Concerns raised over exploitation of ‘begging’ kids

| 30/07/2015 | 81 Comments
Cayman News Service

Children begging in the George Town Harbour area

(CNS): The police were on the lookout in the George Town Harbour area Thursday morning after reports of children on the streets yesterday and today soliciting money from visitors, which may be part of a scam. The children were asking for money for an unspecified fundraiser for children in need but gave different accounts to local concerned citizens who queried what they were doing. Asking people to sign a donation form that gave the name of ‘Rosita Webb’ and an unobtainable cell number, the kids claimed they were from various different local schools but there are suspicions they may not attend school locally.

The police said they had been aware of the possible ‘begging’ scam and were looking for the youngsters and any possible adult that is manipulating or exploiting them.

Local activist Sandra Hill (née Catron) told CNS that she and a number of other people had been approached and she made one of the first reports to the RCIPS and the tourism ministry after she observed the children approaching several tourists.

“It gives a very poor impression,” she said. “I could tell that the tourists were not impressed. I have heard tourists share in the past that Cayman stands out as one of the few destinations that does not have beggars and panhandlers and street vendors harassing them.”

As well as being against the law, the soliciting or begging is a poor reflection and Cayman and should not be encouraged, noted Hill, who is also concerned about the exploitation of the children because other witnesses had seen an adult appearing to give the children clipboards and forms.

“If these are local kids, I do not believe this is their only recourse. We have charitable organizations and others to address under-privileged children. They do not need to approach tourists,” she said.

Hill and others discussing the issue on social media have suggested that the children are visitors themselves to the islands that are being exploited by adults during their summer break.

“It’s quite alarming that this could be the case,” she added.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Crime, Local News

Comments (81)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am very depressed by all the comments regarding this “begging” First of all true born Caymanians without “paper” are not beggers. I am 65 years of age and have never witnessed one of my people to beg, with the exception of a young man at Fosters at Countryside a few weeks ago. Thank God we were born blessed and are still enjoying many of life’s Godly blessing in Cayman. Fact, we look around and see some many people through the years come to our island and remain here or go away and come again “to stay” this little rock has been a light to many and I have met so many different people who love the people and fit right in as a Caymanian. The problem we are having now has been building over a few year, every summer we have these same set of children begging. And they are like the black birds, they will bring all their friends and family, and that is where we have reached with this very unpleasant, embarrasing and down right grading situation. This time of the year the children come to spend time with their Mom or Dad, the church is packed with them, and if we look on the streets in the mornings we will see many Jamaican helpers accompanied by 2-3 children, that is good, but instances of begging is not a good thing, especially when the issue is disgusting to other people. This matter do not call for the passing of rude remarks, just kindly and politely leave Caymanians with their culture, we don’t need your back home traits, leave us alone and when you are in Rome do as the Romans do and likewise when in Cayman do as the Caymanians do. Simple! And to the comment what will Cayman do if all helpers return home, I wont answer. I just want to ask an honest question: “Where were the rest of the world when our good able body seamen went to sea and venture their lives for their county and family? Who kept this little island afloat cutting thatch, planting food and beating misquitoes? Who, and where are they now “good women” What many are reaping and making a mess of here today are the sweat, blood and hardwork of our forefathers, not banks, not flashy cars, not weaved hair, not free status, not Social Service (aka imported poverty). This is the only place in the entire world that literally give you a free status to stay then turn around and give you free social services, including your long list of family members, BUT make one of those true born Caymanians ever enter that door because of “real” need they automatically become a shelf issue. And before I do close, yes those 2 school age boys that held me up at Kirks 2 weeks were indeed Jamiacan children speaking raw pat wah, fe them pastor fe send them out da fe donations them were going a foreign on 21st July

