Chamber not backing down from crime

The
Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce presented the first in a series of its “Be Informed”
presentations last week at the Marriott Beach Resort.

The
meetings focus on important community issues identified as topics of concern
and interest. The first presentation was about crime in response to community
concerns regarding an escalation in violent crime and robberies.

Chamber
President, Stuart Bostock, spoke on behalf of the Chamber Council and Members
as he called for a comprehensive National Crime Prevention Strategy before
Cayman reaches the stage of putting bars on the windows of homes and businesses.

“Are
we going to accept bars on the windows and locks on the doors so customers have
to be buzzed in?”  Mr. Bostock asked the crowd of some 50 attendees “Are
armed security guards in our banks, stores, and offices a suitable future for
the Cayman Islands?”

Mr. Bostock urged that special task
forces to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Immigration, and Customs agencies
and have proper interagency collaboration in the areas of immigration,
smuggling and general crime prevention.

In addition, he recommended that
Caymanian authorities focus on the following issues: tackling the gun supply into the country,
investing in advanced detection equipment and training for our border agencies,
investing in advanced investigative equipment and techniques for the RCIPS,
toughening of penalties for violent crimes and alternatives to incarceration
for non-violent and first time offenders, and community support officers and
education campaigns in local schools.

“We feel it is the responsibility
of the whole community to get involved in crime prevention,” Chamber Chief
Executive Wil Pineau said. “(Wednesday) was a great success and gave a good
perspective of the issues we are facing, but I was disappointed we were unable
to fill the room considering the seriousness of the topic and the opportunity
to question the authorities first-hand about our concerns as a community.”