Are these our sons?

| 23/08/2016 | 49 Comments

Cayman News ServiceMM writes: It is no secret that the Cayman Islands faces a dramatic situation with crime; many of us simply brush it off with the acknowledgment that the entire world faces this same issue. However, with a population of only 60,000 (of which we can estimate half to be children or elderly); I do believe we should have a bit more control.

To get our population in to perspective, there are apartment complexes in New York that house over 25,000 people in 110 buildings across 80 acres of land (Stuyvesant Town aka Peter Cooper Village). So why are we so gravely affected by crime statistics on a gleaming Caribbean pearl that boasts one of the greatest standards of living world-wide?

I am not sure why I decided to undertake such a task but for the past three days I have been flipping through everything from the annual government budgets to old news articles – and let’s just say if each of these items were presented as a combo like burgers and fries, we would have a much better picture of the meal we are eating as a community.

If we begin to review the demographics of the persons who are committing these crimes and really narrow it all down, we can start to get a better picture of what has happened, is happening and is going to continue happening if we do not nip the problems in the bud.

Increasing the prison budgets, hiring more correctional officers, implementing rehabilitation programs, and then more rehabilitation programs, expanding holding facilities, arming additional officers, increasing the police force, enacting laws to enforce greater penalties for offenses – all commendable efforts,  but these are remedial efforts; and as an old-fashioned-kind-of-person I thoroughly believe “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.

But, in order to prevent something, we must first understand its origins, causes and/or roots.

Nobody likes getting down to the root of a problem, it can be very gruelling and dirty work; and in the Cayman Islands we apparently have adapted the cultural belief that anything that negatively reflects on us as a society or on our elected leaders or other stakeholders in authority should be hidden and disregarded. The best way of doing this is to take all our minds off the issue or avoid raising the issue at all.

It is more than easy to drive by Cayman’s less-fortunate communities (or in the case of some, speed by or avoid the route altogether) but it is not as easy to stand-down an armed robber while comforting your children during a home invasion.

Common sense should tell us that people burglarise out of desperation, whether the desperation is self-inflicted, avoidable or justifiable; the fact is, it is desperation all the same.

The one thing all of the young, male Caymanian offenders I have spent days reading about have in common is desperation. Whether it was desperate for drugs, desperate for friends, desperate for food, desperate for attention, desperate for education, desperate to be commended (whether good or bad) or just plain desperate – every article I have reviewed relating to young male Caymanian offenders of serious crime points to the fact that each one was desperate.

However, as the broadening list of names of young Caymanian men who commit serious crimes grows longer and the age ranges of the offenders gets younger, it is time to wake up and smell the gunpowder.

I grew exhausted as I began to list; reading through each news article published on Cayman News Service from January 2015 to date relating to gun crime, armed robbery, murder, attempted murder and drugs – and listing the names and ages of each offender, what a sad, sad list.I’d much rather be bird-watching and listing species. But, somebody has to do the dirty work I guess.

I now just wish I had taken note of the year of each offence, but perhaps it is irrelevant compared to the information I have gained from this little project I embarked on.

How is it that on this itty bitty dot in the Caribbean Sea we have the names of more than 30 young Caymanian males, with the majority under the age of 25 years old, all committing such obscene offenses? Murder, armed burglary, attempted murder, gun possession, gang involvement, etc.

What made these young men choose the criminal/gangster life?

Who first introduced them to this lifestyle?

Was their behaviour noticed by teachers when they were at a young age?

What is their family background?

What is their educational attainment?

What is their employment history?

What were their high school graduating exam grades?

Where are their parents? What is the background of their parents?

Did anyone try to intervene and assist them when/if problems were identified early?

What is their primary school behaviour record like?

What is their high school behaviour record like?

Did they have any responsible adults in their lives?

What were the ages of each of their parents when the young men were born?

Seriously? 30+ young Caymanian males with lengthy, serious, criminal backgrounds (and these are only the ones who have made it to headlines)! This should do more than raise eyebrows.

