Editorial for February 15: This wake-up call is very serious

 It does indeed seem to us at the Cayman Free Press that last week’s robbery of a visiting couple on Bare Foot Beach has served as a wake-up call to our public officials.

Over the past two years we have sometimes – to be perfectly frank – despaired of the worsening crime situation on these Islands. We would report on the instances of crime occurring in the country and, almost uniformly, were derided by public officials; accused of “sensationalising” the news for our own profit, or even, in one recent instance, accused of reporting things we had not.

But comments made last week by Premier McKeeva Bush and the head of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, Harry Lalli, have marked a positive note in what, by all accounts, continues to be a very trying situation.

The view is well summed up by Mr. Lalli: “We can no longer look the other way, as this problem is not going to go away by itself.”  

The Premier called the crime situation “intolerable”.

We wholeheartedly agree. It has been beyond the limits of tolerance for some time, hence our constant reporting on these matters. It is time for change.

To quote from our own editorial of 15 March, 2010: “The Caymanian Compass, being the Islands’ newspaper of record and the oldest media organisation here, is usually criticised the loudest for playing up crime or sensationalising crime-related issues to sell newspapers.

“Forgive us, but we are tired of hearing that same old message from people who believe it is easier to hide the facts than deal with a grave and growing problem.

“People of the Cayman Islands, let’s get real. We have a serious problem and it needs to be addressed NOW.

“But that won’t ever happen if the national newspaper buries its head in the Seven Mile Beach sand.

End quote. We stand by that same message today, and we stand ready to work with all those who truly wish to fix the crime and social problems facing this country.

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