Tackling crime must be government’s priority

| 28/08/2013

As indicated during the elections earlier this year, the majority in this country has high hopes that the current government will be able to put the Cayman Islands back on the right track. Certainly, this will not happen overnight; however, it is crucial that the people of this country are seeing actions within the first year in order to not lose faith. Considering the headlines in regards to the home invasion which occurred in Savannah, it is now beyond obvious what the new government’s priorities must be. 

We have now come to a point where we can’t wait any longer for the ever increasing crime rate to magically decrease. Fluffed up statistics of decrease in crime are just that – fluff! We know that a lot of robberies, break-ins, thefts etc are going unreported. IF they are reported to the police, then many of them will not be reported in the local news. There is no police presence EVER on the streets and I can’t recall the last time I have witnessed police having pulled someone over for speeding, tinted windows, dangerous driving, etc. A 16-year-old visitor to Grand Cayman recently said this: “Wow, I guess you all must not be worried about police around here considering how everyone is speeding!”

When we think about the amount of money that is annually spent on the RCIPS and Legal Department, the return we get for this money is, to say the least, pathetic. If a company would be run in that way, they would have had to close their doors many years ago.

We are now living in a country where a large amount of businesses must have security guards. Even at the hair salon I go to, I now have to press a buzzer so they can let me in as the door is locked for fear of robbery. More and more developments want to install security gates. (BTW – they are useless! Just ask one of the gated developments where recently some 20 cars were broken into in one night!)

I am sure many of us can give account of having been victim of crime or having witnessed offenses being committed. Before you ask whether people have reported those crimes or offenses – yes, many people have but there are too many accounts of how a large chunk of those reports were ignored, disregarded or not dealt with in a professional or efficient manner. Before you tell me that the RCIPS can’t battle crime without the support of the community, I would like to hear for a change what it is RCIPS can do, rather than always hearing or reading about what they can’t do.

The first priority must be to get crime under control and the new governor must be made aware accordingly, since the governor is ultimately responsible for the RCIPS. The RCIPS, along with the Legal Department, must be cleaned out as needs be. The people who were hired based on their “qualifications” and “expertise” must deliver or get out. When cleaning house, don’t work your way from the bottom up, work your way from the top down! There is no more time for creating committees and compiling statistics. Talks about the cruise ship docks are in vain if we have to worry that the tourists will be mugged when strolling along the beach.

Preventative measures must be put in place to discourage crime to begin with. The constant knee-jerk reactions and band-aid applications are getting as nowhere. HMP Northward must be run like a prison and not like a hotel where the prisoners can have funky hairstyles and wear shades, have access to areas where they shouldn’t be and where contraband is smuggled on a regular basis. What better way to demonstrate that the police mean business than by being out on the roads and enforcing the traffic laws every day? Court cases must be moved along and a trial should not go on for two plus years to be completed. If someone is charged with a crime, it shouldn’t take a year before the case is processed in the courts.

We need to see the RCIPS and Legal Department doing their job so we can all live once again in a country where daily law and order prevails and where it is demonstrated that crime does not pay. At the moment, it is the ones who are following the laws and regulations, the ones who earn an honest living who are made to feel like fools and the criminals are having a good laugh.

Dear elected MLAs and ministers, as Van Morrison said in one of his songs, “There is no past, there is only future, there is only here, there is only now!” Don’t focus on the past and what the previous administrations have done or not done. Focus on the now and the future and let us see that you meant what you said during your election campaigns. We put our trust in you, don’t let us down!

What business can be more important than to ensure the safety of the residents and visitors of the Cayman Islands?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I love how a corrupt government needs to investigate crime better. Just open up the books at any government department, even higher education, and you will find the pit of greed, corruption, and malfeasance staring you strait in the face, laughing at you and  teaching you a lesson by repeating the patronizing phrase "do you know where you are." Ans so  blessing from the top is given to criminals to carry on business as usual.