First of all – 30 armed, partially educated, obviously disgruntled, slightly deranged and highly temperamental and misguided young men can unravel an entire community, and it has. It is no doubt not possible to avoid the occasional criminal-minded man from springing up, but I would bet many of these young men may have taken a different turn if they had been given the opportunity at an appropriate time.

They were not born this way; they were also rosy-cheeked, bright and smiling babies looking up at the faces of what apparently were ill-prepared parents (forgive me to those parents who really did try) – and these young men were seemingly raised in an environment that did not foster positive growth or nurture social values.

The problem is, with over 600 babies being born per year now, what percentage of those babies are being born to ill-prepared parents and will grow up within crime-infested neighbourhoods?

The issue with this all is that in the democratic society of which we live and with all the programmes supposedly implemented as netting to capture at-risk youth prior to offending, there are just too many who are slipping through.

Everyone knows “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and in the same way it is much more difficult to rehabilitate a man who has spent the better 10 years of his life ‘enjoying’ criminal activity than it would be to distract and guide a nine or ten-year-old boy who is being affected by an environment that hosts and condones such activity.

Another issue is that many of these young men are raised in a household where several members are involved in criminal activity, and sometimes their own parents condone, encourage and participate in that activity and assist with “initiating” the child in to this practice – and if we have officials who deny awareness of this or who truly are unaware of this taking place, that alone is where the problem rests!

How can you decide to run for leadership in a country in which you are completely disconnected by way of rank, power, income and occupation from the issues affecting the most vulnerable groups of people in your society?

In addition, and to leaders who have been riding the high horse for many moons, how can you truly approach these matters with serious thought, consideration and strategy if you have been living on a political salary, in a political atmosphere, enjoying political perks for years upon years upon years? When last have you truly been “one of the people”? And why do we as ‘the people’ fall for the scraps offered from the political table at each and every election?

How can we accept individuals that clamber for the responsibility of our nation and yet are completely disconnected from the true state of the country? How can we solve a problem that we deny or refuse to believe is there? Or refuse to address because we are far too busy with foreign policy and pleasing the wealthy? Do we just keep expanding and financing prisons? The very reason people visit and invest in Cayman is being challenged by the out-of-control crime in our small community.

The attempts to appease the seeing public (wealthy visitors and investors included) by employing more police and addressing crime itself are the same techniques and tactics employed around the world – and well, around the world is not looking too good right now either.

We have a handfull of well-known areas where crime literally breeds. The solution is not to only attack the occurring and reoccurring crime problem; it is to attack the root of the crime problem.

Why is it that only during election time do we see politicians going door to door in the communities where much of these problems arises from? Well, that is because they are obliged to during election time. Our problem areas are so small in comparison to any other country in the world, how can they not be effectively addressed?

In many of these neighbourhoods, all the residents really need is hope; and more hope than food vouchers from the NAU sometimes (which in its own way can be discouraging and degrading). They really need people to come in there, clean up and talk about their problems with them, people who are willing to listen and act, people who have the power, budget and resources to truly make a difference.

And I am not implying to do this for the sake of the adults, but for the sake of the children. Some of these people are living without running water, without working lights, with crumbling buildings and make-shift stoves. How can we not expect this life to be a breeding ground for criminals?

Environment is stronger than heredity. If crime must really be addressed, then the issues facing our young people that make them choose crime must be addressed – no matter what it takes, no matter how much money it takes.

Now, I was very tempted to type out my handwritten list of names of the young Caymanian male offenders along with their ages to add a little more weight to this submission, but all the information is a few hundred clicks away to anyone who cares and to sum it all up, we have a serious problem.

With more than 18 of the young men I have listed being convicted and/or charged with murder, attempted murder, gun possession and/or armed robbery under the age of 25 years old (at least half were under 22 years old at the time of the offence), all Caymanian and within the past 20 months.

The others listed were over 25 years old, with similar convictions/charges, all Caymanian, within the same timeframe. It is the saddest list I have ever written. And I am sure it would have gotten longer if I had not grown tired of it all.

