Police reject armed society

Robberies rise along WB road

Royal Cayman Islands Police
officers are warning the public against having a “knee jerk” reaction to an
increase in gun-related crimes on Grand Cayman over the past year and a half.

During a public meeting with hotel
and condo owners Tuesday, Inspector Anthony White referenced last week’s
shooting of a burglary suspect by a homeowner in George Town during his
presentation to the business owners about ways they could prevent crime at
their properties.

“Everyone (will say) ‘Let’s arm
ourselves…you know, these bad guys have these guns. If we have a gun, we can
beat them to the door…’ ” Mr. White said.

“Research shows that if the criminal
knows that you most likely have a firearm in your home, they’re going to go
equipped,” he said. “Research also shows us…in societies where officers do
carry guns, the criminal is also more likely to arm themselves.”

Police Commissioner David Baines,
who also attended the meeting at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman along with
about three dozen local business owners, has long maintained that the RCIPS
should not be a completely armed paramilitary force. On Tuesday he said he did
not support the right of individuals to arm themselves unless they had some
reason to do so, such as hunting or sporting interests.

“Where more firearms exist, more
people end up getting shot and killed,” Mr. Baines said.

The commissioner pointed to US
Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, which he said show that 56 American
law enforcement officers had been killed in the line of duty in 2009 and that
some 460 law officers had either taken their own lives or had killed someone
around them using their service weapon. “What’s the bigger threat in terms of
policing and safe policing?” Mr. Baines said. “Those are two stats that
actually just crystallised to me why I prefer to have a significantly unarmed
community without the right to bear arms,” he said.

Mr. White – who holds a PhD in
criminology – said other knee jerk reactions to increased crime could also harm
Cayman’s community.

“We like to say that we need to
bring the death penalty back for some of these guys,” Mr. White said. “Do you
realise that in places where they’ve instituted the death penalty in the United
States of America, the murder rate went up?”

The debate over firearms
possession, a hot-button issue at most times in Cayman, has intensified further
since last Thursday’s shooting of 29-year-old Harryton Rivers-Valdespino inside
a home on Liguinea Circle near the University College of the Cayman Islands
campus.

According to police, Rivers-Valdespino
was shot and killed by a homeowner who found the man breaking into his
residence at 2am. Rivers-Valdespino had a criminal record in the Cayman Islands
and was being electronically monitored through the 911 Emergency Communications
Centre, though he had managed to remove the device before entering the Liguinea
Circle home.

Robberies rise

Another issue of major interest to
West Bay Road properties owners is an increase in robberies over the past five
months.

Though the overall number of crimes
in the West Bay Road/Seven Mile Beach area has remained almost the same within
the past year, there has been a marked increase in the number of robberies
there.

Also, according to statistics
presented to the group, the number of female victims in those robberies increased
significantly between 2008 and 2009.

“That’s a new trend that has
surfaced,” Inspector White said, adding that, statistically, males are much
more likely to be victims in robberies than females. “It’s a bit of an
anomaly.”

Mr. White said there were six
robberies reported each year along West Bay Road for 2008 and 2009. However, in
the first five months in 2009, there was just one robbery reported in the West
Bay Road area.

Between January and May, four
robberies have occurred. According to Inspector White, the main trouble spot in
the area since 2008 has been Helen Drive – across the street from Captain’s Bakery
and the St. Matthew’s University residence hall. There were nine criminal
offences reported there, including five robberies.

Mr. White said it’s not a bad
neighbourhood. However, he said the number of people who are out late in that
area attending bars and parties at clubs in Queens Court and Whitehall make it
fertile ground for criminals seeking an easy score.

Most robberies in the area took
place between 11.30pm and 2am, and all the victims involved were attacked while
walking down the street.

“There’s usually alcohol involved
for the victim,” Mr. White said, noting that Thursday, Friday and Saturday
nights were when most of the robberies tended to happen.

