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.