Gangs share guns, says CoP

| 30/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island Headline News, Cayman gangs(CNS): The commissioner of police has described the firearms being used by local gangsters as communal and says the police believe the guns are being passed around and re-used. He admitted that while the police know which weapons are being used in which crimes, they are finding it difficult to recover those specific guns as the gang members hide them in different locations and pass them on to other members. Speaking at a press conference last week relating to the further escalating gang violence, David Baines said the police know quite a lot about the weapons and who is using them but the difficulty is securing evidence. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

“We are having difficulties and while we have got some weapons that have been recovered … they are not the prime weapons we are looking for. They are not the specific guns that are swapped, used and passed around gang members,” Baines said. “We do have intelligence that shows specific guns have been used for different shootings, in different circumstances. We are able to identify which is the common weapon and, of course, our challenge is to put that weapon into somebody’s hands.”

The commissioner stated that while he believed there are more than enough guns on the island, the weapons being used to kill people are a small number, shared among members and are of a particular nature.“ They are almost communal, they are accessible by gang members, they are passed around and not solely in the possession of any single gang member,” Baines added.

The issue of tracking and following the behaviour of the known gang members, the commissioner said, is the priority focus of the RCIPS. He said the police had considerable information and intelligence about the gang members and who is committing the crimes. The main problem, he explained, was getting the evidence to secure convictions.

Explaining what the police believe is the current situation with the gangs that are currently involved in the crime, he said the police know a lot about them and their criminal activity. The commissioner said two gangs have fallen out in West Bay and there are gangs in George Town that have connections with these West Bay gangs, as well as gang representation in the eastern districts.

“Often the gangs are a loose affiliation of criminal people that are engaged together in criminal enterprise,” the commissioner said. “They are engaged in drug shipments which have also been used as cover for firearms.” He added that the membership of the gangs shifted affiliation. Some people had been in every gang, depending on friendships and associations at a given time.

“What do we know about them? We know a lot about them. We know who the gang members are and we know who is responsible for the shootings because people tell us,” the commissioner declared. “But people telling us does not translate itself into evidence. We know who the main individuals are and have a picture of every one of those members, which drives the action of our officers.”

Baines explained that the police follow the main suspects around on a persistent basis. And while the known gang members are constantly stopped and searched in an effort to prevent them from engaging in criminality, the police were constantly frustrated by lack of evidence. He described a revolving door of suspects coming through the police system, but they were forced to release the individuals as they cannot be tied to specific crimes without forensic or eyewitness evidence.

The commissioner said the police would be making use of the gang legislation, part of the penal code which has been on the books for some five years but has never been used before. He said that police would be looking more closely at the law to see if it can help prevent the gangs from shooting each other. He said there was now a dedicated unit within the RCIPS which would be working on prosecuting people that the police could prove were gang members under that legislation.

“We are working closely with the legal department to make sure that we push the envelope in terms of useof evidence and interpretation of what is considered to be evidence of gang membership,” he added.

As a result, the police will continue the sweep up of suspected gang members to start to close down the level of violence perpetuated on a daily basis. While Baines promised to push the limits of the legislation he said they would not cross legal boundaries to jeopardize future prosecutions.


The Penal Code – the section on gang membership begins on page 79

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes I remember and the mother was never prosected and now sits receiving an enormous pension from the Government for her disservice to the community!

  2. more info says:

     and of those 120 positions, how many are Caymanians, who have mortgages, car payments, and families to feed? 

  3. Bobby Anonymous says:

    Why the thumbs down for 20:01??

    They are100% correct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thats whats got this Country screwed! Wake up and see the picture!!!!!

    The expats (majority) Spend, spend, spend!

    Anyone go to Camana Bay Country and Western gig on Saturday? 99% of people were EXPATS! They were there supporting the LOCAL bands!

    I’m not knocking locals but for god’s sake open your eye’s and smell the roses!