Overall crime along the West Bay
Road corridor stayed the same when comparing the first five months of 2009 and
the first five months of 2010 and the number of burglaries actually sharply decreased
during that time.

In 2009, between January and May,
there were 28 break-ins along West Bay Road. For that same time this year,
there were 18. Most of the burglaries targeted the southern end of West Bay
Road and 65 per cent of them happened while someone was inside the house that
was being broken into.

In two-thirds of the burglaries in
that area, Mr. White said, householders had not locked their doors or could not
remember if they had locked their doors.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Since he’s quoting FBI stats. (gotta love the one sided argument, while not reporting the ENTIRE truth)

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/fbi-crime-stats-show-an-armed-public-is-a-safer-public/

    FBI stats released for june 3 2010 (pretty recent)
    Shows an armed society, is a safer society. I dislike those, who are afraid of guns, so those in power remove all guns from the law abiding public. Which then forces them to be at the mercy of criminals who do not follow the rules and laws. And they end up breaking in each one of our homes (you dont’ know if you will be next) and if that perp has a gun. He can decide if you live or die.

    The police will never ever be able to respond to a break in, in time. Ever.

    So do we allow the criminal to decide if we live or die? Hoping on his common decency? If he had common decency, he wouldn’t be breaking into your home in the first place. So yes, lets all fear monger and allow morally decayed criminals to decide if we live or die.
    Absolutely makes sense *groans.

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  2. Quote "56 American law enforcement officers had been killed in the line of duty in 2009 and that some 460 law officers had either taken their own lives or had killed someone around them using their service weapon."

    How many more than 56 would have been killed if they were NOT armed? What percentage of total law officers does that represent? How many of the 460 commited suicide and how many perps and innocents were killed? The criminals already have guns and are using them and will continue to use them unless something is done!

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  3. POLICE REJECT ARMED SOCIETY

    :0(

    I HOPE THIS COMMISSIONER TAKES THE NEXT FLIGHT HOME!

    THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS AND PROTECT YOURSELF IS AN ANCIENT RIGHT. IT GOES WAY BACK TO ANTIQUITY!

    SOMEONE FROM THE UK MUST BE ADVISING HIM TO KEEP US AT BAY FROM PROTECTING OUR OWN HOMES AND FAMILIES. BECAUSE TO ME, I CAN NOT RELY ON THE RCIP.

    I AM ONE THAT WILL NOT PUT MY LIFE IN THE HANDS OF ANOTHER WHEN IT COMES TO NATURAL DEFENSE. GOD HAS GIVEN ME TOO MUCH COMMON SENSE TO DO SUCH A THING! BY REJECTING OTHERS THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS, BAINES AND HIS SUPPORTERS, HAVE BELITTLED SELF-DEFENSE. THEY HAVE MADE A STATEMENT THAT THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN IT!

    Editor’s note: This comment had to be edited for legal reasons. We ask readers not to make defamatory comments about individuals in their posts.

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  4. Baines states – Where more firearms exist, more people end up getting shot and killed

    Gary Kleck – born March 2, 1951 – is a criminologist at Florida State University. He states on the contrary:

    There is no evidence that victim use of a gun for self-protection provokes offenders into attacking the defending victim or results in the offender taking the gun away and using it against the victim.

    That is what he said, and he an expert – Not Baines!

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  5. To those who think that everyone in Cayman should be allowed to bear arms, ask yourself if you think that Jamaica is more or less safe than Cayman. At least Cayman is small enough that it is actually possible to keep virtually ALL illegal firearms off the island, given the proper resources, government policies and support of Caymanians. But if you actually believe that Cayman would be a safer, better place with more weapons… well, better rename the country JaCayman, because that’s exactly where you are headed.

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  6. To my2cents. The majority who advocate guns. We are not talking about concealed gun permits. We are talking about the right to bear arms in our own homes.

    you understand that right? IN the house. not outside of the house. Outside of the house it should be illegal to carry arms, unless you are at a gun range.

