Police investigate missing gun

A handgun belonging to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has gone missing, according to a statement released by the department Monday.

The weapon, which was last recorded as being used by police about a year ago, is not currently in the RCIPS inventory.

According to a statement released by the police service Monday, “Following a recent review of all RCIPS assets we have removed, or ‘written off’, nine guns from our weapons inventory. Seven of these guns are unserviceable and are scheduled to be destroyed following the current [gun] amnesty period. In addition, one which has been listed as missing since the chaotic events following Hurricane Ivan in 2004, has also been recorded as a ‘write off’.

“Finally, the one issue this review uncovered, which is causing greatest concern is that a handgun, last recorded as being used around a year ago, is missing from our inventory,” the police statement read.

RCIPS Deputy Commissioner Steve Brougham has been conducting an investigation into the missing weapon for about a week, the police confirmed. All officers who had access to the weapon are being interviewed.

“RCIPS armouries, buildings, boats etc. are in the process of being searched,” the police statement indicated. “To date, the weapon has not been traced.”

The police service noted that a handgun recovered in the bushes of Admiral’s Landing in the Red Bay area. The fully-loaded weapon was not a police-issued firearm, the department said.

“The RCIPS has a rigid policy in place in relation to the issue and storage of police firearms,” the department statement read. “It is clear that this policy has not been complied with on this occasion.”

No decisions would be made on disciplinary action, if any, until the investigation is completed, police said.

Red Bay gun

The pistol that was recovered in the Red Bay area last Wednesday was found by a Royal Cayman Islands Police K-9 team as the handler and his dog carried out a routine patrol.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the officer and his dog ‘Boris’ were patrolling in the Admiral’s Landing area when they recovered a Heckler and Koch pistol hidden in some bushes at the location.

“This was a significant recovery by the K-9 team,” said RCIPS Superintendent Kurt Walton. “The public can expect to see our K-9 officers and their dogs out on foot patrol in their neighbourhoods and in particular in bushy areas. On this occasion we saw the positive result of one of those patrols.

“The automatic pistol had one bullet in the chamber and another eight in the magazine. Recent events have shown that the criminals who carry guns are using them indiscriminately to injure people. We’re lucky that no-one has been killed so far. The recovery of this gun means that there is one less dangerous weapon on the streets for the criminals to use to destroy innocent lives.”

Amnesty slow

Despite a slow start to the RCIPS gun amnesty this month, a few weapons have been turned in over the past week, Superintendent Walton said.

Mr. Walton also confirmed that 31 rounds of live ammunition had been surrendered at Bodden Town police station as part of the police service’s ongoing gun amnesty in July.

“We have got off to a slow start with this year’s amnesty,” he said. “But one round fired from a gun is all it takes to kill someone. We now have 41 rounds off the streets as a direct result of the amnesty. There are still a few days left until the end of the month for people to do the right thing and drop their unwanted, illegal and unlicensed weapons or ammunition to us.”