    This Island needs workpermit fees, without them, bye, bye immigration, etc, etc, and how many jobs!!AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    So the gangstas have ‘gone green’ eh? recycling the guns!! haha

  5. Anonymous says:

    If the hidden cost is not bad enough, in matter of approximately two years our rights as law abiding citizens has now being stolen from us.We are being collectively punish along with the criminals by the same people who’s ignorance and willful neglect has created this problem. In fact they have still refused to accept responsibility for this situation. Their only response is to Arm themselves and enhance their security arrangements. Most behave just like sociopaths.

  6. Anonymous says:


    Want to know where the root of this crime wave started? In the schools! One thing most of these young men all have in common is that they were not allowed to go to school with the rest of their peers. Instead they were sent behind the library to a crappy old building where they sat and did nothing all day. Without even thinking I can name 7 young men who were taken outof school because of their behavior and sent behind the library. Want to know where they are today? 4 are in northward awaiting a murder trial,  1 in northward on gun charges, 1 in northward for attempted murder and one is a murderer, but he just hasn’t been caught yet. There should be some type of military school for people like this. If the government dealt with this problem when it started the country probably wouldn’t be in the mess its in today.
    • Anonymous says:

      Why do people have this expectation that the government or schools should bear the responsibilities of parenting children?  It is truly disgusting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh!!!!!! Right! Now I know! These are probably the same kids that chased that poor Irish lad into the bush on Walkers Road several years ago. The ones that went after him with chains and their Rottweiler? Remember them? Beat the @!%! out of him. Can’t recall how long he was in hospital, but I do remember hearing that the mother of 2 of the boys (xxxx brothers) took them a change of clothing hoping that the lad would not be able to identify them.

      I believe the mother was a part of the police force at the time. Does anyone else remember this? It was kept on the down low. WAY down low

      • Night Flyer says:

        Yep, sure do remember it,didn’t know about the change of clothes though,how sickening is that?  What a horrifying ordeal that must of been, sick fools. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Recall the incident : horrific! Never heard of the change of clothes thing, though. I recognise the family. Where they ever made to pay damages to the poor fellow?

      • Caypolitics Truthseeker says:

        I remember the mugging of this poor soul. Shame on those ***holes!

        Does anyone know why the police don’t enforce the banned dog list? It doesn’t matter that there are arguments against such lists,  it is the law. My experience is that many Caymanian youths I see with dogs, are walking with obvious Pitbulls; and they are being bred. The Vets know this, the police must know this. Where is the enforcement? 

        With all due respect for the police, I suspect that many locals are outraged with the police clamping down on minor traffic violations while the public live in fear of serious crime.

        This is particularly the case in respect of speed limits, which appear to be largely arbitrary. It is OK to do 40 MPH up West Bay Road, with tourists wandering across the road, looking the wrong way, but in the remote area of Pease Bay, there is a 25 mile per hour limit, right to the point where it doubles, to a fifty mile per hour limit in the space of OK, zero feet.

        My  advice to our Police in dealing with this crime wave?

        Get back to enforcing antisocial crime, not criminalising the ordinary citizens by arresting them for minor speeding violations in non-built up areas (read South Sound).

        Ensure that any campaign against driving violations is spearheaded by the police leading by example (for instance, signaling in a roundabout).

        Review existing speed limits, stop signs, etc. with a view to making them align with what a cautious, safe driver would think as prudent, not as an opportunity to set "traps" for the public.

        I think the poster child for that has to be the stop sign for motorists entering Shamrock Road from Countryside. There is clear view for greater than 100 yards, and I don’t think I have ever witnessed anybody (police included) coming to a stop if there are not vehicles appoaching. That should clearly be a "Give Way" sign.

        My experience driving in North America and Europe is that  a cautious, experienced and defencive drivier finds that he is driving within the speed limit by default. Not so in Cayman, where arbritrary 25 mile per hour limits are placed on such locations as Bobby Thompson Way, where the unwary public are nabbed by the police on a routine basis.

        Personally, I am a very cautious driver, no accident in 25 years of driving in Cayman, and one speeding ticket about 15 years ago, so no axe to grind, I just think that under the present circumstances that the police could use all the support they can get!

        These suggestions may not help with our current round of criminal violence, but I suggest to the police that the public could and should be their greatest allies .