    The only way out of this mess is for the UK to bring in an army of under cover agents to each department and fetter the trash at the top along with thier relgious cohorts who are the real instigators and enablers of crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully not Tempura class investigators. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Its like UCCI hosting a conference on corruption. Me thinks they doth hold to many conferances on corruption.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have spent more than 20 years in law enforcement and I have always said that Police cannot prevent crime; they can defer it or deter it, but they cannot prevent it.  Outside of some form of disorder affecting a person, crime occurs mainly when society on the whole loses its values and pride.  Check it out, our current criminals were groomed in homes where values were non existent and crime and violence was the norm.

    Now for those of you beating up on the police, you may complain that their abilities to prepare proper statements, or interviews, or files, or even collecting evidence may need improving, but you cannot really blame them for the crime that occurs.  They cannot be every where at the same time and neither can they read minds.  They are only as goodas the information they receive, or the intelligence they can gather.  Many of you in society know who is engaged in crime, but choose not to say a thing about it for whatever reason; be it that you are afraid of reprisals, or it is family, or that you are benefiting directly, or indirectly from it.

    I for one, think that the police is doing a good job with the hurdles they have to overcome.  Think of it, a criminal doesn't go out and broadcast that he is going to rob so and so tonight.  After the fact, police have got to appeal for information from the victims, from the public and try to find some forensic means of identification.  All of this gives the criminal time to cover their tracks.  If and when they are caught, the police may not been able to obtain all of the evidence they would have liked, but they take what they have to court for a judge, or a jury to decide.  The criminals have got nothing to lose except their freedom, so they demand the system to give them a smart a– lawyer who has time to sit down and look at what evidence is available and figure out how they could create doubt in the judge or jury's mind about the evidence.   The truth is, it's not about justice any more, it's a game about beating the system.  Police barely have enough time to deal with that incident when another occurs that demands equal attention.

    The problem of preventing crime in my opinion lies not with the police, but rather with society.  If children were taught respect and values from age 1 through 5, we'd have far less criminals when they grew up than we have today, for the simple reason that they would respect themselves and others and it would be against their moral conscience to harm others or steal from them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Crime is taught. If you want to start where corruption's teachers are located, try correcting first the accounting scandals, paybacks and all the white-collar crime that occurs at the higher levels in the Civil Service. You would be surprised to find the most disgusting criminals have connections and frequent conversatoins with those in high places that puts a damper on most investigations. Low level crimiinals turn out to be great scape goats for diverting attention from  higher level white collar and church going criminals that are your office managers.

  4. Anonymous says:

    First off. The fantasyland approach has to stop. The primary role of a Police Service os to prevent and detect criminals and crime.amd seperate them from law abiding citizens and businesses that suffer hardship from these people and enititys. Businesses are suffering economic hardship due to the high rate of crime. There needs to be a firm community stance that crime will not be tolerated and be able to put down any criminal thatharms a person meaning catch and convict them. There is such a poor apprenhension rate hy the RCIP that if we were not being held siege it woild he funny. Thtuese creatures are one step from having a tail and swinging from a tree waiting to assault or steal from thiee latest prey. While not criminals some of the rank and file admittedly bybthe COP are not far behind on regards to their ability to speak read and write.I for one think way too much is given to this man in terms of money and confidence in his schemes of the day to stop crime. Quality and a functioning Police service is key, not an army of slackers armed with cars CCTV and not luch upstairs. I would say of the Government did a few things, crime in the long and sjort term would decrease. First

    1 – fine for ganja use. No prison time. They are and will always smoke. This is being debated all around the wprld the ill affects of this are not proven. For the Bible thumpers we are not legalizing it but just softening penelties

    2. 20 yrs for armed. Robberies. Life if a bullet is discharged

    3. 15 for cocaine or crack dealing

    4 Allow permits for hand gums for home protection. Vett the people but this jeeds to be allpwed.

    5 20 years for an illegal firearm.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Like anything else GIG tries to do the harder they try the worst it gets.  At least they can't fire themselves.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Sweet Pea but lets think this through. Lets say the RCIP became efficient at arresting criminals and the court system became efficient in preparing and presenting cases and that judges as well as juries convicted criminals found to be guilty.

    By how much would the current prison roles swell? Northward is currently and always full with about 200 inmates housed there so how many more would be added? Would it double, tripple in numbers of inmates housed there?

