Cayman Crime Stoppers expands focus

Cayman Crime Stoppers will expand the subjects of its various crime “tips” to include things like illegal dumping, neighborhood nuisances, immigration offenses and even matters concerning illegal importation.

During a relaunch of the 25-year-old agency last week, Crime Stoppers Chairman Sebastien Guilbard said he believes the group’s 800-8477 [TIPS] hotline and website crime tips service could be used as a resource for many different government agencies.

“Crime Stoppers has helped the police fight crime in the Cayman Islands for a number of years, but we felt it was time for a relaunch to help raise our profile,” Mr. Guilbard said. “Working closely with the other law enforcement agencies will also significantly help deal with different types of crime.”

Mr. Guilbard said agencies which agreed to receive tips from the Florida-based Crime Stoppers hotline included the police, the Agriculture Department, the Department of Environment, the Department of Environmental Health, Immigration Department, the customs service and the prisons service.

“Crime Stoppers offers a trusted mechanism for the public to share sensitive information anonymously and the value of this cannot be overstated for a small community like the Cayman Islands,” Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said. “Crime Stoppers’ extension of its partnership to other agencies on-island is good news for the RCIPS, since we work jointly with these agencies to strengthen public safety in all areas, and curtail crime in all its forms.”

Mr. Byrne has pointed to several combined operations of police, customs and immigration officers which led to a number of arrests this year for things like illegal landing, importation of drugs and firearms offenses.

The most recent arrest in a joint operation came last week at Owen Roberts International Airport, when a 30-year-old man was arrested in possession of about two pounds of cocaine. The suspect was arrested during a morning flight from Cayman Brac, Customs Collector Charles Clifford said.

“We have once again seen the advantage of our strategy to significantly increase joint operations with our partner law enforcement agencies such as the RCIPS and Immigration Department,” Mr. Clifford said.

All calls to the Miami-based phone center of Crime Stoppers are anonymous and tipsters who report crimes are assigned a number, so their name is not known. The number is used later to provide rewards, if their information leads to arrest and conviction of any offenders.

Cash rewards can range from $1,000 to $50,000, depending on the nature of the matter reported.

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