CoP backs vests but not spray

| 20/10/2011

(CNS): Although the police commissioner has backed moves to allow security guards to wear bullet proof vests, carry an approved model of baton, on the condition that staff are properly trained and to use handcuffs the country’s top cop has not yet offered his support for changes to the law to allow guards and the public at large to carry pepper sprays. David Baines confirmed that he had already agreed to the equipping of trained security staff with more protective gear but the commissioner has not engaged in discussions with legislators regarding changing the legislation to allow guards or the public to carry pepper spray and chemical sprays still remain prohibited weapons. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The country’s parliament has voted to begin drafting amendments to the firearms law, the penal code and other laws that may be affected to allow security personnel and the general public to have pepper spray as a means of self-defence, but the commissioner has not yet revealed where he stands on the issue as he acknowledged it was now up for wider debate as part of the ongoing legislative process.

Despite the vote in the Legislative Assembly earlier this month Baines has not yet commented on the proposed changes to the law to create a firearms authority either. This will see the commissioner share the decision over who gets a firearm’s license with at least three justices of the peace and the president of the local gun club.

With government now tasked with changing the legislation the commissioner’s support for the amendments will be required to ensure they reach the floor of the islands parliament.  While the democratically elected members have supported the three private members motions, brought by the opposition andamended during the course of debate, to legalize pepper spray and change the way firearms license are allocated, the relevant laws still fall under the governor’s areas of responsibilities and could still be stalled.

Depending on the opinion of the commissioner as well as the wider public opinion as an area falling under the portfolio of internal and external affairs the will of the elected officials could still be circumvented.

The commissioner has made it clear that he disapproves of private firearms ownership and previous efforts by the independent member from North Side, Ezzard Miller, to introduce a board or authority to decide on firearms license was rejected by the deputy governor in February last year.


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  1. Civil Servant says:

    so security gaurds can wear bullet proof vests and carry batons but it's illegal for Marine Enforcement Officers from the DoE to carry these items???? XXXX

    • Judean People's Front says:

      Follow the Gaurd!

      • listener says:

        what does that even mean?

        • X Pat says:

          It's an oblique reference to a scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian – making fun of the misspelling of "guard" above, but it doesn't work very well as "gaurd" still isn't "gourd" which is what the scene refers too………as any fule no…..;-}

    • listener says:

      Evil Bean has us by the balls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    XXXX Let's see, criminals already have guns that are illegal to have, robberies, shootings, murders and assorted other crimes are happening at an alarming rate and he doesn't think the general public has the right to protect themselves. Pepper spray doesn't permanently maim anyone and allows a person to get away before they are abducted, shot, robbed, raped, etc. I hope nothing ever happens to his female family members and he discovers they could have gotten away if they had been able to pepper spray their attackers in the face.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let's not kid ourselves, many of these security guards have little training.   

  4. Anonymous says:

    What is the difference between an immigration officer equipped with pepper spray and a properly trained guard? I always wondered that…. Havent ever seen an immigration needing to use it after all the people theu deal with are rather intimidated already by their numbers… Just sayin…. Compared to a lone gaurd working by himself all day.. Or night…

    • truth says:

      The difference is an immigration officer is Caymanian and works for Civil service (government).  A properly trained guard working in the private sector has the same backing as anyone else in the private sector.   NONE.

      The difference is huge.  Like day and night.  Get used to it or you can always leave "My" island before your rolled over anyway.  Why?  Because you are not Caymanian and you don't work for the Civil welfare service.  This is the spirit or soul of Cayman.  Hope this answers your question.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable! I suggested, as a serving officer, to bring security guards and door staff in on our officer safety training in 2007, but was told it would 'undermine our advantage' at incidents? What? Complete bunch of baffoons running this police farce (yes, with an 'a'). This is self abuse Cayman, and you're allowing it. The dictators and despots are falling one by one around the world, and you deserve the same level of integrity and honour. What a joke. Put them all in a drain pipe and call in the French Air Force.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What else is new?? He doesn't want the people to protect themselves.  We are at the mercy of the police protection….we are screwed!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please, Mr. Baines, allow us to carry pepper-spray if we desire.

    Otherwise, if your current endorsements are the only changes made, for me to provide a legal means of protecting myself, friends, family and home is to hire a guard that wears a bullet-proof vest, carries a baton and knows how to handcuff someone, to stand in front of my house and escort me wherever I go in Cayman.