    So you can see part of the problem is that if you cleaned up the criminal element in the country there is nothing to do with them.

    I would like to see a huge prison built on the Brac and sent the inmates there. It would produce jobs for the Brackers which we constantly hear about and there would be room for all the criminals running free in the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Moving the prison to the Brac is a very sensible idea.

      • Anonymous says:

        No-one would want to escape then.

        • SSM345 says:

          It would be much easier for the RCIPS to catch Steve-O on the Brac.

          • Anonymous says:

            Have you ever BEEN to the Brac?   I could hide on my own property indefinately, let alone the vastness of the bush on the bluff.  

      • Rorschach says:

        Yeah, unless you LIVE in the Brac…

        • Anonymous says:

          Why? Brackers constantly complain that there aren't enough jobs. Constructing and prison and then running it should provide a lot of jobs…………

  7. Anonymous says:


    I could not agree more and it brings to mind the following VP published almost exactly a year ago,


    Different government of course but the crime statistics certainly haven't improved in the past year and so I would agree with Sweet Pea that it's time to stop looking behind and it's time to bring ourselves to the present and plan for the future – it's time the laws that are in place were enforced and it's time people had a healthy fear of the law once more.

    For the first time in my lifetime, I question how safe it is to take the trash out after dark – this is ridiculous – this is the same place that I grew up in and felt safe enough to hitch lifts on our roads – I now wouldn't dream of hitching but what's so very sad is that I'm hesitant to stop and give those who are hitching, a lift – something I would never have queried in the past.

    It does have to start with us and all of us do have to take responsibility for ourselves and especially the example we are setting for our children – when they see us not wearing seat belts or speeding they figure it's ok – it's not! And some of us may consider these to be 'lessser laws' but the law is the law and we shoudn't be teaching our children that some laws are ok to break while others aren't – if we do this – and we have done this – we cannot be surprised when eventually all laws are broken – after all who is to say which ones are 'lesser' and which are 'more serious'?

  8. Catcha Fire says:

    One more time for you Sweet Pea CORRUPTION undermines political, social and economic stability, it threatens security and damages trust and public confidence in systems which effect peoples daily lives although corruption frequently occurs at the local or national level its consequences are global and its hidden cost is immense….. Until they stamp it out or get control of corruption here very little is going to change  and that means  starting at the very top come down One more piece of advice Sweet Pea dont hold ya breath!

  9. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    Excellent commentary. Are you listening Mr. Premier, Ministers and MLAs? Are you listening Mr. Manderson (Franz, not the other one)?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Keeping the tribe fed and out of trouble is the governments ONLY priority.

  11. 4Cayman says:

    Sweet Pea I believe our society and criminals have gave up all hope on our RCIPS. What we need is a special unit such as reserved guards to assist with policing and protecting our borders similar to what is set up in other countries primarily like the USA. Forget the wanna bes special constables cause they are just like the real RCIPS. We need people that are not afraid to patrol, arrest bad guys (not speeders) and even go as far going undercover to infiltrate the criminals.

    man this job sounds exciting, I would even apply.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that the elected govt. has no control over the police force or its policies. Its only function is to vote them more and more money which they use to hire more officers and buy high powered cars which they promptly crash. Let's greet the new Governor with a petition.  

    • Castor says:

      Bashing the RCIP Service isn't going to be very helpful. Someone out there knows who is commiting these crimes. Until citizens grow a set and step up to the plate and provide the authorities with information and help these sort of shenanigan hoodlum activities will continue. Citizens ("Real Caymanians," "Paper Caymanians" and Permit Holders) need to do their moral and civic duty. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and other family members, friends and aquaintenances know who the culprits are.

  13. SSM345 says:

    One of the main issues faced by the PoPo when investigating is the issue of people not wanting to inform. Crimestoppers is an option but nobody trusts the "you will remain anonymous" line that they feed you. Having read about people in witness protection being found out by the accused and attacked, is it any wonder they cannot solve anything?

    The RCIPS is a laughing stock to all the criminals, as majority never get caught or they win their case in court due to the utter incompetence of the RCIPS and DPP.

    You then look at Northward and what goes on there………

    Yep, crime is going to continue to get worse long before we see any sort of decline.