Gun amnesty slow to start

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service gun amnesty is off to a slow start.

Police said just 10 rounds of ammunition have been handed in since the amnesty period started on 1 July up through Monday.

“We are disappointed, particularly in light of the recent escalation in gun crime and the senseless shooting incidents that have taken place, that people are not taking advantage of the opportunity to get rid of illegal, unwanted and unlicensed weapons,” Superintendent Kurt Walton said. “People have less than two weeks left to hand the weapons into police stations as part of the amnesty – anonymously.

“Last year, while the guns and ammunition did come in at a steady rate the numbers surrendered picked up quite considerably towards the end of the month-long initiative. We hope that this year the same thing will happen,” Mr. Walton said.

“But this is a reminder that time is running out,” he said. “If you have a gun in your home that is unlicensed the choice is yours – hand it in, risk that gun getting into the wrong hands, or face ten years in jail. Collectively, we need to do all that we can, both as law enforcement officers and as members of the wider Cayman Islands community to disrupt the supply and availability of guns to stop the indiscriminate use of these weapons.

“If you are concerned about coming to the police office you have a number of options available; you can call us or talk to a trusted friend or your pastor,” Mr. Walton said. “We don’t care who brings the guns in, or how they are delivered to us, the important thing is to get them off the streets.”

Superintendent Walton attended all of the district amnesty meetings and said there was substantial interest shown by the community regarding the amnesty.

“While the turnout at many of the meetings was low, those who did come along were very passionate about the need to get rid of illegal weapons, and to do all that they could to help keep the Cayman Islands safe and free of gun crime,” he said.

Until 31 July, guns and ammunition can be dropped off at George Town, West Bay, Bodden Town and Cayman Brac police stations seven days a week from 7am until 7pm.

Anyone who has information about gun crime in the Cayman Islands should call the RCIPS confidential tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477(TIPS). In an emergency call 911.

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