Bush calls for prayers to halt crime

 Less than a day after Cayman’s
fourth murder victim was shot dead, Premier McKeeva Bush called on churches to
bring their congregations to pray in downtown George Town next week about the
rising tide of crime.

Mr. Bush, in a statement to the
Legislative Assembly on Thursday, said he wanted people to pray in front of the
court house at 5.30pm on 1 April.

“The country is experiencing an
economic recession and the situation of rising crime is most worrisome to me as
premier and to the entire government,” Mr. Bush said.

“I am asking each church… to put
aside whatever they are doing, whatever they have planned to come with all
their congregation to pray for the young people and for the situation of crime
we are experiencing,” he said.

The premier’s appeal for people to call on a higher power to help with the fight against crime comes as the National Security Council, headed
by Governor Duncan Taylor, is working on the crime situation, looking
into “every aspect of criminality”.

He also called on people who do not
attend church to also show up on Thursday.

Pastor Al Ebanks will organise the
event and Pastor Felix Manzanares will speak at the service, Mr. Bush said.

“That is what we need to do – gather
on our knees [and] humble ourselves before almighty God,” he said.

Mr. Bush is asking the churches to
organise their own transportation to bring congregation members to the service.

Mr. Bush’s call for prayer came
after 25-year-old Alrick Peddie was shot and killed in a yard in Willie
Farrington Drive in West Bay, in broad daylight, on Wednesday afternoon.

Three others, including a child
have been killed in violence so far this year.

Warehouse worker Courtney Spence,
32, was shot dead in George Town as he left work in the early hours of 28
January; four-year-old   Jeremiah Barnes
was shot and killed in his father’s car in West Bay on 15 February; and
29-year-old Marcos Duran was killed in an apparent armed robbery in an
apartment in West Bay on 11 March.

The first three months of this year
has also seen several shootings, machete attacks, muggings and armed robberies.


  1. Prayer is good. CCTV cameras are even better. A CCTV camera on every corner of West Bay would deter and help catch the criminally minded. They retail at about $75. Better still – do a Census survey in Cayman and offer heavily discounted adult education courses for the unemployed and underskilled.

  2. Even though the Cayman Islands considers itself a “christian” community, it is shameful that the best solution that Premier Bush can offer to the massive crime problem facing our islands is prayer. Is this all that the government can muster? No real-world solutions?

    Perhaps rather than just telling people to pray, the government could use churches and congregations to reach out to Caymanians to encourage them to stand against crime. RCIPS talk about how they receive no tips from the public about crimes that have occurred. Public service announcements on the radio talk about the off-island call center to report crimes. And yet no one with information comes forward to share it with the police, and few (if any) convictions result from these shootings. Perhaps Premier Bush needs to go church to church and talk personally to each congregation, explaining to them how it is their duty as both residents of the Cayman Islands and as christians to help stop this violence and save lives, even if it means providing information about a friend or family member. It is better to report a family member as a criminal and save his life instead of remain silent and watch him become the next murder victim.

    I work in the tourism industry and talk every day to visitors who are concerned with crime in Cayman, and who do not plan to return for another visit because they no longer feel safe here. Similarly, I know many expatriates who feel the same way and are anxious to leave the island and seek work elsewhere. None of these people take comfort in the fact that the government is offering “prayer” as a solution to the problem.

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