Another point the list raised is that each of the young men in the under 25 years old group have only been out of high school for less than 8 years, many have only been out for about three years.

Now, the big question is, what can be done to lower the statistics? It seems like as soon as we lock-up one ‘bad-boy’, three more ‘bad-boys’ earn their ‘bad-boy balls’ and pick up the nearest firearm. Obviously we have to understand why they are doing it in order to figure out how to stop it.

The most common reasons young people are propelled in to criminal lifestyle are these (according to some criminal psychology reports), and in no specific order; however I have taken the liberty of dividing the list in to ‘peers’, ‘parents’, ‘environment’:

Peers

  • Peer group pressure
  • Peer involvement in problem behaviour
  • High proportion of unsupervised time with peers

Parents/family

  • Parental criminality
  • Poor parental discipline and supervision
  • Low family income
  • Family conflict
  • Troubled home life

Environment/education

  • Social isolation
  • Alienation
  • Drug or alcohol misuse
  • Mental illness
  • Poor educational attainment
  • Lack of skills
  • unemployment
  • Truancy
  • Disruptive behaviour such as aggression, hyperactive, bullying
  • School disorganisation
  • School exclusion
  • Deprivation such as poor housing, homelessness
  • Lack of social commitment
  • Early involvement in problem behaviour
  • Community disorganisation
  • Opportunity for crime
  • Availability of drugs
  • High percentage of children in the community

And one good look at this exhaustive list, we can all agree every point can be addressed easily and individually in such a small community as ours, at least for the younger, more pliable members, the children who cannot speak for themselves or act for themselves.

In addition, every item on this list can be addressed by proactive authorities, proper legislation and specified budgeting. Whether we want to blame it on when BET first began to air or not; there has been a drastic change of wind in the way our young men (and women) view life as a whole. And to make matters worse, many of them have sired offspring.

Are their children now being raised in the same or similar conditions as they were originally raised?

After these convicts are locked up, is there any official following up on the living conditions of the offenders children?

Is there nothing that can be done to better the lives of the children growing up in our disadvantaged neighbourhoods? Is it right to recline on high-back leather chairs or on all-expense paid trips when the stroke of a pen dictates whether or not one of our at-risk youth will be saved?

Our local “ghettos” typically consist of no more than 10 homes and probably have a population of sixty people each (and I am making rough estimates here). How can this not be managed when our government boasts a hundreds of millions dollar budget, with millions allocated to “policy advice” alone?

People can be no greater than their environment and resources allow; and when one tin of corn beef must feed a whole family, are we to expect anything more than the crimes that stem from desperation?

No, we are not in the business of providing hand-outs; but unfortunately for children who are born into disadvantaged lives, the thought of something better is far-fetched unless it is introduced in one way from a source outside the chaos.

Many argue that a lot of people have beaten the odds of their environments, but the same people that beat the odds will almost always point to that ONE individual that somehow swooped in and gave them enough hope to believe they can overcome the hurdles that their family environment presented to them at birth.

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Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well written article with valid points. The community I live in alone has over 90,000 people… and it’s about a 10-15 minute drive end to end before the next community of that many. We deal with these issues too… sad to see it so prevalent in CI.

    Question: what “ghettos” exist in Cayman Islands? I would never have really suspected that they exist, even by you’re measure (about 10 homes, about 60 people altogether). What I’ve read a lot of on CNS seems to suggest East End as a hot spot, but is it really that widespread?

    • MM says:

      Sure, we have about four of these in GT alone. You can drive through one in less than five minutes; but all the usual drug deals and prostitution go down around these areas.

  2. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Very interesting article and the points given make sense there is another which should be considered. It’s a fact that young people and young menin particular are influenced by a gang culture they see portrayed on television. ‘Gangstas’, with no visible means of support, are seen packing, driving flash cars, wearing gold jewelery and generally acting arrogant and tuf. The consequences of this culture are rarely depicted only the seeming advantages. It’s in many cases fantasy but try to convince many youth that because they don’t draw the line between t.v. and real life.