    How can you not differentiate that? You are saying jamaica is dangerous from guns. Does the law allow firearms on the person in their homes or their persons? Or is firearm ownership by the criminals so numerous. It’s hard to control.

    Because i see no statistical facts, but your opinion. Do you have a PHD and a study on firearms and crime in jamaica, that you are not sharing with us?

    Because what the pro gun crowd is suggesting, is LAW abiding citizens should have the right to bear arms in there own homes. Not be allowed to walk in public with them. There is a huge difference.

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  7. Why is it that always in history, the British are scared of it own, possessing firearms; or holding more power than the state?

    Mahatma Ghandi says – Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.

    George Mason in June 1788 says – Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advise by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual was to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.

    Thomas Jefferson says – The Constitution of most of our states and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.

    Cayman must be the only place where government is so scared of its very own people!

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  8. I’m on the fence about this one. On one hand people can protect themselves and it is less likely that someone will break in if they know that some sleepy, grumpy person with a shotgun is going to be there to meet them.
    On the other hand, this has not stopped people from robbing others in other places and, frankly, Cayman is turning into one of those other places.
    To me it’s kind of like why mace is illegal. I can use it on a person trying to harm me but they can use it harm me in the first place. Blah..
    I’ll have to agree with the no guns thing.
    Get baseball bats, people

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  9. To Big Berd and those that agree with Big Berd: Yes, I do understand that you believe that people will only keep their guns in their homes. But it does not take a PhD or a load of statistics to understand that if you establish the right to bear arms, you will also be increasing the number of weapons in the hands of people who are not as responsible as yourself. You will be putting guns into the hands of the same people who drink and drive, who overtake on the Bypass Road at high speed with oncoming traffic, who tie up their animals outside in 90 degree heat with no shade or water, who go to the bars at night, get drunk and get in arguments and fights outside afterwards, and so on. If you allow these same "idiots" to bear arms, you are putting everyone at greater risk. Do you really think that everyone will automatically respect the law and use their guns responsibly? The RCIP and law enforcement agencies around the world are the ones who have to deal with the idiots of the world on a daily basis, and they should know that having more weapons around is NOT going to solve the problem, in spite the fact that you hope and pray that everyone keeps their weapons at home, and acts responsibly with them.

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  10. to my2cents. Again, you are not actually comprehending what I am writing.

    LAW abiding. means no criminal record. What does that statement "Law abiding" mean to you?

    So your argument about people owning firearms that Fight, drink and drive, and abuse animals. Doesn’t hold water.

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  11. To Big Berd and those that agree with Big Berd: Yes, I do understand that you believe that people will only keep their guns in their homes. But it does not take a PhD or a load of statistics to understand that if you establish the right to bear arms, you will also be increasing the number of weapons in the hands of people who are not as responsible as yourself. You will be putting guns into the hands of the same people who drink and drive, who overtake on the Bypass Road at high speed with oncoming traffic, who tie up their animals outside in 90 degree heat with no shade or water, who go to the bars at night, get drunk and get in arguments and fights outside afterwards, and so on. If you allow these same "idiots" to bear arms, you are putting everyone at greater risk. Do you really think that everyone will automatically respect the law and use their guns responsibly? The RCIP and law enforcement agencies around the world are the ones who have to deal with the idiots of the world on a daily basis, and they should know that having more weapons around is NOT going to solve the problem, in spite the fact that you hope and pray that everyone keeps their weapons at home, and acts responsibly with them.

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  12. To Big Berd: So you are arguing that ALL idiots already have a criminal record, and therefore only responsible people will have guns.

    Well, I guess that I don’t need to argue anymore…

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  13. You all sound like gun happy Americans… instead of buying a gun and risking an accidental death why don’t u invest in a home security system and a dog. Have you ever held a loaded gun before? The first thought in your mine, I can kill with a pull of the trigger, one pull and someone dies… nice thought!!!

    Rent the documentary – Bowling for Columbine, and tell me if you want to live in that world.

    Also, the criminals with guns are maybe a dozen known individuals.

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