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just ask them for an ID, the name of their charity and the date of the last time it was audited. Then watch their reaction, if they cannot give a convincing answer, just walk away.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is surely not CaymanKind!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Every single time I shop at Hurleys, Grand Harbour I’m asked for money, usually by children, for some cause or another. Now, I give generously to charity through organized channels, but I’m less than happy to hand over cash to kids (or adults) outside supermarkets with no form of ID to prove they’re collecting for a proper cause. In fact, I’ll go one step further: I’m so fed up having to say “Sorry, no” at least twice during every Hurley’s shopping trip that if this particular supermarket does not begin to properly monitor who’s asking for money on their property, I’m going to take my business elsewhere to avoid the nuisance.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has our problems like any other country, so for us to think that one incident like this could cause major problems think again. We are in a far better place than most. You wanna help Sandra? Find out the core of the problem? Many of us are faced with difficult times and it is time to stop ignoring it. At least you didn’t get your pocket picked. Not from the kids anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but that doesn’t wash in my book. Accepting behavior like this is the start … when they start picking your pocket you will then say at least they are not killing you etc. Let’s address the issue in it’s infancy and deal with it now! Yes there are underlying factors IF they are local kids in need. If they are not in need but think this is easy money or not even locals then it’s a scam and needs to be addressed ASAP.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just another form of stealing. Cayman or where ever you are from please meet your future criminals.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Have you come across the guy outside Fosters who tells you about the hardship of suffering Type 2 diabetes and then claims he can’t afford his medication (insulin). A very smooth story well articulated, so can we say he is “earning” his alms?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you come across the guy outside Fosters dressed in finest clothes who tells you about his hardship of needing a few dollars to collect his medical reasons airline ticket while stating he has a good job with full comprehensive medical insurance coverage through his employer while forcibly asking for money and does not take no for an answer -he just keeps on demanding cash like a seasoned criminal.. I have a feeling it’s the same guy as 11:27am post describes with a new twist on the medical reason.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fosters needs to REALLY be more aggressive with their monitoring of these scam artists.

        • Anonymous says:

          What about the guy rummaging through the garbage pails around the court and the guy in the same area who uses profanities against your mother if you don’t join in the fun “gimme dolla” game.
          Don’t think these are tourists.

  8. Cass says:

    Well said @ 4:08 and 3:20

  9. Anonymous says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the children in the caption were caymanians because I was later accosted by the mother who hands out flyers for diamond international, and guess what, she didn’t use a passport to come here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Don’t give them any money, but don’t be surprised when they rob you.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is time for folk like Sandy Hill to wake up and realize we have poverty here. Our issues are not all imported Sandra.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sandra Hill has a Jamaican husband so I doubt she would be bashing Jamaicans – they family to her!

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank God she can highlight issues regardless of her spouse, if our politicians could understand that then we would have less issues.

          You marry one person not a tribe or a country!

      • Anonymous says:

        Issues are not all imported but ENCOURAGED. Don’t give them one cent, let their idle parents use their hands and earn what they spend. Or, find their fathers, they are not universal children.

      • Anonymous says:

        Addressing this issue doesn’t mean that she’s not realizing we have poverty. How did you jump to that conclusion.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it not better these Caymanian kids beg than thief?

      • Anonymous says:

        Approximately 2:15pm on Thursday July 30th across the street from Island Electronics, a man who looked homeless was pushing a Grocery Cart, which looked like his belongings in 4 big garbage bags. Yet we don’t have homeless people. The children asking for money for tickets, etc are usually in front of the grocery stores, in which the managers of the grocery stores need to call the police and keep calling them. What they are doing is illegal IF the tickets and cause are not real,who is putting them up to it??? We have a problem in Cayman and all law enforcement has their heads in the sand. The only time something is done is if it is high profile example “dog attack”. The list is endless, motor cycles running up and down the roads at excess speed, look what happened a 21 year old with severe injuries, no police to be seen, black out cars (tint on windows) nothing ever done. Now we have begging, same s..t different day!

      • Whodat? says:

        . . .and better they thieve than kill pets; and better they kill pets than kill people; and . . . .