  3. Anonymous says:

    May I differ regarding Dr. Frank McField – when he returned to Cayman in the Seventies he was full of solutions to our social problems at the time and had a good grasp on our future social issues and what could (would) happen if we did not address them then. That was well before Jim and especially Truman Bodden “fried his brain” with their treatment of him. After that, he reached depths to which you refer, walking around with the parrot on his shoulder, etc. But it can be argued that his treatment by those political pirates led to his mental demise. What cannot be argued is that Dr. Frank was the first and so far, only person who has ever prepared and presented well researched, defined and meaningful answers to social issues for a Cayman Islands facing modernization and globalism.

    It’s quite a shame that when he reinvented himself and undertook a political career that his focus in that direction never quite materialized.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well written piece, a sure eye opener….. We all need to wake up and smell the gun powder, no joke.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Abortion. Permitting abortions in Cayman would reduce crime sharply in the long term. At the moment rich girls have abortion on demand the poor do not. And solitary confinement for the ones that do commit crime, so prison is no longer a university of crime. Money spent on “rehabilitation” of these sorts is a complete waste.

  6. LeGrand Avocat says:

    I liked this article very much. A lot of time was spent gathering and arranging the material and ideas. I agree with most everything brought forth in the article. Well thought out and well presented, MM. My own idea concerning the reduction of crime is somewhat different. Most of the ways mentioned in the article will reduce crime to some extent, but there are people who are incorrigible. If you are serious about reducing crime, just give second offenders the death penalty. After the penalty has been in use for a very short time you will see a dramatic reduction in crime. If nothing else, this will prevent 100% of the repeat offenders! You want to prevent crime? Get rid of the criminals!

  7. Anonymous says:

    National Hero Mrs. Hylton indeed faced and identified emerging negative social issues back in the Sixties, Further, in the Seventies, Dr. Frank McField presented qualified and well-researched solutions to address them then. But it was another National Hero (and the Member of Education of his ExCo between 1976 and 1984) who castigated and rejected Dr. Frank, to the point of displacing him to the “fringe”. Cayman decided to honour that man as the first National Hero and erect a statue to his memory.

    In my opinion, his memory deserves only the pigeon crap on his statue!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Frank had no answers, bobo, especially not in the seventies when he was “out of it” most of the time. But the rest of your comment is largely true.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As to the Honduran boy with a Cayman passport, I’ve wondered that myself. He happened to be born here while his mother was visiting. As far as I know, we’re not like the US where birth conveys citizenship.

    I can only pray that he grows up to be a safe and productive citizen wherever he ends up.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are of course correct. And we wonder why the British have taken over the issuance of our passports.

      • MM says:

        And at a cost of over $700,000 KYD per year too! It would make more sense to hire three UK reps to process the dang things on island!

  9. MM says:

    Well, according to the brief story of one of our national heroes found on CI Government’s official website, it would seem that the youth issues were identified in the Cayman Islands as early as the 1960’s.

    Please take special note of the sentence that states “By the time of her appointment, she was already lobbying government to rectify a number of inequities that confronted the Islands’ youth”.

    The people of the Cayman Islands have been begging for someone of authority to look in to these issues now for half a century! The reason why it must be someone of authority is because the common citizen with concern cannot kick in the door to a drug dealer’s home and remove their children! Laws must be laid and proactive officials must beat the path by foot in order to enforce solutions!

    -excerpt below from http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/cighome/cayman/thepeople/heroes

    “Remembered for “An outstanding commitment to youth”, Mrs. Sybil Joyce Hylton, MBE (1913 to 2006), the daughter of Edward and Jane Russell and wife of Wilfred Augustus “Conrad” Hylton, was Cayman’s first probation and welfare officer and a lifelong advocate for disadvantaged young people.

    Mrs. Hylton became the Islands’ sole probation officer in 1963, going on to serve as the first head of the country’s Probation and Welfare Department until 1982. That was a role for which she was particularly well-suited and she revolutionised her department’s work. Her background and training included years of volunteering with the Jamaican authorities, with whom she maintained a close relationship throughout her tenure.

