The launching of fireworks is a long-time holiday tradition in the Cayman Islands and if you live in George Town or West Bay, you’ve probably seen at least a couple of impromptu displays since Christmas Eve.
But several residents – particularly in George Town – have complained to the Caymanian Compass about the hour of these displays and the frequency of their occurrence.
“It’s after midnight [Christmas Eve] and fireworks are still going off all over George Town,” one website commenter wrote in, asking that their name be kept confidential.
Other George Town residents reported that fireworks were set off at three in the morning the day after Christmas and in West Bay, nightly fireworks launchings were seen from 24 December all the way through to the 27th.
Royal Cayman Islands Police Superintendent [Acting] Martin Bodden Jr. confirmed police have received a few complaints about the fireworks being set off in the festive season.
Mr. Bodden said the use of the devices is legal in Cayman, but he pointed out there are rules governing the use of fireworks by private individuals.
For instance, the Towns and Communities Law (1995 Revision) makes it an offence for anyone in any public place to set off a firework except in accordance with the terms of a permit issued by the chief fire officer.
The punishment for not having a permit for fireworks use in a public place is a maximum $1,000 fine and potential imprisonment up to six months.
The Cayman Islands Penal Code (2007 Revision) allows a $100 fine for anyone who throws or sets fire to a firework “to the danger or annoyance of any passenger or inhabitant in any street”.
“We would ask anyone who is planning to use fireworks over the New Year period to…be safety conscious, be mindful of your neighbours and of the time you use the fireworks,” Mr. Bodden said. “We want everyone to have a safe and incident-free New Year period.”
“We are aware that the use of fireworks is a long-standing Cayman tradition and a way for our people to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Obviously, we police this in line with current legislation and we work with event organisers, partner agencies and members of the public to ensure the safety of our communities.”