Cayman’s beautiful image may be fading

The word ‘Caymanian’ has lost its meaning over the last 10 years; however, to me it still evokes a feeling of pride and warmth that nothing else can ever compare to. This simple word represents who I am, where I come from and everything I stand for and unlike everything else in my life I have never questioned its meaning, until now.

I can remember a day when no other place in the world felt as safe as being home, the embrace of the sun, the comforting of the breeze coming off the ever watchful blue seas and the constant reminder that Cayman is like no other place on earth.

However the fairy tale that I had conjured up about my beautiful Island has been smashed into a million pieces, the safety and reassurance stripped, the pride I once felt reduced to a simple feeling of ‘this is now where I am from but no longer where I love being from’.

I recently returned home from university to enjoy three weeks of spring break and fall in love with my beautiful Island all over again. That love affair ended when I stupidly assumed that Cayman was still safe and the people were still wholesome. I was robbed of my belongings during what was supposed to be a relaxing day snorkelling in North Side. I mean North Side? The one district that still exudes Caymanian and has remained somewhat untouched by globalization and embodies the Cayman way of life, of all the places I expected to be robbed, North Side was definitely not my first thought. This is where my people came from, this is where I spent many days and nights getting to know the wonderful people and indulge in the tales from ‘back in the day’ and now this was the place that will forever be ‘the scene of the crime’.

All of my essential belongings from my locked rental car, as well as my cousin’s belongings were gone in a flash. I am not so much bothered by the material things taken but memories can never be replaced and years of business cards, photos and experiences now lay burnt in someone’s back yard. For almost a week I have asked ‘why?’ and I find myself coming to the conclusion what so many of us have realized yet turn a blind eye. It’s like those commercials about children starving in Africa where you feel horribly guilty until the commercial ends and you still do nothing. We have done nothing. Crimes are barely punishable in Cayman and that’s factoring in if the culprits are even caught.

This takes me to my next and most important point, the state of the police force we have entrusted to protect and serve. I laughed as I typed that last sentence. I was one of the few people who still supported the police force after all the criticism and mockery that has become their legacy. Until now; now I join the rest of the community who all agree that they are being paid to watch the local people solve their own crimes. It is one thing to be robbed and have your privacy invaded and your belongings taken as if it were nothing but it is another thing to then feel like you are completely alone in the process. The police are supposed to make you feel comforted, take pity and ease your worrying but life isn’t that easy and in Cayman the police force have become the root of my frustration even over the actual incident of the robbery. I have been patient and understanding but now I have reached my breaking point. I just want a phone call to keep me updated and I want to know how it is still possible that no arrests have been made although the culprits have been described, identified and the evidence discovered in their own backyard. To continue my rant can someone please explain to me why I now have to pay for a police report? I didn’t ask to be robbed! And in turn pay for a replacement driver’s license? Again, I did not ask to be robbed and end up paying more on top of what was already stolen from me!

The crime committed against my cousin and me (both born and raised in Cayman) may have been a simple notch on the bed post; however, it does reinforce that boredom and lack of education are suffocating the districts that time forgot. Somewhere down the line something went wrong and the wholesome people of Cayman forgot to instil a sense of heart and respect that they grew up with into their own children. I know we are all different but I was brought up with a conscious and that if I wanted something I had to work for it, not steal it.

So in closing, this is an urgent plea to the government of the Cayman Islands and the people who I know are beyond frustration with feeling helpless and forgotten about. Do something Cayman, change something and voice something. To the RCIP, you are being paid to protect and serve the people of these Islands, why do you think you are always under scrutiny? Change your reputation and help the people rather than cause further frustrations; again I reiterate I did not ask to be robbed.

I was once so oblivious to everything happening in Cayman because it was not directly affecting me. But now that the tables have turned I am now holding the torch for change, to bring back the days when we helped one another; not rob them.

Crystal Gomez

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is slightly off topic, but a word in support of the RCIPS.

    I spent Monday morning in the Summary Court, waiting to be called for a very minor traffic offence. The Court was packed with defendants for every kind of traffic offence from failure to wear a seat belt up to DUI and dangerous driving.

    Among the crowd were 6 police officers, who had been summonsed to attend at 10am to give evidence in various cases. Not one of those cases was actually heard in the morning, although the Judge was hoping to get to one of them in the afternoon. The result was that half a dozen police officers who could have been doing something useful were instead dozing at the back of the Court for half a day.

    The cause of this was the Court listing far more cases than the magistrate could ever possibly hope to hear. There was very little delay caused because either the prosecution or defence were not ready, it was just weight of numbers. The magistrate (Mr Foldats) was a model of judicial efficiency, but he can only hear one case at a time.

    My own case lasted about 30 seconds – it was listed for 10am, I got away at 1pm. Half my day gone too, for something that in a sane world would have been dealt with by a ticket, not a summons.

    Solutions: we need more magistrates, we need more Court space, and we need a bit more intelligence among the Court staff.

    That way, those 6 police officers could have been out looking for robbers instead of twiddling their thumbs in Court.

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