    By the time of her appointment, she was already lobbying government to rectify a number of inequities that confronted the Islands’ youth. Her zest for championing issues such as the need for a separate court for juveniles continued into her retirement, as did her lengthy service on the Adoption Board.

    And Mrs. Hylton’s exemplary commitment to young people extended to her private life; among other projects, she helped to develop the scouting movement in the Cayman Islands. Presenting her with a special award in 1972, the Nor’wester Magazine recognised her numerous contributions to young people.

    She received the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour in 1968 and was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) ten years later.”

    • Yup!!! says:

      She was part of the problem. “Her zest for championing issues such as the need for a separate court for juveniles continued…” A separate court for juveniles is a free ticket to commit crimes. Teaching youngsters that there are no repercussions for their crimes teaches them that they can get away with whatever they want… Juvenile courts are a joke in most if not all countries; more bureaucracy stacked on top of existing bureaucracy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The mentality of “not my child” and “we are better than others” has had dire consequences for the entire Islands. Governments for the last few decades have coddled citizens and brain washed them into a thinking that individuals have no responsibility for their own actions or lack thereof. It is someone that must do for them, and if they fall flat on their ass, there is always an excuse, always someone else to blame. I don’t know of another place where Government busses children to school for free and where politicians feel it is necessary to give away school supplies to children prior to the school start, making parents think that it is the Governments job to help them raise their child.

    So in a nutshell, you can analysis the current situation a million different ways, but ultimately it comes back to the same thing – a Government who fails to hold its residents responsible for their own lives and enforce the appropriate consequences for their actions/inactions. If men would be forced to pay proper child support for their offspring, if parents would be processed for child neglect, if parents would be held responsible for kids skipping school or for the offenses/misbehavior they commit, a lot of things would be different.

    This country functions purely on favor giving and favor taken and then everyone wonders why things have fallen apart. Humans can not live together unless someone enforces some law and order. Even animal herds have that concept down, but in Cayman we continue to stick heads in the sand and cry foul along the way, blaming every Tom, Dick and Harry for our situation.

    • Rod Barnett says:

      At first I thought the writer was referring to the United States, but it turns out he/she is referring to Cayman. What is happening here is a mini copy of what has happened in the US for decades. Look closely at the US and you will see the Cayman Islands of the future.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is a very insightful piece and raises valid points. while I will not defend the reality that we have our share of native-born criminals, there is no question that many were not born or raised in Cayman. Many of the young criminal types obtained Caymanian Status as a result of the disastrous actions of the UDP Government in 2003, in their misplaced effort to rectify the long-standing naturalization and PR dilemma. Others received status after their foreign mothers married Caymanian men for convenience. Still others enter Cayman just to commit crimes and leave at their convenience.

    Just today (Aug 24) there is a story in the media of a violent crime committed by a man whose family name has only recently appeared in Cayman – being a very common name in Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas – yet he is described as being “local”. However, “where the rubber meets the road”, they are all “our sons”.

    I know a young boy who was born in Cayman (holds a Cayman passport) but his father and mother are both Honduran nationals, with no eligible Cayman ties. His father was a drug dealer in La Ceiba and was murdered. His mother came back to Cayman with the boy for a better life. The young boy (8 years old) boasts of wanting to be a gangster like his dad and states boldly that he is not afraid of Police. His mother is presently applying for Caymanian status. Imagine what he will bring to our society in a few years!! Perhaps the answer to one facet of this dilemma is stricter controls regarding the granting of status or Permanent Residence. Of course this impact human rights and the possible infringement thereof.

    No question, however, that poor parenting is a fundamental cause. This is not unique to Cayman, so instead of trying to re-invent the wheel in dealing with social issues, perhaps we can review and adopt models from other places and adjust them accordingly to the unique factors of own society. But it must be approached from various angles: first a better education system, better parenting and social programs, more serious involvement of the churches (not just railing against gambling, Sunday trading and gays), more inclusive employment practices and tougher crime-fighting. As long as any efforts exclude any of these facets they are doomed to failure and our society will continue in decline.

