Police have launched ‘Operation Blade Runner’ in an attempt to crack down on what they call a spike in violent knife attacks.
“On every weekend, for the next few weeks, we are going to be visiting the licensed premises… where we’ve had issues in the last few weeks,” said RCIPS Detective Superintendent Peter Lansdown, who was speaking at a one-week anniversary walkthrough of a fatal stabbing at The Strand parking lot this weekend.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, 29 Aug., Recordo Pars, 27, was stabbed to death. One man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection to his death, while another has been arrested for a separate wounding incident that occurred at the same time.
The deadly knife attack was captured on cellphone footage and has since been distributed across several social media platforms. On Friday, 4 Sept., Lansdown and a number of his detectives and officers revisited the murder scene with the hopes of tracking down the person who recorded the video.
“This happened last Friday evening, into Saturday morning (29 Aug.). We are back down here this Saturday morning ostensibly to appeal to the same crowd and potential witnesses,” said Lansdown. “I’m particularly looking for the people who posted social media account videos of the stabbing last weekend. All we’ve got at the moment are second-hand copies of the incident.”
However, with few to no customers, the bars and night clubs at the shopping centre had closed early, and there was hardly anyone present by the time officers arrived at 2am. Undeterred by the low turnout, the officers handed out fliers before they moved on to other bars, to enforce the crackdown.
“The only way of stopping this knife crime in Cayman is for the decent and right-minded people to step up, do the right thing, and stop it,” said Lansdown. “If these criminals can carry knives with impunity, knowing their colleagues and friends aren’t going to say anything about it, this is going to continue.
“Anyone who sees someone with a knife has to report it.”
The Cayman Islands Penal Code allows a person to carry a collapsible knife with a blade not exceeding four inches; anything longer than that is considered a restricted weapon, possession of which carries a potential jail sentence, depending on if or how the knife is used in the commission of a crime.
“People who carry knives are likely to use them, and if they use them they are likely to kill or they are going to maim,” said Lansdown. “They are going to go to prison for life, or at the minimum, they are going to go to prison for a few years.
“This can’t continue, so right-minded people of Cayman have to be the people to stop this and come forward and tell us what happened, and then the criminals will be the ones in fear, they will not want to carry knives,” he added.
According to the RCIPS, there have been 32 crimes involving serious violence, including murder or attempted murder, so far this year, and 21 of those involved a bladed weapon.
Police have set up a major incident room in relation to Pars’ death. Anyone with information regarding the incident can contact detectives directly at 649-2930, or can contact Miami-based Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS (8477).