Cayman’s secure image rattled by robberies

| 19/01/2015 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The claim that Cayman is still one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean was brought into question Monday when a Grand Court judge spelled out how much damage professional armed robberies are doing to the jurisdiction. During the sentencing of three men for an $800k commercial robbery in the heart of downtown George Town, Justice Charles Quin pointed out that Cayman had already recorded the Caribbean’s largest bank heist when more than $500,000 was taken from Cayman National in June 2012 and this represented one of the largest jewel heists for the region as well.

The New Year’s Day robbery in 2014 of Diamond’s International was an even bigger value haul than the bank robbery as the armed gang of robbers had taken more than $800,000 worth of luxury jewellery from the store across the street from the cruise terminal, in broad daylight on a one of the busiest holidays of the year for the tourism sector.

With news of this type of crime spreading fast, the judge pointed out that Cayman’s claim to be a safe jurisdiction was on shaky ground. He said that over the last five to six years the Grand Court and the Court of Appeal was dealing with an increasing level of violent gun crime and commercial robberies.

Alongside the two high-profile robberies of Cayman National and Diamond International, both of which have been treated by the courts as professionally planned crimes, Cayman has also been dealing with robberies at other commercial premises relating to the tourism business, such as armed stick-ups in bars and restaurants along the Seven Mile Beach strip as well as in downtown George Town.

As the country awaits the crime statistics for 2014, which are expected at the end of this month, to provide the official toll of armed robberies and other gun-related crime, the politicians continue to turn to increasingly draconian sentences as a short-term fix.

The introduction of a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years for those convicted after trial for possession of an unlicensed firearm, regardless of its use, does not appear to have deterred robbers from using guns in the commission of their crimes. However, the long sentences are resulting in circumstances where violent armed robbers are being given very similar jail terms as those who merely handle a weapon and helping to fill an already over populated and underfunded prison.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (2)

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  1. 2 Cents says:

    Cayman’s biggest problem is “Northward Prison”, these people are not scared of going there . They don’t fear going to prison with their friends/peers, eating cooked meals three times a day, uses drugs freely, medical and dental care, being paid money upon their release… lets not forget the AC all day!! – think about all that for a sec, these people live in prison than on the streets matter of fact better than poor hardworking individual who can’t even pay CUC to keep a ceiling going.

    Prison time should not be a pass time, it should hard time… make them afraid of the consequences, the place where they would serve their sentences and I guarantee crime will drop if not stop.

  2. guest says:

    Maybe if you were to tack on the 10 years for using a gun to any ‘normal’ sentence they might, but let’s say violent robbery gets you 10 years, then using a gun in the process of any crime tacks on a 10 year, no parole option, might work. Robbing a gas station for $250, normal sentence 2 years, use a gun, 12 years. Must be in adition to, can’t be served consecutively. Heck, make it 25 years. BTW they know the 10 years means 5 years in jail and if you are locked up for 5 years anyway there’s no additional time served if the sentence is consecutive.

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