    • Anonymous says:

      The boy you describe May have no entitlement to a Cayman passport. He is a Honduran. There are many like him that are dropping through the cracks.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think It is possible for an 8 year old whose parents are not caymanian to have a cayman passport or to be “caymanian”. Also how is his mother entitled to get status? Has she lived here for 15 years and how did she get key employee and then PR to have reaached the point where she can apply for status? This sounds like a very fishy story.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are lots of people who are not Caymanian that are being treated as Caymanian, and lots of Cayman passports seem to have been issued to people in the past, by mistake.

      • Anonymous says:

        It may not be legal, but in Cayman, anything is possible.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Great and informative article.

    I would also like to see further breakdown on how many of these children are of mixed heritage/culture, for eg one Jamaican/Honduran/American parent and the other a long-term/generational and/or new Caymanian parent of different origin.

    This will also indicate how well or not, parents are able to integrate enough to provide positive parenting (of course other socio-economic factors must be considered but in any analysis, we have to make assumptions and apply the principle that if ceteris paribus (all else same) how have the parents integrated and applied parenting techniques? Are children adapting negative cultural norms as well?

    When we consider further impact of social changes, how many children are being raised from birth by foreign nationals, schooled by people from mainly same country of origin and monitored in the community by police officers from foreign countries but most coming from same country as the helpers and teachers? If children are being raised, schooled, policed and having a parent from the same foreign country, isn’t it also fair, not xenophobic or racist, to consider that impact?

    As the author has stated, until we address all underlying issues and influences no one can really assist with making positive change.

    • Anonymous says:

      In short, you are looking for information to reinforce prejudiced beliefs something similar to the actions of Dr Goebels in Nazi Germany. Stay classy!

      • Yup!!! says:

        If the shoe fits…

      • Anonymous says:

        @4:44 In no way I am or will encourage or support policies like those used in Nazi Germany.

        My observation was about the influences of foreign groups and suggestion that facts may point to other factors, so that influences of sub-cultures, be it the dominant number here or even via social media, are considered when seeking SOLUTIONS.

        But if you want to really use the analogy of Nazi Germany consider that HITLER WAS AN EXPAT in Germany, he created division among the people in Germany because he wanted power. He used the dire economic circumstances of the time and propaganda to brainwash the Germans. The Jews were seen as having more, inferior and became the tragic scapegoats for a mad man’s quest for power.

        By extension many could use your idea to go further to suggest that maybe certain groups could be using similar brainwashing method on the Caymanians. For eg if you have been here long enough you would know it is only recently that Caymanians have been encouraged (brainwashed) to see the ‘enemy’ as the British (see discussions on recent hiring of ONE British helicopter pilot vs new teachers & police officers) and by numbers (the source of power) the beneficiaries are Jamaicans (and Filipinos etc) and by getting rid of the British or at very least expats who use Caymanians can control the others.

        • anonymous says:

          Thanks for the informative reply. It corroborates my first statement however you put a spin on it!
          Division, xenephobic scare mongering, the fear of sub cultures emerging and ultimately using the nationalistic rally cry to gain credibility. Has nothing been learned from the Trials in Nuremburg? Nothing around here obviously!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just read a great , well considered , thoughtful and thought provoking piece on local criminality and the possible reasons for it . Also the need to accept ownership of the problem .
      The first comment I read , while articulated well, amounted to ‘ ok ..but how do we blame the Jamaicans? ‘ .
      Not every issue can be blamed on the ex-pat .