    Imagine that for a second.  Everyone, save the hired guard (which every one I have seen is a permit holder, but that is a different topic altogether), has a body guard with them 24-hours a day.  When I meet family at the airport, I have a guard…and so does everyone else.  What a lovely first impression.

    Logic, reason and decency all point towards allowing the legal possession of pepper-spray.  As posts on others related articles have stated, pepper-spray is commonly available in the US and considered an inexpensive non-lethal means of reasonable protection.  Note also, not everyone in the US has a bodyguard. 

    If pepper-spray remains illegal after this current discussion at the legislative level, we must all ask ourselves after every future robbery, home invasion, car-jacking, rape, murder, etc…Could this have been prevented if the victim(s) were able to legally defend themselves with pepper-spray?  Do we really want that doubt?

    Again, Mr. Baines, please endorse legalizing the possession of pepper-spray.

    • Anonymous says:


      You are pleading to a man who has apparently taken away the privilege of officers being issued pepper spray as a part of their kit. They now have to return it when they leave work. So much for officers being on duty 24-7. The general public will now be able to carry pepper spray more than Police officers.

      They used to, but I wonder why officers never get involved in any crime detection/deterrent when they are off duty anymore? Wonder why the morale in the RCIPS is at an all time low? Wonder why they dont do a follow up survey to see if the public confidence has reached negative numbers yet?

      Heck, with all the wonders in the Land just call me Alice! 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hell will freeze over and I do not mean in West Bay only before the Governer and Baines gives up the Authority on who can bear arms. He doesnot want anyone but a few select Officers to carry a firearm and only allows this as he would appear to have zero authority as a CoP against violent crime. He is giving a taste of the meal so that with his resistance to giving up his shielding of peperspray and his sole power to issue a Firearms licence he will think he is looking reasonable. He will never back any real means of self defense for the community. No matter how poor his charge is, like the recent sloppy evidence handling that just once again got a case dismissed. See the Cayman Compass for that one today. He has proven as a Police Service that the amount  of armed Police Officers or USG and by him increasing that by a few dozen has not nor can not nor will not protect the public to a level that is below standard let alone to an acceaptable standard. They have not apprehendend one suspect during an armed robbery. We a sheep being led to a slaughter. As a community you cannot protect yourself nor your home, you have a failed Police service that will block any reasonable means of protecting oneself.  The RCIP should all be armed with firearms. Full stop. If we as a community cannot protect ourselves then those charged better as we are being overran by lawlessness on both sides. It is a deleriction of his duties the way in which he has executes his Office of CoP.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    If the Commissioner was a woman he would know what it feels like to walk to a car park and be fearful that someone, most likely a man, is going to attack you. I am a professional worman, and I am so scared just going to my car in the car park of the grocery store. This has been the case ever since the death of Estella.

    Politicians, please do not allow the Commissioner to have his way with this. Hope Miss Julie stand up for the many women out there who are scared to death of being harmed when not in the presence of a man.

    For those MLAs who are men, then think of your unarmed wives being the victim of some vicious , dangerous criminal who has a gun, and she who has nothing to defend herself.

    As vulnerable women of this society, we need  someone to stand up, and allow us to, at the very least,legally carry pepper spray!

    When another one of us is dead and gone as a result of some senseless crime, as politicians, it will be too late to mourn yet another unarmed female victim.

    • Anonymous says:

      Frankly, if you are scared to park at the grocery store, and suspect every man, then you need therapy not pepper spray.

      • Anonymous says:

        you forget that two women have disappeared without a trace within the past year.  We have no idea what happened to them. For all we know, we could have a serial killer amongst us.  Any one who is not afraid because of the way things are going around here is not very bright.  I am nervous too and it has made me much more aware of my surroundings, who is around and yes, if I see a man in our parking garage who I do not recognise, I am afraid too.  There are many incidents which go unreported here including attacks and rapes.  I would feel much safer if I could carry pepper spray or a handgun – and I never thought I would feel this way in Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          Please stop with the serial killer nonsense. The last thing we need is hysteria. It is pretty clear that each case had its own set of circumstances and these were not random.

        • Anonymous says:

          I do not believe in a cereal killer, but I hope you don’t shoot me for eating Cornflakes in the parking lot on the way to work.

