Teen crime concerns

Several recent crimes including robberies, attempted robberies and one broad daylight assault that police said involved teenage Caymanian boys have been the object of some public concern this summer.

Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan recently addressed the issue, calling it a priority for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

‘It is not unusual during the school holidays,’ Mr. Kernohan said. ‘Children, when they have a bit more time on their hands than they normally would have, get up to mischief, or even criminality.’

Four high school boys, between the ages of 15-17, were arrested last month in connection with a 1 June assault in central George Town in front of several tourists and residents.

The man in the attack was hospitalised after suffering a blow to the back of his head. He told the Caymanian Compass his attackers took $500.

Doctors later told the victim he was lucky to survive.

About a week after the 1 June attack, police said four teens and a 12-year-old attempted to rob the West Bay Domino’s Pizza store. Investigators said they were unsuccessful in efforts to take cash and pizzas. Instead, officers said the boys stole some sodas from the refrigerator and left.

The boys were arrested shortly after the incident.

Another five boys, aged 13 to 16, were nabbed about two weeks ago in connection with a string of robberies along West Bay Road. In two of the three incidents, police said the victims were threatened with a gun.

The device turned out to be an air pistol.

Officers said the teens were charged with robbery, attempted robbery and carrying an imitation firearm.

None of the suspects involved in any of the five incidents in June and July were older than 17.

‘We’ll do everything we can to intervene,’ Commissioner Kernohan said. ‘We have got officers allocated to the schools and other officers doing youth related work as well.’

But the commissioner admits the police can’t do it all.

‘The holistic approach needs to be (used) to bring it under control,’ he said. ‘It’s about education, it’s about parents, it’s about supplying them with things they can do to keep their idle hands busy.’

Community policing sergeant for George Town Ian Yearwood recently said police are trying to break up gatherings of loitering students in town if they appear to be causing mischief.

‘But we need help from the parents, because it’s not an offence to just walk around town,’ he said.

Mr. Yearwood encouraged parents and schools to get kids involved in programmes like Cadet Corps, Boy Scouts, the Girls Brigade or Youth Flex.

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