Taylor to focus on crime

| 17/01/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, Cayman Governor Duncan Taylor, crime in Cayman(CNS): The problem of rising crime in the Cayman Islands will be a priority for him, the new governor has said. Speaking to the press immediately after swearing his oath of office on Friday afternoon, 15 January, Duncan Taylor said that law and order underpins a stable democracy. As an area that was his responsibility, he said he would be working with the commissioner of police to address the security problems currently facing the islands.  He said he would also be getting out to the districts as soon as possible where he could hear directly the major concerns of the wider Caymanian public.

“As governor I do need to understand the people’s concerns,” he said, adding that he was aware that crime was a pressing issue, and with security falling within his direct area of responsibility, he had an obligation to address that. Taylor added that he was looking forward to working with the commissioner and hoped that some of his previous experience would be helpful.

“My experience of working in small Caribbean island communities on issues of mutual interest, for example, in the fight against drug trafficking and associated crime, may prove helpful to me here,” he told the Legislative Assembly during his formal presentation.

During the 30 min press conference, he also acknowledged the controversy that had surrounded the special police investigation, Operation Tempura, and he said he would be discussing the current situation regarding Operation Cealt with the police commissioner as soon as possible before considering the way forward. “I am well aware of the degree of concern about it,” he said.

Taylor also told the media he was aware that the relationship with the UK and the Governor’s Office had been impacted as a result of that and the circumstances surrounding the global financial crisis. But he was going to do is best to rebuild a good relationship. Taylor told the press that he believed the relationship was not broken but there had been difficulties. Promising to be enthusiastic, open and accessible, he said he hoped that his appointment demonstrated that the UK had Cayman’s interests at heart.

The Cayman Islands eleventh governor, Taylor became the first to swear, during the oath of office, that he would serve the interests of the people of the Cayman Islands. During his address he acknowledged that changed position as a result of the new Constitution. Acknowledging that reference, he said he knew he was here to serve and not rule. However, the issue of good governance was at the forefront of his speech to the LA, and despite the new oath, the Constitution still acknowledges the UK’s priorities and contingent liabilities.

Taylor said that while the phrase “good governance” may get bad press, it was, rightly, a key theme throughout the overseas territories. Good governance, he said, was about respect for the rule of law, underpinned by an independent judiciary; transparency, and accountability with institutions, the legislature but also the private sector.

Good governance matters because it is the basic foundation for a successful, prosperous, well-ordered and sustainable society,” Taylor stated. It is an essential underpinning to sustainable development:  it is about ensuring that the resources of a society are used to the best and most durable effect and to the benefit of the greatest number of the population.

In light of the premier’s recent call to the governor not to micro-manage, Taylor said he had no wish to do that as the UK government had made it clear since 1999 that it wanted the overseas territories to have “the freedom to run their affairs to the greatest extent possible”, and where there was good governance, partnership and cooperation would flourish and a governor could operate with a light touch.

But the promotion of good governance is a key responsibility for any governor,” he said. “Where a governor has legitimate concerns about it he must be prepared to do what is necessary to encourage it and ensure it is followed.  It is in the long-term interest of us all in the Cayman Islands that the highest standards of governance are practised.  I will do everything I can to contribute to this.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The wise should wait and see if the New Governors words match his actions instead of some people tripping over themselves.Yes give him a warm welcome but lets wait and see what he does before we get ahead of ourselves Cayman. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

  2. Sole Provider says:

    Mr. Gov. the entire community is willing to join with you to solve this crime problem.

    As you are well aware there is no one single approach.

    We need to focus on education, of children and retraining of adults.

    We need to focus on better parenting.

    We need tougher sentences for criminals.

    CCTV’s and better lit public spaces.

    Better trained and more professional police and investigators. 

    More stringent background checks for people entering the island legally.

    Stronger border control for people and items entering the country illegally.

    Real opportunity in the professional and technical and vocational areas for all residents.

    This is just a start but you have time Mr. Gov and the entire community will stand behind you in this honeymoon period so please use this time wisely and engender the confidence of the Caymanian people.


    • Anonymous says:


      A way to improve the education is to bring the education here. Forget medical tourism, how about turning the country into one big learning facility? Get McKeeva to go to all the IVY league schools (or any accredited school) and pose the idea of setting up a campus here. Or if not McKeeva himself, somebody. This is a great business opportunity for people. This could help the local/expat debate, because we are encouraging students to come to the island. Students generally spend a lot of money and are willing to contribute charitably without asking much in return.
      The schools don’t all have to be business schools, or another law school. What about a marine biology department affiliated with another place? A Chef School? A fashion School? Similar to what St. Matthews is doing now, actually. Get more of those schools. Build them in East End, Cayman Brac etc.   However we should bring credible schools with international reputations. This would bring opportunity for the locals that are unable to afford to go overseas for an education and this would bring opportunity to everyone on island because then we would have more people coming spending. Whether it is to the local restaurant, supermarket, car washes etc.
      Just an idea.
      • Anonymous says:

        Encouraging major international educational institutions to establish regional satellites in Cayman is an excellent idea (and one that has been suggested a number of times over the past 20 years but never acted upon in any meaningful way.) However, any thought of sending Mac as our emissary to Ivy League institutions is really bad. First impressions are important even in academia. My suggestion would be to establish a small group of Caymanians educated at the target institutions to spearhed any move in this direction. 

