More police officers with guns wanted

Online poll

More than seventy-eight per cent of
the 394 respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll think either more
of Cayman’s police officers should carry guns or that all of them should.

The largest segment of respondents
– 171 people or 43.4 per cent – think that all of Cayman’s patrol officers
should carry guns.

“There are far too many guns in our
streets now for police not to be armed,” said one person. “Deter the crime with
a show of force, or let the crime force us out.”

“An officer without a gun is just
an observer,” said someone else. “Cayman needs to respond appropriately to the
increase in gun crimes.”

“We are on a slippery slope to an
armed society, but unarmed officers are at too much of a disadvantage,” said
another person.

The second largest segment of
respondents – 138 people or 35 per cent – thought more patrol officers should
have guns, but not all of them.  Several
people commented that the officers would need proper training beforehand.

“Any officer issued a firearm,
should undergo strenuous psychological evaluation and thorough training before
being allowed to carry a gun,” said one person. “The gun is not the problem, it
is the person behind it with the finger on the trigger.”

“Some patrol officers should be
armed with guns but all officers should be equipped with and trained to use
Tasers, which can get control of a situation fast without causing serious
bodily harm or injury,” said another respondent

“I think more patrol officers
should be trained to use guns, but not necessarily that they should have them
out on patrol,” said someone else. “The armed response unit needs to be larger
to allow 24 hour coverage during the different shifts in all districts.”

“What else should police use
against criminals?” asked one person. “Harsh language?”

Sixty-five people – 16.5 per cent –
thought the number of officers with guns should be kept the way it is now.

“We should be x-raying containers
to prevent gun importation, not adding more to the streets, even if they are
held by police officers,” said one person.

“Our police just aren’t smart
enough to carry guns,” said someone else.

Fifteen respondents – 3.8 per cent
– thought the police should reduce the number of officers with guns and five
people – 1.3 per cent – answered “I don’t know” to the question.

Next week’s poll question:

Which of these talked about infrastructure projects do you think the
island needs most?

A new cargo dock in East End

A longer runway at the airport

A new landfill site

A deepwater channel in the North Sound

We don’t need any of them.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The responses from this opinion poll are very interesting but not totally unpredictable.

    The firearms laws of the Cayman Islands are set in the United Kingdom regarding the use of firearms by British police forces, including the RCIPS.

    The societal difference is that, per capita, the Cayman Islands now has more gun crime and illegal guns in criminal hands than the United Kingdom.

    As someone who is heavily involved in private security training in the UK, I am aware that the chances of being shot in the committing of a criminal offense in the Cayman Islands are now higher than the UK and this might influence how the regulations for armed police is viewed in the Cayman Islands in the near future.

    The real question is; is the Cayman Islands society prepared to have their police officers shoot and kill criminals caught in the act of committing crimes with the use of firearms ?

    This is a very serious issue that has to be faced up to in the general arming of police officers in the Cayman Islands and people calling for arming the police force should address this issue for themselves as it will become a major issue once a police officer shoots and kills or even seriously wounds a suspect in the act of committing a serious criminal offense.

    The public offense to the death of Raoul Moat here in Britain has been a real eye opener when considering the public response to his death and the police’s responsibility in the affair.

    This can serve as a measuring stick by which to monitor public opinion on this very serious question of the arming of police officers in the Cayman Islands.

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