Editorial for July 22: It was just a matter of time

The events of the early morning
hours of Thursday had been foretold by many in the Cayman Islands.

It was just a matter of time before
someone breaking into a home or business was confronted by the owner and
injured or killed.

It’s part of the escalation of
crime in the Cayman Islands.

Owners of businesses and homes are
tired of being taken advantage of by criminals and many are ready to take
matters into their own hands.

Many in the Cayman Islands –
especially Caymanians – were rejoicing in the fact that a homeowner turned the
tables on a would-be robber.

Frankly, law abiding, civil people
have had enough of the crime in this country. It’s not surprising that a
homeowner armed with a legal firearm took action.

Proponents of gun ownership will
certainly use this incident as an argument to make it easier to own guns in the
Cayman Islands.

We fear this incident will only
cause crime to escalate even more and lead to more criminals arming themselves
when they go about breaking and entering with the intention of robbing homes
and businesses.

What’s going to happen in this
country when a home or business owner is killed by an intruder?

The people committing these crimes
are known to people throughout the communities in which they live. It still
astounds us that people who have knowledge of criminals and their acts have not
come forward with information to help members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police
Service stem the flood of crime.

The man who was killed Thursday
morning was a known criminal and, in fact, had been fitted with a monitoring
device by police on his ankle, which he took off before breaking into the home.

Looking at his history, one could
safely assume this wasn’t his first crime and those who knew him could easily have
passed information about his activities along to police.

But they didn’t.

And now he’s dead.

We need to turn the tide on crime
in this country before it gets worse and more people die.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for the thoughtful, inciteful editorial regarding what many would regard as a national crisis. We have read and heard from a significantly vocal group of Caymanians who appear to have given up on the government and police being able to solve the problem, and who believe that arming themselves is the only alternative. But as the editorial rightly states:

    We fear this incident will only cause crime to escalate even more and lead to more criminals arming themselves when they go about breaking and entering with the intention of robbing homes and businesses.

    It is much easier to simply throw up your hands and buy a gun then to confront neighbours, friends and associates with the tougher questions of "why aren’t you coming forward with this information? why are you protecting this person?" It is also easier than taking a hard look at the decisions that successive governments have made (and are currently making) that continue to bankrupt the country and cause increasing stress on the poorest segments of the island… those who have the highest potential of committing violent crime.

    People need to start connecting the dots – the rollover policy has failed… the government is spending far too much and needs to be reduced dramatically… the Auditor General needs to be provided with increased authority and government departments need to actually be held accountable with real ramifications for noncompliance … and so on. Perhaps the entire political system needs to be re-examined as something is clearly not working. But long-term thinking and solutions are what is needed, not short-term reactions that may cause a terrible problem to become even worse.

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