Opposition MLA blasts government over ‘out of control’ crime

Arrest made in shooting

Opposition party MLA Arden McLean blasted the ruling
government at a Saturday night political meeting over Cayman’s crime situation,
which he said has gone “out of control”.

An emphatic point was placed on the Legislative Assembly
member’s comments when gunshots were fired at a home on Sea View Road in Mr.
McLean’s East End district early Saturday morning.

One of the bullets struck a window, but no one was hurt
in the incident.

“The
people of East End awoke [Saturday] morning to yet another shooting,” Mr.
McLean told an audience of more than 200 people at the Mary Miller Hall in
George Town.

The
report of gunshots being fired at the house on Sea View Road came in at about
2.40am, police said. 

Police announced the arrest of an 18-year-old man in connection with the shooting. Officers said the teen was arrested Saturday night following a police operation in East End. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Relatively
few shootings have occurred on Grand Cayman so far this year. However, reports
of shots fired in a couple of high-profile robberies, along with the robbery of
two tourists on a remote East End beach last week have brought crime issues to
the forefront.

“We’ve
had three shootings in the last six months in East End and nobody knows
anything about it,” Mr. McLean said.

Mr.
McLean took Premier McKeeva Bush to task over the incidents, noting that the
country’s national crime strategy – nearly two years in the making – has still
not been released to the public.

“The
Premier just [last] week expressed his outrage…over this intolerable situation
and the Cabinet’s intent to consider a crime prevention strategy during the
coming week,” Mr. McLean said. “Mr. Premier, where have you been?”

Mr.
McLean said crime has Cayman “in a choke-hold” and urged the government to
spare no expense in
combating the problem.

He
also lambasted Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines, calling
on him to “cease his blaming of the United States’ firearms policy for the
deaths of young Caribbean men”.

“Tell
him to stop talking about getting rid at some of the crime fighting [apparatus]
that the PPM [People’s Progressive Movement] bought and get on with the…job.”

The
East End member’s comments were an apparent reference to rumours that surfaced
last month that the RCIPS was looking at selling off some of its marine patrol
boats.

The
police service indicated it has not made any decisions to do so at present.

There
have been two shots-fired calls reported in the 10 robberies or attempted
robberies that have occurred since 1 January on Grand Cayman.

Monday’s
beach robbery in East End did not involve firearms, but police said two
tourists were threatened by men carrying a bat and a set of brass knuckles.

It
was unclear whether any money was taken in a 3 February incident when armed men
entered the MoneyGram store in Meringue Town plaza and then shot their way out
of the store after a security guard pulled the storm shutters.

On
27 January, Joe-Ena’s liquor store in West Bay was robbed and there were
initial reports that a shot was fired, but police never confirmed that.

14 COMMENTS

  1. It saddened me to read that the East End MLA spoke of spend no expense to deal with crime. Unfortunately this politician hasnt yet learned after 4 years in power of throwing money at the crime problem with helicopter and boats that the problem has only gotten worse.
    Other solutions must be found. People know who are involved and need to come forward.
    A special drug unit that was disbanded needs to be reformed and directed to clean up the country.

  2. Honourable Mr. McLean, Sir, Crime is not a political problem and should not be used to get political points. Crime is a social disease where all parties have to do their part to combat. Blaming one another will not solve this problem. Working as a community and a nation will.

  3. Whilst I agree with the sentiments expressed theres a bit of hypocrisy here.

    It was before my time at Net News but isnt this the same gentleman who forced the disbandment of the only really effective anti-drugs unit the RCIPS ever had and engineered the dismissal (OK, non-renewal of contract to be strictly accurate) of the officer in charge?

    It was also during his time as a Minister that the RCIPS helicopter was subjected to a series of what appeared to be deliberate blocking moves, which seriously limited the effectiveness of law enforcement.

    And finally, we have Operation Tempura. Whilst I respect the honourable gentlemans outspoken criticism
    of both the disruptive effect of the investigation and the way it was handled by the Governor, what did anyone do about it – nothing. Plenty talk, but no follow up.

    Sir, with due respect you cant blame this all on the current leadership.

  4. Mr McLeans comments can be dismissed as opportunistic, but if the result is that dealing with crime attains a higher political urgency then there is no harm in that.

    It is all too easy to blame the RCIPS for the upsurge in crime, and to be fair they do make themselves an easy target, with Mr Baines inept media handling, and the continuing rumours of corruption, nepotism and incompetence within the ranks.

    Ultimately though, crime is a social problem, and can only be addressed by society at large. The police are reliant on information from the public, and it seems too many people in Cayman put local and family loyalty above the interests of society as a whole and the rule of law.

    Cayman faces some genuine problems, including a resurgent drugs trade and the growth of an unemployable underclass with no ambitions beyond crime and welfare. To solve these issues involves the exercise of some political will in allocating resources where they will be effective, rather than just where they will be visible. More importantly though, it requires the recognition by the public that they need to join in the struggle and cannot just pass the buck.

  5. Alden, not so fast. You are the government arnt you?
    Have you put any harsh laws on the table to fight crime?
    Have you called for the Comm of police to be replaced?
    Have you shown sympathy towards Mr. Rudolph Dixon and Mr. Burmon Scott two of Caymans top cops unfairly dismissed without convictions?
    AND,
    Have you called for the return or tried to convince the Governor, the Premier and the Legislators that we need to offer Mr. Derek Haines a salary (he can not refuse) to COME BACK ANC KEEP CAYMAN CLEAN BECAUSE HE DID! We are wasting money on consultants who are about as versed in the issues of this society as a 2 year old!
    No more publicity and political grandstanding and political stunts please! these are serious times.
    HAVE YOU DEMANDED THAT GOVERNMENT BRING IN A SPECIAL FORCES TEAM TO CLEAN UP CAYMAN?

