Frustration for Crime Stoppers

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    People are usually asked to help
    the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service solve crimes by calling Crime Stoppers
    to anonymously report what they know.

    Now the public is being asked to
    help support Crime Stoppers in carrying on its mission.

    “We’d like to have an organisation
    rather than just a small group of individuals who care about the community and
    are trying to do the best they can,” said Crime Stoppers Board Chairman Eric
    Bush.

    Mr. Bush and other members of the
    Crime Stoppers Board said during a meeting with the press Monday that they were
    frustrated more people in the community didn’t seem to want to come forward a
    join the organisation as either members or on the board.

    Essentially, he said
    there was too much work for too many people to do.

    There are about 25 registered
    members of the organisation, but at most meetings, it’s just the board.

    “I think one member turned up to
    the [annual general] meeting last year,” said Ronan Guilfoyle, a long-time
    member of the Crime Stoppers Board.

    Mr. Guilfoyle gave an example of
    just one difficulty Crime Stoppers has faced during efforts to assist the
    community and raise awareness about its 800-TIPS (8477) line.

    He said the group had acquired
    about 70 footballs and 60 basketballs with the Crime Stoppers logo on them,
    along with some 1,500 bracelets with the Crime Stoppers logo on them.

    The plan
    was to distribute these items at Cayman Islands public schools to get the kids
    thinking about Crime Stoppers.

    They have been unable to do so.

    “The problem we’ve encountered thus
    far is with the approval to distribute these goods to the schools,” he said.
    “We’ve gone through a number of avenues and made a number of attempts and still
    haven’t been successful.

    “These footballs and basketballs
    have been sitting in my garage for the last six months.”

    Mr. Guilfoyle said if Crime
    Stoppers is unable to give the items to public schools they’ll distribute to
    private schools instead. Calls to the Crime Stoppers tip line – which is
    managed in Florida – had been on the rise in recent years, but former chairman
    Stuart Bostock said the 100-plus calls to the tip line last year fell to 72 in
    2010. There have so far been 10 calls to the tip line this year. The Crime
    Stoppers line guarantees confidentiality and provides all tip callers with a
    case number they can use to obtain their reward money. Mr. Bush said the group
    needed help with getting its messages out to the press as well as someone with
    a certain level of tech savvy to update the Crime Stoppers website and assist
    with social media. He also said that he intends to step down as Crime Stoppers
    chairman later this year.

    “I think its time for somebody else
    to take the reins, not that I don’t want to still be involved,” he said. “I
    think we all realise too, that if we remain on the board for five, 10 years….we
    lose out on things coming in fresh.”

    TOPcrimestoppersSTORY

    Members of the Cayman Crime Stoppers board talk about getting their organisation moving again during a Monday luncheon.
    Photo: Brent Fuller
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    3 COMMENTS

    1. I think part of this is just a further indication of general public distrust of law enforcement in the Cayman Islands.

      Based on some of the questions I heard raised back in 2007, people do not believe that calls to Crime Stoppers cannot be traced back to the caller or that RCIPS will not be told who made the call.

      There was also concern that the assurances about all calls being anonymous conflict with the offer of a reward. How, as I was once asked, can they pay the reward unless they identify the caller? In the UK there’s a very clearly defined reward payment procedure but that does not appear to have been adopted in the Cayman Islands.

      Another source of complaint was that calls were being ignored, with the activities reported still going on months after Crime Stoppers had been contacted, and that prompted suggestions the RCIPS were not taken the concept seriously.

      There’s nothing wrong with Crime Stoppers, just look at the UK website, but sometimes in the Cayman Islands I felt that the people who they needed to make it work were not getting on board.

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    2. Cayman Crime Stoppers are only now trying to get their act together, what a shame.

      I suppose after the public has recently ridiculed them for no action on the Anna Ebanks Evans missing persons case they are trying to save face.

      Sad a persons life as this missing young mother of 5 children, never even got the time of day from them.

      They want public support then they better start showing the public that they are not prejudicial with their actions.

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    3. The Crime Stoppers tip hotline (800-8477) is open to anyone with information about any crime. Any information that leads to an arrest and conviction (or recovery of stolen property, illegal firearms or drugs), is eligible for a reward of up to 1,000 from Crime Stoppers – the maximum amount allowed under Crime Stoppers by-laws. In the past, some crimes have prompted third-parties to offer larger rewards, and Crime Stoppers and the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce have agreed to facilitate those rewards. Under Crime Stoppers International guidelines, Crime Stoppers does not promote rewards for missing persons cases where no evidence of a crime exists. The RCIPS have advised Cayman Crime Stoppers that they consider the Anna Evans disappearance to be a missing persons case and that no evidence of a crime exists to date. Having said that, should anyone come forward with information in this disappearance that leads to evidence of a crime, and a subsequent arrest and conviction, then that person would be eligible for a reward.

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