GT top cop asks community to give offenders a chance

| 13/08/2013

(CNS): With the issue of recidivism a major contributing factor to crime levels on Grand Cayman, the commander of George Town police station has called on the community to give offenders a second chance to try and help them turn away from crime. During a community meeting on Saturday with a group of residents who were clearly concerned about crime, both Angelique Howell and the new head of the burglary unit, Detective Sergeant Sean Bryan, spoke about habitual offenders and the need to find work for people so that they don’t resort to crime to make ends meet.  

As well as fighting and preventing crime, DS Bryan said that the department was also keen to work with other agencies to try and get some of the repeat offenders who are responsible for a lot of low level crime help and steer them away from theft as a means of survival.

With frustrations running high among residents, who said they were repeatedly victims of crimes, the attendees at the first of a series of police community meetings were more concerned about seeing petty criminals taken off the street and locked up, regardless of the offence, than helping them.

Nevertheless, CI Angelique Howell, commander of George Town police station, pressed ahead with the point that locking up low level criminals who have drug dependency, alcohol or mental health problems was not necessarily the answer.

Using those going through drug court as an example, she said that they needed work to stay clean and straight .

The senior officer said that it was a vicious circle for many because even when they tried to go straight no one wanted to give them a chance, so it was no surprise they reverted back to their old ways.

“We are asking people in the community who can to consider taking these people on and giving them a chance as it may help them change their ways,” she said. CI Howell said she knew that some people do try and sometimes the offenders do let them down but they were not all bad.

“We can’t give up on this people, otherwise we will always be dealing with the problem. Some can’t help themselves and we need to help them. They are not all as bad as you think,” she said, as she called on the residents to give people a chance.

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  1. Nathan Bedford Forrest says:

    Why would i give ex cons a chance when there are plenty of people who have gotten educated and stayed out of trouble who need a chance at life?? 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Considering the very limited employment opportunities in this country right now, do you really think it is right to suggest that a business owner has some obligation to hire a convicted criminal when there are law abiding citizens looking for work?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Recidivism has more to do with a genetic predisposition to criminality than anything else.  Leopards very very very rarely change their spots.

  4. M Ployer says:

    I will leave this to others in the community.  I am not taking any risks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The police here are just fashion police. I'm not sure they understand what policing really is. The higher ranks knows more about policing but teh lower ranks we are seeing are just fashion police. At least most of them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Practice what you preech.  Why doesn't government hire some of these so called repeat offenders???? RCIPS, Customs, Immigration DOE DER I am sure there are many openings….

    • anonymous says:

      I thought the Customs had.

    • Anonymous says:

      'many openings'? do you see many being advertised? The Service is constantly being called on to cut back – I'll leave it to others to argue ad nauseum whether it is or not – and you want them to hire more? Make up una mind.


      That having been said, you'll notice that PWD, NRA, DoEH all have a number of ex-cons working with them. The first three departments you suggest makes me think, however, that you're just being silly instead of trying to be constructive.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect until RCIPS proves it is serious about catching and prosecuting offenders in general (particularly housebreakers, gangs, gun crime) that to ask the public to be serious about assisting to rehabilitiate offenders is going to fall on deaf ears. Only when trust has been built in criminal justice can we talk about schemes to reintegrate offenders into society and break the vicious circle of crime. Plus, in times when there are calls for the unemployed 2000 (or unemployable depending on your view) to be "given jobs", offenders are going to rank lower on the employment scale than may be not fair, but it is the way it is.

      The idea to rehabilitate is correct, the timing is completely out.

    • Anonymous says:

      But wait – perhaps we do have some offenders on the force! Oh nevermind!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Howell – do you mind at least helping to deport the foreign "petty" criminals we have so that we can concentrate on rehabilitating those we truly have to?

    And stop giving excuses. When the police give the impression to victims that what happened to them is "petty" then  we are all screwed. If someone hits me, breaks my window, or steals my radio – there is nothing petty about it.

    What message are you trying to send?

    • Anonymous says:

      When the police cant catch them even when we tell them who, they say excuse seeing them on the streets because they need a chance to rehab! lmao