Editorial for 21 July, 2011: Crime seems to be creeping up

 “Crimes like murders and burglaries that plagued the Cayman Islands during the last few years have fallen off police charts so far in 2011.”

 So began the article on page 2 of the Friday, 15 July, 2011, Caymanian Compass.

 Tell that to the owner of Reflections following Tuesday night’s smash and grab.

 Tell that to the owner of Lorna’s Texaco in Bodden Town and his loyal employee Medsadie Connor who was shot and her purse stolen.

 Tell that to the owner of the Red Bay jerk stand where Cayman Islands Brewery worker Kemar Golding was shot in the face during an attempted robbery – attempted because neither Mr. Golding nor his jerk stand worker friend had any cash on the.

 This latest attack on the Reflections store comes in the middle of a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service mandated gun amnesty. Until 31 July people with legal and illegal weapons are being urged to turn them in to police – no questions asked.

 It’s an amnesty that’s going as slow as molasses in winter. So far only 10 rounds of ammunition have been turned in since the amnesty began on 1 July.

 Already this year police have made arrests in 14 cases of illegal firearms, more than double the amount for the same six-month period in 2010.

 Police also acknowledge that the guns that are being used in the escalation of gun crimes are more than likely being swapped around and, may, in some cases be rented out to commit crimes.

 People in the community know where the illegal guns are and who has them.

 During this amnesty those guns can be turned in without fear. Be sure that ballistics tests will be done to determine if any of the firearms were used in the commission of a crime and questions will be asked. But if you know of someone in possession of an illegal firearm, let the police know. You can do so anonymously.

 Be mindful that time is running out – you have 10 days left to turn in or report illegal weapons. After the deadline those caught with illegal firearms face 10 years in jail. Even worse, they could end up in the wrong hands and used in illegal endeavours.