  11. Anonymous says:

    This freaking place we call Cayman; we treat their parents like crap; we work them long and ungodly hours, we give them no vacation pay, allowed no sick days, no overtime, we pay no health insurance for them. They cannot get any vacation during the summer to spend time with their children cause our kids are more important so they have to bring their kids here and this is how we treat their kids; accusing them of all manner of evil; dont worry Cayman, Hurricane Ivan relative will deal with you; Yes i am a Caymanian. I donate to the kids on the waterfront, they didnt scam me, i read their paper and it clearly stated their caused. The kids were polite and they were Caymanian kids. They never held me at knife point to donate, the choice was mine. As a matter if fact, when i gave them the $$ they were leaving when the tourist next to me offer them a donation-they did not approached them. I dont see anyone commenting how we are.bombard with children from private schools seeking donations to go on overseas sports trip; something that our local children cant get into – yes our $$ is good to help send them overseas, but our children are not good enough to play on their teams/leagues. We in Cayman always try to pretend that we dont have crime, proverty and God’s know what else we try to shake off on others. The time you people take blaming others, your closet is overrun by skeletons, remember when we point 1 finger 4 more is pointing back at you. Caymanians love to throw stones and then hide their hands, i remember after Ivan some Caymanians that were too proud to go out inline to get anything; their hair was a mess, their nails not done, so they sent their helpers, then we turn around and cursed and accused the Jamaicans of taking the supplies and sending them home. When will we take responsibility for our OWN actions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please 6:04am i don’t think anyone works them long hours and ungodly hours for they won’t come to work, BS about no vacation bay, sick pay. If this is happening to a Caymanian then they are idiots for not reporting it. To work in a place with no health insurance, no sick leave alone is a labour breech. Unfortunately not everyone can take summer vacation, that is just the way it is!!!! Can’t blame the employer, they are running a business and it honestly isn’t their problem you have school age children. Most employers will try but sometimes it is beyond their control

      I am sure if what you are saying is being done to a Caymanian, they would have marched their behinds into the Labour Department and file a complaint!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I have to agree. What the author above should have also mentioned is how Jamaicans are brought to Cayman by other Jamaicans and worked to death! They make them pay for their own permits, they provide no health insurance and they over work them with little or no pay.

        THAT is been going on and Immigration has been breaking up many of those operations.

        I find it interesting that some nationalities hate to be told the truth about their own shortcomings.

        I never read comments about Cayman being any good for those who come here, only negative. But yet people come every day looking for a better life.

        • Anonymous says:

          Bingo. You describe exactly what is going on. However, whilst immigration are working to break it up, the persons doing it seem to be never actually or effectively punished. Why?

    • Anonymous says:

      All public and private schools are closed, so therefore there shoud be no fundraising / sponsor sheets of any kind being used at this time.

  12. Anonymous says:

    caymaicans/jaymanians…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    fine the parents $10k each…

  13. Constant Springs says:

    Caymanian beggars just do not have the same energy or ambition as Jamaican beggars. At least in Jamaica they will wash your windshield at the stop lights and they absolutely will not take no for an answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are Caymanians so anti foreigners?? How would the island survive with out the J’cans, Pinos or the Hondurans eh? Who would clean the muck out of your homes, wash your dirty underwear, please your husbands and take care of the dogs?

      • Anonymous says:

        They can send them all home. My house is cleaner than theirs. I wash my own dirty wear and she couldn’t please my husband so he came back.

      • Anonymous says:

        For your all sake, hope we don’t.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I just LOVE the nasty anti Jamaican stuff that is casually included in these comments. I was first begged by children in 1975 outside the then fairly new Kentucky Fried Chicken place next to what used to be called Dog City. They were Caymanian kids plus one adult whose son is still there begging. I would give the name but CNS might not print it but let us say the family has the same name as an American President and they and other families from that area -born Caymanians everyone-are still active. The beggars at Fosters in Countryside are all Caymanian-again I could name names. And one guy at Priced Right is a West Bayer who tells you “you should gie me sometin'” so he doesn’t commit a crime and go to jail. His surname is Ebanks so stop with the Jamaica attacks -we have a bunch of useless layabout Caymanians to worry about and it has nothing to do with unemployment. They have NEVER wanted to work since they left school.

    • Anonymous says:

      Such nasty anti-Cayman stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am glad you know the families
      Its really not begging its a job and skill
      pretending to be a cop or govt leader now that’s something
      to be ashamed of

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians tend to blame a different country/nationality for a particular thing.

      You get robbed of money/jewelry: Jamaicans
      You get stabbed/shot: Jamaicans
      Obeah: Haitians
      A woman steals your man: Hondurans
      Your dog is missing: Filipinos
      Too much curry on the food: Indians
      Food to spicy: Guyanese
      Food has no taste: British

    • Anonymous. Caymanian says:

      You came here in 1975 and you still here wow. Caymanians can’t that bad that you are still here

      • Anonymous says:

        No, I came here in 1970, left and came back in 1972. I love Cayman and most Caymanians though not the ones who constantly want to defy reality and pretend that all or most of the evil going on here is committed by non Caymanians. It just is not true. I am equally harsh about UK, American and Canadian people who blame foreigners/immigrants for their evils in their countries. It goes on there too not just here in Cayman. But we all live in Cayman so lets deal with the issue here and can anyone seriously deny there are a lot of idle/don’t want to work Caymanians (usually male) doing nothing but begging and stealing, usually for drugs?

