Editorial for August 26: Crime dictates change

For long-time residents and
visitors of Grand Cayman, the past few years have been difficult to witness
when it comes to the issue of crime.

Cayman is probably still considered
safe compared to some other Caribbean and US locations. However, compared to
Grand Cayman of the past, today’s version seems like the Wild West of the US.
Long gone are the days when residents could leave their homes and vehicles
unlocked or their bicycles unsecured in their yards. Wise people don’t walk at
night in certain neighbourhoods and the list of night-time establishments it is
best to avoid has grown considerably.

More and more residents are
employing security measures at their homes such as owning dogs, and installing
surveillance cameras, alarm systems or even bars on their windows.

Despite the increase in crime, some
residents have difficulty understanding why the police are doing things like
keeping the Barkers area of West Bay closed at night because doing so
discriminates against law-abiding citizens.

The truth of the matter is, law
abiding citizens are quite often the ones that suffer most because of criminal
activity.  Some suffer as a result of
being victims of crime; some suffer because of the loss of freedoms; some
suffer as a result of the psychological effects crime has on them.

Crime affects the lives of all
Cayman’s residents and visitors in some way or the other.  The police often have to do things that
law-abiding citizens don’t like in response to crime.

What people should remember about
the Barkers area is that it wasn’t closed at night only because of couple of
terrible crimes against other people; it was also closed because of amount of
illegal dumping and the parties that included the consumption of illegal drugs.
While it might be true that these other illegal activities were taking place
for many years and didn’t necessitate the closure of Barkers at night, things
have changed to a degree that actions must be taken.

Perhaps it is the long history of
some residents ignoring certain laws – like dumping, littering, speeding,
vehicle altering, trash burning, dog leashing and many others – that has led us
to where we are today in the first place.