    Are all of you waiting for our financial industry and our tourist industry to collapse?
    Do you realize that Cayman needs a new Top Cop that takes crime seriously, does not complain but kicks butt?

  6. he PPM supporters and some Caymanian constituients HAVE A SHORT MEMORY.

    Alden is for the business owner. Not the people.

    THE LABOR SITUATION IS BAD BECAUSE ALDEN SHARED LEADERSHIP OF THE PPM. Employment for Caymanians is NOT A PART OF ALDEN MCLAUGHLINS AGENDA! Who is he going to lead in 2013 and where? off the cliff one more time?!

    You people like suffering if you elect this man again.
    Try and support Charles Clifford hes a man of integrity and he will help you.

  7. Oh,
    Now I understand, the special task force and drug unit that kept Cayman Clean was DISBANDED by Alden McLaughlin and coherts1

    NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY FORMER TOP COP CHIEF INSPECTOR DEREKK HAINES WAS SOMEWHAT HESITANT TO RETURN,ITS BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALREADY CRIPPLED HIS EFFORTS TO KEEP CAYMAN CLEAN.

    We conclude that this is all lip service and that Our Legislators are not serious especially Alden, now politically grandstanding

  8. If readers will check some of my recent posts on this particular topic you will see that Ive called it right on this one…

    Can anyone really question now that the Caymanian population is being sacrificed for the selfish lust for power of their politicians ?

    I no longer live in Cayman, mainly for the sake of my own personal safety but all my family reside there and I worry for their personal safety as well.

    When a political parties leader can use what is now appearing to becoming a national crisis for political mileage, the writing is truly on the wall for the Cayman Islands.

    What should be coming out of these politicians mouths is plans for a bi-partisan committee of all members of Caymans LA to formulate an emergency strategy, along with the Governor and Commissioner of Police to clamp down on this rampant, runaway crime spree NOW !

    Has things not gone far enough ?

    I really now fear that this criminal element will be put to use to influence the outcome of elections in the future, as it was in Jamaica; all the signs are there for us who grew up in and survived that period of Jamaican history.

    I hope that my fears are totally unfounded but even Jamaica has had no problem instituting a State of Emergency and cracking skulls when necessary to contain its criminal element.

    Maybe a short stint of the British and Jamaican military control of the streets of Cayman is what is needed to bring some people to their senses.

    And for me, that includes these politicians.

  9. the main reason why the crime in cayman is going up is because young youths cannot get a job. they consistently saying oh young caymanians are lazy. if you do not give the youths a chance how are you going to say that.

    if an american come here tomorrow and apply for the same job that 25 caymanians applied for …the american is gonna get it .

    no jobs more crime .point blank.

    until then the crime is gonna keep going up .

  10. Solutions instead of pointing of fingers …
    The youth of cayman needs more to occupy there minds we all know about the devils playground ….All the police in the world will not solve a thing if the mind is free to do as it pleases….I know if i speak to my nephew everyday …he stays out of trouble …at least when i am speaking with him .
    ..That said when i am around the youths on my part of the island i am occupying their time and showing them how to win in life and i spend a bunch of time telling them how to go down the right path and what will happen if they dont follow the rules …they expect me to show them how to win the right way …
    …There used to be a lot of outsiders ,,,, expats ) around the island sharing what they know with the locals …. how it is in the real world ….until you start welcoming others onto the island …..it will be very hard to fix this unnormal behavior of your youths …..

  11. After i finished my last post ..It came to me
    YOU people(NOT EVERYONE THOUGH) dont want the police to do anything about crime ..because your children will be arrested ….Perhaps its time to pay attention to your children or at least the older people need to get out more and monitor your neighborhood youth …not sit around playing dominos
    IF YOU were there they would not be able to find trouble …TRUE THAT???
    I do know plenty of parents that dont take there guard down for a moment …and there kids do not get in trouble
    on the other hand i see plenty of people sitting around with no idea what there children are doing and wondering if its there child in the news ….
    HOW often is it i dont see the local leaders walking around their districts … shouldnt i see them every day?? or are they busy down town figuring out what to do about the problem …..COME to think about it arent you leaders the elected father of the district …?? daddy how come i dont see you ever ??

  12. It is obvious to everyone that Cayman has been experiencing an intolerable crime situation for quite some time. Although I have been residing in the US for many years, I heartily consider Cayman my beloved home away from home. I have a keen interest in the island and its culture (my wife is a native (Caymanian). We visit every year. However, I am extremely concerned about the crime situation as I read the daily publication of the Cayman Compass online.

    The thing that mostly concerns me is the fact that crime is definitely out of control and pointing fingers at this one and that one is not the answer. My personal feeling is that the efforts that have been, and are being made are simply not working.

    We can argue that unemployment and idleness contribute to the problem. Or, people are afraid to come forward to inform law enforcement for fear of retribution by the perpetrator(s). I guess there are merits in either case.

    Maybe the root problem is RCIPS’s approach to the problem and the tactics it employs. My assumption is fueled by the fact that the modus operandi past and present need to be revamped or abolished and a fresh approach taken.

    Finally, I hate to say it, as I may appear to be biased. But perhaps the RCIPS could consider utilizing some (not all) of the tactics law enforcement uses in the United States to deal with crime; taking into account civil rights and discrimination must, repeat must, be adhered to even when the most heinous offences are committed.

    It is surprising to many, myself included, that such a small island as Cayman is (population approximately between 50,000 and 60,000), yet crime seems to be a serious problem. Let us consider that it may be bad publicity for the tourism industry, but more important is the safety and wellbeing of the residents of this beautiful island.

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