  15. Anonymous says:

    A well used phrase in cayman is” let me hold a little dollar” Its a social thing practiced between caymanians
    In Jamaica they say gimmie your money That a culture thing b4 they take it

  16. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately it isn’t just this situation. I have changed my shopping times,due to the overwhelming raffle ticket sales by various schools. I really have never heard of these drawings. What are the odds that no one that I know have won a prize for the past umpteen years.
    Then there are the individual kids with the sponsor sheet who want to go on all sorts of trips.
    No peaceful shopping trip to Fosters anymore

    • Anonymous says:

      The supermarkets need to put a stop to this – shopping on a Saturday is particularly bad. Everywhere you go you are hounded for money.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is Jamaica. In a few years there will be no differences between the two islands. All of us who can run will depart and leave. After all who in the hell wants to live in a place like Jamaica?!

    • Anonymous says:

      In a few years? It already is!

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many upper class Jamaicans who would not sh*t on Cayman so don’t think “our” little country is so great as opposed to theirs. If the ships broke down and planes weren’t flying how would we survive here? Don’t always knock Jamaica cuz we sure could survive there without everything being imported and remember the time when we did depend on Jam for just about everything.

  18. NotYourIslandFantasy says:

    Quite sure if they were white kids this title would have been titled differently. “White kids selling cupcakes in town….need money to buy cupcake batter.”

  19. Anonymous says:

    I hope that immigration will do their job and stop them from coming here and ruining or country. We have too many of them here.

    • Megan says:

      These are most likely local kids, whether Cayman wants to admit it or not; this is where we have reached.

      • Anonymous says:

        ‘Local kids’ aka have one Jamaican parent, Jamaican parent working in Cayman or government workers brining in their children.

      • Anonymous says:

        Local imports, adopted or mi stepfada from here.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are so correct. Local Caymanian children would have there nannies do the begging for them

    • Anonymous says:

      they are immigration wake up your whole country is now run by Jamaicans or married to a Jamaican YOU are Racist

  20. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the third world. Stop allowing all the children who are coming here from a specific place, who usually cause a lot of problems, while they are here.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This has been going on for donkey years it is a skill taught from grandparent down
    I am personally quite fond of those few that beg for a living . They stay just off the waterfront about a block and have a specific locations that they work
    Most locals would have no idea what these other locals are doing They see them everyday a ship is in. These people do take their job seriously get dressed up for the job ride the bus to work etc .
    Please just leave them alone. The ones with the Jamaican accent that’s most likely just a ploy to distract like I said its a well honed skill they practice.
    And perhaps their is an outsider working and that is the root of this story

  22. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the Third World.

    • Anonymous says:

      Brought to us with the kind assistance of corruption and incompetence.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 6:51 That’s it right there! We will quickly see the impact of those two – corruption & incompetence and when I listen to advocates of Human Rights, there is a growing stance for children of expats who come here and work and leave their children.

        First, we never forced them to leave their children.

        Second their choice to leave was supposed to be based on making lives better and then to return home (but no one wants to leave Cayman)

        And most important the same HR advocates with great influence NEVER discuss the rights of indigenous children, and who knows there might be one of two in the photo. BUT no our great influential men & women spend their energies fighting for children in other lands.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Our biggest of all our problems, just nobody wants state the truth!!!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    It happened to me yesterday in town as well!!

    I asked the kid where his parents were. He replied “me mother a work”. At that point his accent told me he was not from here. I then asked him how long he was here for, to which he replied “me down fa deh summa”

    Didn’t give him any money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it easier to fake an accent and say “mi mutha deh a werk” verses “my mama wuking tiday bobo” ?

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect it’s the children of Jamaicans living and working here that are doing the lions share of this recent public display of begging. They normally come and spend the summer holidays with their mother/father. I would hazard a guess that the money they receive from begging is soon snapped up by the parents as well.
      Nip this in the bud I say as it’s annoying and looks bad on Cayman if it’s being conducted in our capital.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Well not surprised but if the people in Cayman don’t want to revise their position on importing half of Jamaica then be prepared to accept all the culture not just the ackee & salt fish!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.