The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said Tuesday it was disappointed at the turnout during the first in a series of public meetings held on the department’s gun amnesty programme.
Despite the increase in armed robberies and the outcry over gun crime, police said just five members of the public turned up at the George Town district meeting Tuesday night.
In the meeting, held at the Mary Miller Memorial Hall, the five residents listened to the panel and contributed to the discussion – but officers said even the residents were dumbfounded by the lack of interest shown in relation to the issue.
“There could be many reasons why people couldn’t come out tonight,” said RCIPS Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden. “But I think it’s fair to say that we were all very disappointed by the low turnout.”
The meetings had been advertised in the Caymanian Compass, as well as all other broadcast and media outlets in the week prior to the meetings being held. Those notices went out mainly over the long holiday weekend, between Friday, 1 July, and Monday, 4 July. “Where were all the people who make comment in the blogs or on the talk shows; where were the people who push day in and day out for the RCIPS to find solutions to the gun crime issues?
“We have said time and time again that the RCIPS cannot do this alone. We need to work with the community, we need buy-in and support from the community.
“I would encourage anyone who has an interest in keeping Cayman safe to come along to one of the remaining meetings.
“Finally, I would like to personally thank the five community-minded people who made the effort to come along tonight to share their concerns and discuss the way forward. They are all committed to working with us – it’s a start but we need much, much more!”
The panel, Mr. Bodden, Supt. Kurt Walton, CI Frank Owens and Mr. Michael Myles, the At Risk coordinator from the Department of Education, discussed issues such as the evolution of gun crime, youth intervention, Cayman culture versus gun crime and gun issues specific to the George Town area.
The remaining meetings will be held at: Wednesday, 6 July, 7.30 to 8.30pm Sir John A Cumber PS, West Bay Thursday, 7 July, 7.30 to 8.30pm Webster Memorial Hall, Bodden Town Monday, 11 July, 7.30 to 8.30pm Civic Centre, East End Tuesday, 12 July, 7.30 to 8.30pm Cradock Ebanks Civic Centre, North Side Wednesday, 13 July, 7.30 to 8.30pm Layman Scott High School Hall, Cayman Brac Thursday, 14 July, 7.30 to 8.30pm Hurricane Shelter, Little Cayman