— RCIPS Chief Inspector Malcolm Kay
If not addressed, the above statement threatens to be an epitaph for the Cayman Islands as a tourism destination. Safety is the singular advantage that Cayman enjoys over our Caribbean neighbors.
To tourism, crime is the cancer that spreads and, if not arrested, eventually kills. It also corrodes and erodes the quality of life for all of our residents.
For the third time in a month, armed assailants have barged into a well-known, tourist-oriented restaurant to terrorize and rob. For the third time, they met with complete success.
The scene of the latest crime is the waterfront Paradise Restaurant on South Church Street, where late Monday night a man brandishing a handgun stole a phone and wallet from two tourists, plus cash from a waiter (in the midst of the Pirates Week Festival, no less).
As Chief Inspector Kay also said, the method employed in the Paradise robbery is similar to the October hold-ups at Da Fish Shack on North Church Street and Coconut Joe’s on West Bay Road.
It does little good for the RCIPS to hold press conferences to “prove” that crime is diminishing. Reactions to gun-toting thugs, conducting their assaults at high-profile establishments, are visceral and not subject to graphs or charts designed to convince us that we are safer than we were, say, a year ago.
At the Compass, we continue to support our police. They did not create the social problems we expect them to address. They may need more resources (we do believe that the first line of defense is an increased visible presence) and they certainly need more sources. Good information is the key to crime solving.
As long as “don’t ask, don’t tell” prevails as a community ethic, we can expect our crime problems to worsen. It’s time for everyone in Cayman to sign up in a national war against crime. It’s a war we can ill-afford to lose.