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.