

    Here we go again!

    Let’s blame the top cop! It must be his fault, after all, he’s in charge!

    This problem is much more than a RCIPS issue! I hear many stories from people who say they know this crook is doing this, that bent cop did that, who did this, who did that blah, blah, blah! But what do YOU and THEY all do about it? Absolutely nothing. By doing nothing, you condone crime. So stop whining about crime. Start standing up and make the difference. If more people would report what they know, the RCIPS may be able to do their jobs more effectively. Yeah, there may be a few cops who are not up to the job, but the majorty are hardworking decent people who are trying to make the arrests, but they cannot do it all alone. They need the help of the communities. They need YOUR help.

    We have Crimestoppers which was created to keep your call anonymous, so please use it

    800 TIPS (8477)

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think that anyone is holding the top cop responsible, but he needs to be accountable. If you want a top position (whether it is in the  police force or any other organization/corporation), then you need to be prepared to  answer to the powers that be and unfortunately, you may be the one who gets the wrath or blame, but that just comes with the position (not just the cushy salary and benefit). It is about time that the people demand some accountability, answers and a plan, rather than letting everything just run on its own, hoping that things will change somehow someday.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the LOGB would consider addressing the underlying causes of crime – such as unemployment, disenfranchisement, lack of training, lack of rehabilitation – instead of blustering for political points, then maybe we could get somewhere.

    Instead, he wants us to welcome more people in and make it even harder for Caymanians to get that elusive piece of the pie.

    The young are not content as we were to smile in public and cry in private. Their discontent will be expressed with violence.

    For God’s sake wake up and do something for your PEOPLE and not your WALLET.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Commissioner should point out the actions of residents of West Bay to undermine his operations.  The last two road blocks on WB Road were rendered useless for catching real criminals by the steady stream of Bayers flashing their headlights to warn oncoming traffic.  On one occasion I was flashed at least 6 times.  It was pathetic and outrageous.

  9. tim ridley says:

    It is all very sad. But we can do something about it. We were in mid-Florida last week. The very peaceful and well-kept township had regular police cruisers around and very conspicuous at all times, driven by polite and well-turned out officers. No cell phones or eating while driving either.

    The cost of such a police force is covered by community service charges and fees levied on properties in the town. Join the dots, Cayman



  10. Anonymous says:

    Commissioner Baines, where are the Police? What are you doing with the millions of dollars that were thrown your way by the previous PPM administration?

    The RCIP need to be much more visible and vigilent to act as a deterrent. We need proactive policing not  reactive policing. RCIP members should be in "hot" areas on a full time basis. It is not uncommon to see police full time on street corners, supermarkets and known high-crime areas in other countries. Why are we not seeing this here? The Cayman approach of having a car drive by every 30 minutes does not cut it!!! Not at a full complement of officers? If you don’t have enough bodiescut back on the partner system and get some of the more senior officers out from behind desks and into the streets setting an example for the younger officers.

    One thing that Stuart Kernohan did well when he first arrived was get the cops out of their cars and onto the street patrolling. I remember seeing a significant change in police presence shortly after he arrived (pity he got distracted by Jack and his keystone cops). Now I have no idea where the cops are other than driving up and down in new cars on their cell phones and sitting at the dock in expensive boats with the air conditioning on.

    It’s time for better leadership and new tactics. Your current approach is not working.

  11. Anon says:

    Hmmmmm lets divert the attention of the top cop in Cayman from his duties arresting bad guys and instead have him come and entertain the LA with some juggling.


    That is bound to help.

  12. Sad Caymanian in exile says:

    McKeeva, it is not good enough for you to say you are not pleased with what is going on. Inviting the commissioner to the LA to talk to you and the other MLAs is an empty PR stunt. At the end of the day, Cayman is not going to be safer because the criminals are still on the loose. McKeeva, what has happened to the plan you had when you were in Opposition, to address crime. You gave the impression back then that Kurt and the PPM had to take the blame for crime. Now it seems you want a different rule to be applied to your government. No way, McKeeva. We are going to judge you on the same basis. Don’t you realize that the criminals are laughing at you and your government, McKeeva? They have never acted so bold until recently.  Crime is not for the police alone as you are suggesting. Crime is for your government to address and it begins with you because you are the head of government. It is time for you to show some leadership, Mckeeva. You run your mouth on everything. Run your mouth on some serious solutions to crime. Cayman is waiting on you to rise to the challenge.