      • NSS says:

        "Students generally spend a lot of money and are willing to contribute charitably without asking much in return"

        Not sure where you went to university in the US, but, from my experience, most students have little money to spare, and what they have, they will spend on beer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Governor needs to deal with crime within, within government before he can deal with crime on the street.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we should start battling crime, by creating unity, instead of division, in our schools. 

    To quote the Cayman Primary Studies, The World at a Glance Book 6

    Page 65

     "Sometimes people who are not Caymanian citizens wish to become Caymanians, or acquire Caymanian Status. We call them paper Caymanians."

    CNS: You are quoting from the old curriculum, which has been totally re-written and a new one launched in 2008. Follow this link to the new National Curriculum and download the pdf – note particularly page 5, "The Educated Caymanian". 

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a statement of fact that, for the most part, we do call them ‘paper Caymanians’. It is also true that virtually none of these ‘new Caymanians’ call themselves Caymanian but identify according to their country of origin and nationality (which is unchanged by the grant of Caymanian status) unless of course there is a benefit to be gained.     

  5. Joe Average says:

    Mr. Taylor!  You have at your disposal a website for your research into what makes this island tick.  That is CNS and it’s forums.  Here we discuss, often with a great deal of emotion the circumstances and the events that affect all of us.  This a valuable resource and I hope you will see it that way.  You are welcome to join the conversation anytime, and find you are most welcome.  No one from government has so far and that’s a pity.  We have heard the term good governance in the past, and it is usually followed by a pronouncement of something we hadn’t expected or a times were in opposition to.  This is unfortunate.  Because good governance is what we all want.  For us it implies listening.  Within the forums all the things that are of concern to us are mentioned, and very often, thoughtful ideas are also mentioned by the people participating.  In other words, here you have as mentioned, a resource, with a vast array of ideas some of which we all agree on.  This wouldn’t have been possible just a few short years ago.  I would take full advantage of this if I were attempting to achieve good governance.  Because it is a two-way street, and if you want to get there you must have an open mind and be willing to accept advice (sometimes guidance) from those who are being governed.  We haven’t experienced that lately, and you will find this is a major cause of the disgruntlement and lack of support for our elected representatives.  You have the advantage of not relying on votes.  And therefore can use your judgment.  After listening.  There are some of us also who are monarchists, and in favor of the FCO, and some who shall we say aren’t quite there yet.  You will have to convince both sides.  But that won’t be as difficult to do as it may sound.  And if you doubt it, here is why: Cayman was struck by Hurricane Ivan not too long ago.  And was virtually wiped out.  Look at us now.  It would be obvious to anyone the people of this island can accomplish anything- anything- when they have a common goal.  Our common goal, like many others, is Peace and Prosperity.  That can’t be accomplished by a government by itself.  It is a mutual effort.  Hardships we can bare.  The global financial crisis was not of our making.  But we are learning to bare that too.  All in all, it’s non-listening and unilateral decisions being made that affect our future which aggravates us.  Because with some research you can see there are some constructive ideas being put forth.  Well thought-out and pro-active.  But alas, no one is listening.  You will find that we are not unfriendly, and we have open minds.  And we even have a sense of humour.  Witness our Premier.  And a great deal of respect for those that respect us and appear to be listening to our varied concerns.  As I said, join the conversation whenever you would like.  Let us know your views.  And we’ll exchange ideas.  Come up with solutions.  Agree to disagree, if that’s what it takes. That’s the beginning of good governance for us. 

    You’re lucky to be here.  We all are!

    Welcome to the island to you and your family.

    • Anonymous says:


      Sensible post in very many ways but there is a lot of idiotic, bigoted xenophobic (especially UK hating), homophobic stuff posted here which would give the Governor a terrible view of us in Cayman. Terrible and inaccurate, because the majority of us are not like that; just the work-shy I’m a Caymanian so I own the earth, don’t tell me what laws I must follow etc segment of our population. But then Barbados has those too so hopefully he will put things into perspective.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, speak to our latest Human Rights Commissioner, Rev. Sykes and find out what sort of governance Mac wants for Cayman.