        • Anonymous says:

          Next time you are at the supermarket, pick up a can of wasp spray.  It will do the same job as pepper spray.  It will spray up to 25 feet and give you a chance to get away. 

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe, maybe not.

            Consider that in those opening milliseconds of perceived conflict, you would need to draw this giant canister, calm your nerves, and direct a perfect bullseye stream into your victim's eyes, knowing that failing this shot you risk serious retaliatory injuries or even death.  You've just upped the stakes considerably, whether or not there is any disabling effect – which there may not be (Search: Wasp Spray on Snopes and Urban Legends)

            Then again, perhaps you score that perfect one-in-a-million hit and he goes down…and dies…only it turns out he's that nice new neighbour you didn't recognize and all he wanted to do was help with your groceries.  At the grocery store In Cayman you are still far more likely to encounter than nice friendly neighbour than some random hell-bent serial killer.  


        • Anonymous says:

          Would you feel any safer in similar places back home?  I for one feel safer here than in my home country despite what's been going on.  I live on my own and out of town and I have no fear, nor will I let me life be ruled by fear/paranoia just because of criminal activities on-island.

          x Female ExPat

  10. Please says:

    Oh please!!

    Does it make sense to provide security guards with guns and/or pepper sprays when the police can't? 

  11. The Prophet says:

    16:01 not really.  There is too much corruption.  They may sell the pepper spray and then say that theylost them.  If they could do the same with the vest they would do that too.  One of these days I do hope the authority know what is really taking place in Cayman.  But the prophet says keep your ears to the ground.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'm a female and let me tell you something I had a knife to protect myself inder 6 inches and they had to take that away and now he want to give his 2 cents about pepperspray…Let me tell you this To the Premier, Commissioner & GOV: We dnt give a Sh*t what you approve from what you dont from my eyes you dont do sh*t to protect US ANYWAY ok BOBO! SO WE ARE GOING TO PROTECT OURSELVES HOW WE SEE IT!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I'm still undecided about the pepper spray issue. I can see its benefit as a self defence tool but can also see the criminals using it on unsuspecting victims to rob them, or worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      The same could be said about almost anything. For example, I'm not sure the public should be allowed to own and drive cars because cars can be as getaway vehicles in bank robberies.

      Get a grip. People must have the right to protect themselves.

      • Cliche says:

        If you believe this then move to the US where it is legal and stop trying to change Cayman

        and don't let the door hit you on the way out

    • Anonymous says:

      There could be some kind of control written in the Law, whereby,  each individual who wants to carry the protection apply to a board for approval to carry pepper spray. A data base, just like the one for  legal gun use, could be maintained.

      The individual approved should have to seek further approbal yearly.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are already pulling guns and shooting people in the face; I don't see them trading in the guns and knives for pepper spray anytime soon.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, they are using guns now. However, if you assault or rob someone with pepper spray and get caught, I'll bet the punishment is a lot less severe than if you were caught doing it with a gun. I'm sure there are some criminals who would trade in their guns because of that.

    • Anonymous says:

      I've been pepper sprayed before… it was not pleasant. But please if any criminals read this, I beg you pepper spray me if you want to rob me instead of shooting me. I'll be pissed that you robbed me but I'll be forever grateful to not be crippled for life\\dead.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This scenario truly puts the democratic process to the test, now doesn't it ?

    The elected members of Cayman's Parliament (Legislative Assembly), both Government and Opposition, have agreed to change and amend the laws in this regard…

    If the British Governor and Commissioner of Police, who both represent the power of the Crown and the UK Government blocks these amendments…

    Does that not represent British dictatorship in Cayman ?

    After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander; there are no degrees of democracy or dictatorship…

    Its either one or the other

    • Anonymous says:

      What are we going to protect ourselves with?  Let Baines dictate to us what we need to protect ourselves!  I dont think so.  Anyone how comes to my place of abode, who happens to be an uninvited guess will be up for a big surprise.  Right now, in my district, there is an nusiance/criminal reeking havock in neighbourhoods, everyday and night and he is left to roam and steal.   Does Baines think that everybody is going to lie down and play dead?  Well, he will understand that people need some form of protection for aggressive invaders.

    • Anonymous says:

      16.01 You truly has missed out here.  We are BBT citizens. Does that not answer you question in regardsto the Commissioner of Police and the Governor.