    • Anonymous says:

      It really looks as though no-one is prepared to step up and do something about the crime.  Its another case of just ignore it and it will go away.  Its not going away by itself. 

      Address the gang issues, bring in trained people who have dealt with gangs, or better yet, send some good officers to the US for proper gang/drug/violent crimes training and create some special response units with armed police to respond to situations where criminals are armed.  I’m not suggesting you let all the Police have weapons but again, take some good Police, send them for proper arms training and have them patrolling,  George Town and other known crime hot spots, 24 hours a day so that they are armed and ready to respond.  Send a clear message to the criminals that this is enough.  Let these people know, if you are a known gang member or affiliated with a gang, you will be harrassed by the Police.  STOP PRETENDING THAT WE HAVE NO GANGS AND THAT CAYMAN IS A NICE SAFE PLACE TO LIVE.  If we value the lives of our children, we must do something otherwise we will lose many, many more people to senseless violent crime.

      We cannot afford to have any more people die because of stupid senseless violence.  The criminals see that nothing is ever done.  How long do you think it will be before they go after tourists and start shooting people just because they can? Obviously, these people have anger management and other issues.  Someone in Govt. or the Police Service, please get up and do something to protect your people.

    • BRAC GROWN says:

      Well it is only going to get worst because the budget for the police has been cut tremendiously so they won’t have gas to drive the cars or run the new boats, officers for special units will be on call out only,

      Please Education and Police is the last departments to cut, my thing is do not start to build or start any new projects  until our economy is stable enough to do so.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Read the article. The LOGB is not responsible for the RCIP. The CIG is only responsible for the budget. Having the COMM to the Assembly is an excellent idea. Dialogue, knowledge, information, political pressure  then hopefully action. I believe crime prevention is paramount to the CIG in power. Unless crime is combated now then tourism and the fin ser’s industries will falter even more and that is contrary to the LOGB’s plan. 7 murders……armed robberies……Mc…press on attack crime with a vengence.

    • UniqueCommonSense says:

      to: Sad Caymanian in exile (not verified) on Tue, 10/20/2009 – 07:57.

      You are so very correct in saying "You run your mouth on everything".  Now we are all realizing that this is ALL McKeeva is capable of doing!!!


    • Anonymous says:

      When are you silly people going to get off the UDP and McKeeva blame game?  This is not a UDP problem or a PPM problem, it is a National PROBLEM!!

      Offer solutions and stop raising your blood pressure blaiming the government.

      • Sad Caymanian in exile says:

        My friend, I have to assume you were silent when McKeeva was blaming Kurt and the PPM for every crime that was committed in the months leading up to the general election. Well, since McKeeva accepted then that crime was an issue for government, I am saying now that he is leader of government business, he must rise to the challenge and present solutions for solving the worsening crime situation. You would like people to spare McKeeva but McKeeva must be accountable. Tell him solve the crime so that the criminals would stop laughing at him and the UDP. Where is Elio, by the way? He is very quiet. He too had a lot of hot air. Let him now speak now and bring some solutions to save Cayman. If this crime wave is not solved, it will be the end of Cayman. The investors and the tourists will stay away. I have my family to think about.

      • Anonymous says:

        EXCUUUUUUSE me 12:53! You seem to think it is ok for unna udp reprobates to blame PPM for everything (when will u "getoff the PPM & Kurt blame game" uh, when?), but now that the shoe is on the other foot you are begging us to get off the udp & mckeeva blame game? NOT SO QUICK buddy!

        When PPM was in government unna udp blamed them & Kurt for everything, including crime (which, by the way was not near as terrible & serious as it is under your udp). Now that the udp is government, unna still blamingthem for everything. Unna can’t pee pee without blaming the PPM!

        "If unna can’t stand the heat in da kitchen, then GET OUT!" Crime is at an all time high, & serious crime is out of control, & it is the udp that is now the government, & it is the udp to blame!! Take it like a man, not a cry cry baby! Crime is out of control & unna can’t do one darn thing about it, unna useless so & so’s! unna was quick to put the blame on PPM in the past, ("spit in the sky & that yuk will fall in unna face") & now the blame is on udp!  

