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
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.
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.”