      • Joe Average says:

        Let’s not go there shall we.  I like my Caymanian friends.  You know some people prefer not to work and complain, blame others, etc.  You will find those types almost anywhere.  What the new Governor needs to be exposed to are the vast majority of us who want to make this a fine place to live and work by participating in these forums.  Hey Governor.  You can remain anonymous.  As we can.  Although we feel want our voices heard for the same reason you’re here.  Good governance and an even hand.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is said "Mr. Taylor to focus on crime" – well Mr. Taylor, i would advise you start at the TOP!

      • Anonymous says:

        Did,nt Governot Jack start at the top and ended up leaving this island a hated person?

        Seems to me it would be better starting at the bottom of the ladder and see how high you can get.

        • Anonymous says:

          Governor Jack started at the top of the RCIPS. I believe the writer is suggesting the new Governor should start at the top of government, our elected officials. I would be my first suggestion anyway! XXX

  6. wake up! says:

    5 comments in, and it’s nice to see a positive flavour. I agree, while the man is new here, he has made a good start, and has to sustain it. I think that with this kind of attitude/plan, and a commissioner of police who really is STARTING to change the bad things, and will continue to do so with the support of the Governor, BUT far more important than this, is the support of us, the Cayman public, to assist these gentlemen, and all who are driven to assist, in their endeavours to make our community a safer and more pleasant place, in every aspect.

    Seize the opportunity Cayman, give these men the support they need, even when they have to make unpopular decisions, to further the cause of Cayman and bring our islands back to being a pleasant and near crime free environment. Enough of the local Vs. Expat B.S., we all live here, so let’s work together to make our home a better place.

    Before you criticise Baines, remember that he has only been here since June 1st 2009, and he has a MOUNTAIN of S**T to sort out, and the changes may not be readily apparent…

    Judge these men by their actions, but not only what you see as negative actions, but positive ones too….

  7. StillgoingStrong says:


    High crime argument means bringing more UK officers to support the Governor andthe UK’s hold upon us!  Also, an increased in the Police Service means more money Caymanians have to cough up in order to feed, clothe, and protect them for doing nothing!

    The high-crime argument, sounds valid, but nothing is being said about educating the young on "human nature, sex, addiction, drugs…" and having proper and effective rehabilitation centers.


    • Anonymous says:

      We need good police officers here, full-stop.  Once we fix the immediate crime problem, we can then focus on educating our youth.  Both are important, but the former is far more pressing.

  8. Whole population says:

    "He said he would also be getting out to the districts as soon as possible where he could hear directly the major concerns of the wider Caymanian public." 

    Dear Governor,

    Listen to the who population of Cayman not just the 50% orso who consider themselves Caymanian.  Some of the worst abuses and challenges to good governance lie in the treatment of the silenced 50% many of whom are British or Commonwealth citizens.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am very happy to have heard the things that the Governor said and I have totally changed my opinion of him in terms of what I felt we were getting into with him. I think he deserves a chance.

    Mr. Governor…if you are reading this.  I want you to know that we as a Caymanian people know that you are new here and we will give you the time to get yourself settled and we will put you to the test and give you a chance to do something right.  From your speech I feel that you have a good heart and I think you really do want to do good here.  So lets hope that you do.

    Welcome to the Cayman Islands and I wish the best for you and your family and I hope that you will be a good governor.  I am willing to give you a chance. I hope that others will too!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why did you have such a negative opinion of him in the first place and now feel that he "deserves a chance?"  You sound sort of close minded and I imagine as soon as he does anything to upset the "Caymanian people" that you’ll be back on the band wagon bashing him. 

      • Anonymous says:

        16:42 you are the one being negative you fool. At least that writer had the guts to stand up and admit he made a mistake and willing to give the Gov a chance.  You idiot

        • Anonymous says:

          ??.  You make no sense.  The initial writer came to their initial position before even hearing what the governer had to say – now that is immature, closed minded and idiotic.

          And wow, it sure takes guts to now "stand up and admit he made a mistake."  haha.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We get any more Focus we will get Eye strain mann! And just how much more money$$$$$$$$$ this is going to cost us poor natives aaaaaah  New Sheriff in town we still paying the bills sorry Cayman if i sound a bit pessimistic or sarcastic but we broke!!!!! mannn

  11. StillgoingStrong says:

    I hope he sees the connection between the economy and crime

    • Anonymous says:


      What is the connection? We’ve got a bunch of local druggy louts causing most of the crime. The so called economic problems have NOTHING to do with their crimes. Zilch. Nada. Zero. Don’t try to "dignify’ their criminal activity-it’s not for hunger.

  12. noname says:

    Thank GOD that the new Governor has decided to focus on crime. I pray that he will focus on all crime, including by those at the very top. Some of our worst crime is committed by those in powerful positions, at the very top. Let us hope he tackles ALL crime including those in powerful positions! Good luck Mr. Governor

  13. Cassava Cake says:

    Good Governance! hip hip hooray!

    Mac, from what it seems with the new boy on the block, he gonna put you in line! should be very interesting we need Mr Taylor!