    • Anonymous says:

      The crime doesn’t start in the schools, it starts at home. Government can not be responsible for children’s behaviours, it is the parents who are and should be held responsible. If the parents would have nipped this in the butt when it first started, it may have never come to this either. If the parents couldn’t deal with it, what about the whole rest of the family, neighbours and friends? The problem is nobody wants to get involved anymore.

      Government can not always take the blame and pick up the responsibility and cost when parents can’t be bothered.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Penal code 231.(2)(b)(c) would also describe the Loyal Order of Masons….

  8. Anonymous says:

    So I listened to Mr. Baines speak today about bringing in some "extra" help, and I have no problem with that. 

    What I fail to understand is why the heck he is bringing in UK cops again? Hasn’t this type of policing failed several times already, must history repeat itself?

    Why not bring in some retired police from North America (where they have REAL gangs), possibly from Miami.  Give them a decent salary, no housing allowances like he wants for his UK cronies, and tell them they have one year to train CAYMANIANS (not anyone else), and at the end if they successfully train a Caymanian they get a bonus.  I know for fact that retired officers would jump at this change to help train, and add some extra cash to their pockets in retirement. 

    Get over the UK type policing it DOESN’T work!

    Cayman is currently on track for the highest homicide rate per 1,000 people and just isn’t understanding how dire the situation is at this point.  It is what is called a tipping point (read the book, its a good read).

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right, so I am not sure what the thumbs down means.  Maybe it means that people enjoy seeing the country go to shambles and actually think the UK is helping the country.  In many ways, it is the sheep beeing lead off the cliff while smiling.  Caymanians love the UK, even though anything the UK has brough has been nothing but heartache (PMSL, PMFL, Policing, Soon to be Taxes).



    • Anonymous says:

      Quite puzzling, the thumbs down. Excellent suggestion to bring in retired experts from the US, in my opinion, at least. (We’d probably recognize a few of them from 48 hours etc!)

      • Anonymous says:

        We have alot of UK people here and the UK cops never prosecute them.  They commit crimes and nothing happens, I am told.

  9. Anonymous says:

    i can imagine the frustration of the RCIP with the lack of cooperation.

    a start would be to name the individuals  / suspects  in the news and also the names of their parents , if they do not co-operate.

    if they cooperate, only the individuals names are mentioned

    to long we have have families covering up the truth.

    This may help them decide to come out and let the RCIP know when thie children are invilved in criminal activity.

  10. Caymanian 2 D Bone & Proud of It says:

    To Guns, Murder & Rollover- DONT LET THE DOOR CATCHA ON THE WAY OUT, we need you as much as you need us,  we Caymanians made after IVAN remember it took us back to the old days and we made it we didn’t up and run away, it sad to say that the beautiful islands we call home has now caught up in time with the rest of the world.

    • Caymanian 2 da Bone says:

      Realli I know many Caymanians who ran away to family in the States and many many expats who stayed.

      If you were here after Ivan though you would have known that, but obviuosly you did let the door hit you on your way out when you fled

      Shame on you

  11. Anonymous says:

    I was born and raised in Toronto and while the city is one of the safest in North America if you think for a minute that when you get there you will not have to deal with Guns and Murders you are sadly mistaken!!! The only thing you will escape is rollover.

    It is time for people who love this island, foreigner and local alike, to take this matter in hand and come together as a community.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that there is obviously still gun crimes wherever you go in the world. The difference is that here in Cayman it is much more close. In big cities there are whole areas you would avoid at night (and some in the day) and this is where the majority of the violence happens. Cayman is so small that we live and work very close to all these shooting hot spots. The latest shootings are happening in public places during the day or early evening in shops and garages etc, not just in dingy nightclubs and backalleys in the dead of night.

      That is the difference. Also statistically I am much much less likely to get shot in most big cities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Toronto is in Canada not America retard

      CNS: Here’s a map of the continents. Canada is part of North America. So is the USA. (Never let it be said that CNS is not educational.)

      • Carl the Canuck says:

        Thanks CNS, but after enough Canadians told other Canadians about how beautiful it is in the Caribbean (Cayman specifically), we’ve decided to migrate Canada down to your neighbourhood. 

