The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has expressed its shock that just five people turned up to a public meeting on Tuesday night in George Town concerning this month’s gun amnesty and other crime issues.
The various forms of media available on the Islands publicised this event – albeit over a long holiday weekend – so anyone paying attention would have known the meetings were being held.
We can only assume there are two reasons for the low attendance: 1. lack of trust, 2. lack of interest.
Lack of trust in the police is a problem that has plagued the Cayman Islands for many years.
We at Cayman Free Press experienced first-hand these trust issues recently when one of our reporters went to ask the police questions surrounding the investigation of Premier McKeeva Bush. The rather detailed query occurred several weeks before the Compass reported the story.
The day after the reporter went to the police with their questions our organisation received a phone call from Premier Bush asking whether a particular reporter – calling that reporter by name – was looking into the case.
The public can trust us when we say that we fully understand their reluctance to approach the police with sensitive matters.
What we cannot understand, however, is the apparent apathy or disinterest in illegal weapons and gun crime – especially after the shooting of a local brewery worker last week that cost the man an eye, and a slew of recent robberies of local businesses since the beginning of the year.
Even if the police aren’t so good at keeping a secret, there is no reason why everyone in our small community should not be concerned with the crime issue and – at the very least – exercise an opportunity to learn more about it.
Our advice? Don’t let apathy rule the day. The RCIPS has a lot of work to do, to be sure. But if the community doesn’t care about illegal guns and gun crime, the police might feel justified in wondering why their officers should risk their lives bothering with it.