        • Concerned observer says:

          17:51 – Your blood pressure sure seems high. You completely missed the point! This is my problem, your problem, UDP’s promblem, PPM’s problem – Cayman’s problem and it didn’t begin May 20th 2009!!

          By the way I am not a UDP or PPM supporter.  I vote for individuals who I think will be do least damage to our country.

          Now please calm down and take a chill pill.


  13. Anonymous says:

    I drove through a road block one night on west bay road about two years ago and the police officer in the middle of the street was dancing around playing his machine gun like it was a guitar just to amuse the female police officer with him.

    • Anonymous says:

      "I drove through a road block one night on west bay road about two years ago and the police officer in the middle of the street was dancing around playing his machine gun like it was a guitar just to amuse the female police officer with him."

      Good for him priorities are important.

  14. Caymanian to the bone says:

     What a joke! Every criminal is just sitting back and laughing at the RCIP (whilst preparing for the next outing) – it’s pathetic and embarrassing. 

    It’s also on the head of every individual in Cayman who has seen criminal behaviour and let it go – the acronym NIMB applies to us perfectly..

    Stand up Cayman & do something.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Police are more scared than the civilians!  They are, by far, the most incompetent law enforcement agency on the planet.  

    You can stab someone, chop someone up with a machete, beat your woman/man, starve your kids, sexually abuse them, physically abuse them or just leave ’em on the street to fend for themselves and you can kill as many times as you want too but don’t even think about messing with MaryJane, Lucky Dube, G-Thang, Columbian Red, Ganja, Marijuana, weed, pot, etc. 

    No! That’s a big no no!!! Besides it’ll be easy for them to capture you what with laughing your a** off and all from the affects of Mother Nature’s finest!  They wouldn’t have to run after you ’cause you’ll be laughing so hard you won’t be able to move! 

    Now the burglar, thief, rapist or murderer they have weapons and there’s no way the police are going to mess up their sparkling uniform or sweat in it for that matter.

    I could go on and on but nobody’s listening…  

    • Anonymous says:

      ROTFLMAO. Wow, this is just too funny! Thanks for the laugh, it was very much needed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget all those BAAAAAD traffic offenders the Police arrest every day. The road blocks are too much.  YOu see dozens of cars turning around, going through short cuts or stopping and having someone else pick them up.  You would think that the Police would have enough "intelligence" to have other Police at strategic points, i.e. whereever its possible for people to take another route to avoid the road block so they can catch some of the real offenders. 

      A police officer was waiting for the elevator in our building.  When it came, he pushed his way through the group of women standing there before him and rudely shoved his way into the elevator before everyone else.  Sadly, this is the typical attitude of some of our Police.  Rude and ignorant and so full of it until it comes to facing a criminal.  Who is responsible for recruiting?  I’ve heard cases of would be police officers getting other people to complete their applications and write their essays because they are too illiterate to do it themselves.   For heaven’s sake, shouldn’t the Police have a certain level of intelligence or at the very least be able to read and write? 

      • Anonymous says:

        I can appreciate your frustration with the police but I think your comments are equally rude.  You have categorised all police officers as arogant, ignorant and stupid and this is unfair.  Imagine if you were a good hardworking police officer (Caymanian or ortherwise) and read these blogs (as I’m sure many do), how would you feel?

        I’m not a police officer nor do I have any familyworking in the force, but the common theme througout these blogs is that all police are incompetent, worthless and lazy.

        When someone robs you or burglarise your home, I hope you don’t rush to call the police?

        There probably are some police officers that are deserving of criticism as do many employees in other sectors of our working population but we place everyone in the same boat!

        This is not the time to be-little our police but instead we should be trying to support them, as hard as that may be.

      • me says:

        It’s not just the Police that are rude — it is so igrained in the culture here that it should be part of Hertigage Week.

        There are no queues — people just barge through. Whether its for an elevator, traffic, or to pay your stupid Top-Up — basic civility is not present in Cayman.

  16. Anonymous says:

    About time he (McKeeva) took a moment from chasing his personal agenda and noticed that we have a bigger problem to deal with!