        Presuming we get the environmental permits, Canada will be moved to the Eastern Caribbean and attached by a land bridge to Suriname (between French Guiana to the east and Guyana to the west).

        That will be so much better than being in NORTH AMERICA, though we’ll miss our American neighbours for sure, eh?

        Look forward to seeing you at our new beach.

  12. Twyla Vargas says:

    Have you or anyone of your 120 mentioned people been threatened by anyone here?    If the answer is yes, have you reported it to the police.   If the answer is no, then I would kindly ask you to please refrain from those statements, because you make it sound like we will die here if you leave.  It wont happen, because what is garbage to you, maybe treasure for someone else.  So please I beg you stop trying to call a bluff on us.  Obviously no one has done you or your asoiciates any harm, so the proper thing to do is stay here and fight for the place that has been putting bread on your table all this time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    "My own person view, There has hitherto been no charges preferred under the legislation, the said proscribed activities"

    WTF areyou talking about ?

    My own person view of course.

  14. Anonymous says:

    That shows a limited number of guns certainly which is why the prevention of smuggling firearms into the country needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


    Bring in a gun go to jail, trace the purchase of said firearms in the States using serial numbers and arrest buyers as well.

    Let everyone know who touches a firearm they are risking jail.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Baines congrats to you and your officers for all the hard work you have put in for the last few days, the only problem isee is that these guys are going to get bail and be on our streets again shortly and we will be having this dicussion again in the next few weeks if not sooner.

    I completely understand that you want to follow the book with reagrds to this and of course these guys Human Rights, well guess what i don’t, personally i think we need to get one or two of these guys and try a little water boarding (Yes, it’s me Mr. Dick Cheney) a complete harmless way in getting info. Towel over the face and a little water, whats wrong wth that? nothing if we can get the guns of the streets, Sorry Mr Coles but it’s time for you and your committee to B>>er off for a few days. When you come back and all the guns are off the street we then can discuss these guys rights, like should we send them on a boat with no water? or make them all wear thongs in NW ( hey now that’s a good one) NEW Northward Prison uniform: PINK THONG, Pink Net T-shirt and lovely pink slippers. I’m sure all these gangster would be happy to wear this stuff.


  16. Anonymous says:

    You don’t make much sense. Are you saying that if nobody would have been subject to rollover the crime wouldn’t have been an issue?

    The reason why there probably has been  hesitation by so many people tostand behind the permanent residency issues which eventually lead to Caymanian Status is because for exactly that reason – when things get hard those status holders all move on. One minute they want to be a Caymanian, next minute when things go south not so much anymore. Ivan was a good example!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Richard Wadd, they know everything !! 100%

  18. Anonymous says:

    The hidden cost will put us in further serious debt no doubt and all for a pinch of prevention Those people in Government & Political positions who are responsible for this dire situation need to be identified named and shamed and deprive of any and all benefits and if still employed fired from ever holding any kind of job. We all know who they are running around at various parties as if they have done the country a good service. I say shame shame shame on you Cayman for letting them get away with it. The audacity of some who are now giving advice can  you imagine, how despicable can you get.

  19. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     I can see "action" from the RCIP and the commissioner. I must respectfully say that there are not a few guns…..there are far to many guns…legal and illegal. Action and pressure on the importation of legal and illegal guns is a must IMHO. As a note until more witnesses come forward these criminals will ruin your districts. Unfortunately it is MHO that the environment of retaliation has been instilled by some of our leaders and obviously it has trickled down to the every day man or woman. So when the elected members finally shun intimidation and retaliation just maybe the next generation will have a different attitude about speaking out to authority…

  20. The Beagle says:

    We’re already in Canada.  On one hand our people are paying tax now, but on the other we can all go out, gas up our cars and go out to supper without catching bullet-holes.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Guns, Murders, Rollover from a country that is the size of a small North American city.  This is why our Fund Admin company is planning to move it’s 120 people/jobs to Toronto, Halifax and Dublin. This will mean 120 empty apts, rentals and houses. It will mean 155 less people purchasing food and services on Island.

    Come soon?  No more.

