EDITORIAL – When authorities ‘surrender’ to lawbreakers

In the battle for control over Cayman’s streets – law enforcement vs. motorbikers – it is fairly clear who is winning. Hint: They do not wear badges, wigs, judicial robes … or helmets.

It’s been well over a year (and counting) since police vowed to “crack down” on the reckless, relentless and apparently remorseless motorbikers who are treating Grand Cayman’s roadways as their personal race tracks – speeding, popping wheelies and weaving through traffic as they please.

According to today’s front page story, a grand total of 17 cases of non-street legal bikes or illegally and dangerously operated motorbikes were investigated by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service between December 2016 and April 2017.

Of those 17 cases, only nine were forwarded to prosecutors. After reviewing the eight other cases, police decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed. Most of those stalled investigations were due to difficulty identifying the motorbike rider – which should come as no surprise, given these scofflaws’ penchant for wearing bandanas, balaclavas or other flamboyant face-coverings.

This is far more troubling and telling than it might appear. If our justice system cannot deal with something so straightforward (and visible) as these marauding motorbikers – after publicly declaring them a public safety menace – it raises the question, What can law enforcement, our Crown prosecutors, and our courts deal with, effectively and expeditiously?

We are reminded of a recent “pensions case” that required, by our count, 67 court appearances before finally being resolved. Another pensions case has been ongoing – for 10 years! How is this possible – or by any standard, acceptable?

These brazen bikers or pension scofflaws are all conveying the same message: We have no respect for Cayman authority or its laws and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

The inevitable consequence of tolerance of such disrespect is an erosion of public faith in our entire system of law enforcement – from the RCIPS to the Office of Public Prosecutions and, ultimately, to the judiciary itself.

The police and prosecutors will tell you, as they tell us, that they require new or amended laws to deal with matters such as out-of-control bikers.

If that is so, the onus then shifts to our elected men and women who pass our laws: By all means, craft the necessary legislation, and pass it quickly.

It is beyond any measure of acceptability that our justice system simply admits its own impotence (and/or incompetence) and “surrenders” in the face of such blatant lawlessness and civil provocations.

For sure, we want Lady Justice to be blind, meaning she is impartial and objective no matter who stands before her.

But the general public is anything but blind (or deaf), and we do not like what we are seeing as these lawbreakers on two wheels (or sometimes just one during “stunt time”) scream by us on Cayman’s roadways.

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  1. Caymans laissez faire style of law enforcement mimics what was seen in California and Chicago in their early years. This style of law enforcement always walks at the edge of humanities cesspool for the lawless and morally bankrupt. For Chicago and California the edge became a slippery slop and they slid into the pit. Once in the pit you find yourself in another world. A world governed by the things that live in the pit. Cayman is on that edge. The pit creatures sense the weakness and are waiting with open arms the devour and transform the island into another Haiti or Jamaica. A nation either has laws or it doesn’t. If a nation has laws but are not enforced then the nation has no law. It’s like responding to a person being raped and screaming for help that it’s ok because eventually the rapist will get tired and quit but in the meantime can you please get it down because we are working on more important things like music on Sundays that fall on New Years day. Never mind…. the one that was working on that got beat up during a traffic stop…. Oh well.. what’s for lunch?

  2. So, oh clever people at the Compass, so adept at flinging accusations like confetti, what do YOU suggest is the answer? The current law requires the perpetrator to be identified “beyond all reasonable doubt”. How do yo do that when they race away through any gap that is available for them with their faces covered?

    The answer lies, as do most things, in the community. The Caymanian community knows who they are but protects them. The Government dare not ban the import of these machines (they cannot be slipped in through the airport) to cut off supply. There is a lawlessness in the Caymanian community because the world owes some of them a living.

    Don’t get me wrong, 95% of Caymanians are God fearing, hard working, law abiding citizens but there is a significant 5% who don’t give two hoots about social order or obeying laws and they intimidate the 95%, even the Government, into keeping silent while they do what they want. Then it is easy (lazy) to blame everyone else – the cops, the courts.

    That’s the problem the Islands face.

  3. The headline of the Editorial says a lot about the Cayman Islands Authorities, and the Editor says the rest.
    Authorities surrender to lawbreakers, I think it is pathetic that Law enforcement has to give in to lawbreakers.

    I wonder what could be the cause for such behavior of the Authority. Could it be the way Laws are written?
    Or corruption in the issue at hand, like conflicts of interest to one’s job why the Authority can’t do their job and surrender.

    Then we have the issue with the Airport, where the private jets are messing up the Airport on weekends and the Authority can’t or won’t fix that. Why? Is it possible that we need the money from these private jets more than we need the Tourists on the commercial jets? NO. But big money is being made from private jets landing on the Island, and who is making it?