Today’s Editorial for October 15: Don’t ignore Estella’s death

If people in the Cayman Islands aren’t making themselves aware of their surroundings when out and about, they should.

Those of us who travel to metropolises throughout the world usually make an extra effort to be aware of the people and events taking place in the areas we traverse.

But most of us who call Cayman home don’t think twice about walking out of a restaurant or shop, trekking to our vehicles and driving off.

We’re sure that Estella Scott-Roberts didn’t think twice about leaving behind her friends and the restaurant where she had celebrated her birthday and walking to her vehicle.

She lived in the Cayman Islands, one of the safest places in the world; or so she – and we – thought.

Where do we go from here?

Do we learn to live in the fear that many people in larger cities face on a daily basis?

Is this how far our society has degenerated?

No, we don’t know if Estella knew her attacker.

While no positive identification has been made of the body in the vehicle, most people are pretty sure that it is Estella who was attacked and killed.

If this was a random act of violence we should all be worried.

Whether she knew her attacker or not isn’t relevant.

This cannot be looked at as an isolated incident.

We hope that lawmakers, who lamented Estella’s death in the Legislative Assembly Monday, take a good look at some of the laws on our books.

At least one writer to this newspaper has suggested that pepper spray be made legal as a defence item.

The law would have to demand harsh penalties for improper use of pepper spray and contain rigid guidelines.

Maybe it is time for lawmakers to readjust our laws to give people – especially women – more options to protect themselves.

At least one minister has made the call for the death penalty to be reinstated in the Cayman Islands.

We don’t see that happening as long as we are attached to the United Kingdom, which directed us to remove the death penalty years ago.

But Estella’s death has gotten people talking about crime, our society and the sense that we have lost our soul in the fight for progress.

The Cayman Islands – especially Grand Cayman – has grown too rapidly and we are now seeing the underside of progress – more crime and in this instance a senseless and horrific act of violence.

Even if you didn’t know Estella, her killing should make you not just angry, but mad as hell.

We must all work together to make our community a safer place.

Don’t ignore what happened to Estella.

And remain vigilant. Know your surroundings and be aware of those around you, especially at night. Keep yourself – and others – safe.