    • Anonymous says:

      look on the good side — you 155  will now help your "own" country and a Caymanian won’t miss the job he never had and on the flip side… Mt.Thrashmore will have less contributors, also the other drains on the islands’ infrastructure will experience some relief.  Cayman has grown too fast to its detriment… too much development – for whose benefit? most of the developers are not Caymanian and the workers are immigrants, some of whom are criminals and who don’t have any regard for our environment. Hope they all leave. They didn’t come here for the benefit of Cayman or Caymanians.  Our public schools are an overcrowded mess with immigrants.  In the last 20 yrs who have committed most of the murders? We all know from where they came or their parents – same mentality – check out the crime in their homeland.

      I say, if you are not Caymanian (I am – to da bone), that is, you have somewhere else you call home, be grateful for what you earned so far and now please leave.  Caymanians will survive.  We’re overcrowded and suffocating!!


  22. Sir Henry Morgan says:

    Atleast their mothers taught them how to share! =)

  23. Nicola Moore says:

    My own person view is that th gang related provisions in the Penal Code are fraught with prosecutorial difficulties.  There has hitherto been no charges preferred under the legislation.  The drafting, in my view, is such that it will make it virtually impossible to prosecute because the "gangs" in this jurisdiction do not necessarily wear badges of identification by way of tattoos, dress codes and the like.  The activity is much more loosely defined than some of the more organised gangs in the US.   The definition of a gang under the Penal Code requires the proving, beyond reasonable doubt, that the primary activities of the group are

    This leads to an interesting legal conundrum as to whether the there needs to have been a conviction for the said proscribed activities in order to prove commission of the gang offence or series of offences. If not then will the court in deciding whether the person is a member of a gang, simply hear the evidence of the activities and decide whether that amounts to guilt of such offences and then go onto to consider whether the primary activities of the group itself are so constituted. The question then arises as follows; if the prosecuting authorities had sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt offences under the Drugs law or indictable offences then why were the individuals not so charged? Herein is another question. Should the person be charged with both the substantive indictable/ drug offence as well as the gang offence or is sufficient to charge the gang offence simpliciter. My experience tells me that this legislation is in need of some creative amendment if it is going to prove effective as an alternative to charging the small number of criminals on this island with the substantive gun or homicide/ offence against the person offences. The real issue is the fact that individuals in the community must take responsibility for their civic duties. If they can usefully provide evidence then they must step up to the mark and give witness statements to the police and give evidence at trial. Jurors must not be afraid to convict where the evidence makes them sure and they should put all prejudices and preconceptions aside the second they take the jurors oath. Unless this happens the conspiracy of silence will continue to permit a small group of ill-educated lawless scum to affect the quality of life of all on this island. They will continue to be invincible and unaccountable. My own person view of course.

    (a) the commission of an indictable offence, or an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Law (2000 Revision), for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for three years or more; AND

    (b) any or all of the members of which engage in or have, within the preceding three years, engaged in the commission of a series of such offences;

    • Nicola Moore says:

      In answer to the poster who asked "WTF" which I assume to be the vernacular for what are you talking about.  Unfortunately a glitch failed to properly record the document I was trying to post.  The subparagraphs which appear at the end of my post should have appeared at the end of the first paragraph.  Thus it would have made sense that I was talking about.  I was having a general muse about the general legal interpretation of gang provisions in the Penal Code.  Additionally it should have read "personal" not "person".  Typos may well be inevitable at times. 

      I agree with the subsequent poster that the provisions might describe the Masonic groups however I suspect that the primary activitiesof such a group are the commission of indictable offences or indeed offences under the Misuse of Drugs law and hence they would be unlikely to fall foul of the legislation.  I am guessing however that this was merely a slightly ironic wink at the legislation’s perils!

  24. West Bayer says:

    Infiltrate them!!!

    Send in undercover agent(s) or turncoats, pay them a hefty sum of money (1million minimum) and let the gang members GO CRAZY with confusion as to who is a snitch and who isn’t!! Just as long as we get names and information provided that will lead to convictions, it will be worth every penny. And if we can pay more than this on foolishness like Tempura, then this should be nothing!

    If the law negotiates with the right person to do the job, we WILL find that brave soul!! (After all, being IN a gang is already like playing ‘russian roulette’!!)

    Yes, I know this might sound extreme, but it makes alot more sense than waiting another decade for a PRISON to be built on the 12 mile bank!!! (lol)

    Right now a win for RCIP is a win for us!! So let’s start thinking outside the box.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I would like to go on record and commend the Police for their actions. Well done to the RCIP.

    • MonkeySee says:

      going on record would mean putting your name….

    • Other Side of the Coin says:

      I agree. Good work RCIPS!! It must have been very difficult to keep quiet in the face of such a massive public outcry and all the controversy over the past few months. You were busy underground gathering intelligence. Perhaps we should be eating a bit of humble pie……..

      ‘Tis often a dangerous and thank-less job. This information gives us hope. I know there is still much to do so I wish to encourage rather than discourage……. RCIPS keep up the good work!!

    • Canada Hockey! says:

      Is it technically going on record if you’re anonymous??? – regardless, great job RCIP!

  26. Anonymous says:

    gangs also share ignorance, beds, STDs…they are really quite giving…

  27. Anonymous says:

    Mr.Commissioner the Guns you have seized could also kill someone at some point, so seizing them was a good move and now you are looking for the Guns they used to kill people with and you know what type of Guns they are using but you are lacking evidence, what? You all need to get them guns off the street and brake down the known criminals doors and do a search since you said you know of 15 that doing these killings. I don’t see any need for more evidence for they are known criminals and ask for the where about of their guns and plus you have five in custody, all need to be done is interrogate them for information and they would more and likely lead you to the other members and if not interrogate them harder they would have to speak one way or the other and by that you would find those guns easier.

  28. Richard Wadd says:

    "Hey man, since we are at War, I need to borrow a gun so I can shoot you".

     What a load-of-crock !

    How stupid do you think we are Baines? There are hundreds of illegal firearms on this island, and the only reason that the shootings aren’t worse, is there is a chronic shortage of ammunition. 

    Start getting the ‘Crack-heads’ to inform, they would sell-out their mothers for a hit. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt any court would admit a known crackhead as a prosecution witness, but many of those crackheads have relatives that would qualify if they knew more.

    • Anonymous says:

      If we are going to start calling people stupid, perhaps you might consider taking a long hard look in the mirror.

      When the Commissioner says that the police know that the same guns are being used by different people in these crimes, it is because forensic evidence (i.e. the bullets/bullet fragments) can be used to identify individual firearms – by which process it is possible to tell if two or more bullets, used in different crimes, have been discharged from the same firearm.

      Basic as the RCIPS is, I think you’ll find that this Commissioner is a professional man who does not pluck figures out of the air.

      As for those that ask why we are not told if the ’15 Triggermen’ the Commissioner talked about have been arrested – if the Commissioner came on TV or held a press conference and said that the men who had been arrested in this last spate of killings were members of that fifteen, then there would be a very strong argument that such a statement had destroyed any chance of an impartial/fair trial, because any juror member could say ‘the Commissioner said he was one of the bad guys, so he must have done something – he’s guilty’ The defendant’s lawyer would immediately kick up a fuss, and that would be the end of the prosecution, with the accused walking free.

      Rather than constantly criticising, it’s about time people like you get out there and tell the police what they know. Unless we start acting as a community Cayman does not stand a chance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical Cayman, you can never get the refills.

  29. Anonymous says:

    It is about time that we deal with the gang members , beginning from the schools. Parents need to be held accountable for their kids. You can be poor but have discipline. This generation that we have now inherited can almost be forgotten but for Gods sake the others that are coming up lets all work with them. Its pretty easy to get to all the older gang members as they sit around on vacant propertys along road sides etc etc while police cars pass them by. Just dont wait until they have comitted henious crimes before they have to be chased down. Use the full length of the law to have them arrested if they are a gang member. The public know their hang outs. Then school teachers can identify the kids at school who are gang members and they too should be dealt with by law. In fact Eagle House seem to have even more serious criminals. If the law dosent give sufficient power to deal with the youth and also the adults then my God lets create some new and strenious laws. PREVENTION IS EASIER THAN CURE.