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not blaming the Jamaicans but being aware of the influences. Jamaicans themselves who fled here for better financial opportunities should not be so shortsighted and also focus on admitting influences and make it easier to create the solutions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great article – thank you! As for the questioning above of whether people are of mixed backgrounds and outside influences – please take your blame pointing finger and point it at the mirror thank you! This is not about race/colour/religion.. There is a catch 22 to your questions that needs to be addresses – to be a police officer you must have a crime free record and thorough background check must be completed and it is only in rare cases that anyone related to a person involved in criminal activity can be considered.. Same goes for teachers – without good high school results and third level education you cannot become a teacher (and in many cases a crime free slate is a prerequisite), thus it is very difficult to be policed by peers or culturally similar people and teaching may come under the same umbrella! Can’t get into the police due to failures of the parents/family in order to set an example – can’t be a teacher due to financial/family circumstances thus the only option is outside help. Chicken before egg so it is hard but not impossible but don’t start the finger pointing before taking a good look in the mirror! Expats are frowned upon for trying to help – it being seen as a stepping stone required for PR being involved in a charity.. Rubbish! More like cleaning the yard in which surround our house and making sure it’s a safe place for kids (any kids) to play!

    • MM says:

      For the sake of the fact that many of my people will try to tagline this piece and pin the problems to the same reason you are pointing out (imported criminals and/or parents of criminals) – I will take attempt to get some information on each of the boys I have listed (including heritage) and perhaps go for a “part two” to this when time permits.

      But the names (and some of the boys I do remember from when I was in high school and others I also remember while they were growing up through acquaintance); as far as I can see, these boys (the ones I have listed) have strong and lengthy Caymanian backgrounds, including parents and grandparents…

      And whether they are from foreign parents, the fact is some Caymanian, in one way, shape or form assisted with landing and keeping them here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanian influenced by whom, other parent from where, are all key questions. Don’t fret MM we doing our own research and will tabulate our factual information with influences from birth and before

    • Anonymous says:

      7.47- that is ridiculous regardless of how they became Caymanian, the fact is that they are part of the community now and it is very convenient but entirely illogical to look back into history and find some reason to blame the problem on another culture… by that reasoning we would blame all our problems on Africa (or wherever you believe man first inhabited)…

      • Anonymous says:

        No because we had slaves from africa here too but now the main influences on Cayman’s crime and culture is factually and culturally from Jamaica

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wait for the post(s) blaming it all on the Status grants of 2003, despite the overwhelming evidence before 2003 (long before) that the problem is homegrown. Just ask the teachers in the schools who in the 80s and 90s had to struggle with some really difficult and sometimes violent kids (now in prison) without any help from the politicians and the administrators (Education Dept and Portfolio) who blamed it on the foreign teachers and not enough strapping in the schools. I would give names but what’s the point -it’s all history and they are enjoying their huge pensions..

    • Anonymous says:

      But do not ignore the overwhelming evidence that the cabinet status grants and corresponding non enforcement of our immigration laws with the massive importation of poverty have made the position much, much worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:59, can you please describe/point to/list/explain for us all the “overwhelming evidence” that you refer to? Thanks.

        • Anonymous says:

          The massive increase in social services expenditure.

          The growth in student numbers and the collapse of our already weakened education system.

          The explosion in numbers of tenement yards and unapproved buildings.

          The growth in numbers off ill prepared young persons seeking a limited number of entry level positions.

          The numbers of persons coming to live here without the ability to support themselves based simply on the fact that they are related to someone who has become Caymanian.

          The divide been Caymanians and expatriates worsened by the fact that Caymanians can no longer be satisfied that for a foreign national to become Caymanian they will likely have been vetted extensively, and be a positive contributor to our community.

          The numbers of persons born with other nationalities that are in our prison system.

          The post above (7.48am) which describes a Honduran child with no Cayman connections miraculously having a Cayman passport.

          All of that (although not complete) is evidence.

          • Anonymous says:

            Most of these belong to the “I had hear that…..” or “I am reliably informed that….” category of “evidence” that thrives on the marl road and in some of the CNS posters’ minds but is worthless and bears no relationship to true empirical evidence.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great piece MM. Perhaps you can assist with the answer to related questions: Are we their fathers? Who are their fathers? Where are their fathers?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are not the father.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know. I live in Cayman. Often the fathers do not, but if they do they provide no support and the problem compounds. Why doe the government refuse to enforce the maintenance law?

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting how you isolated one gender here. When those fathers were away at sea 50 years ago, was it not those mothers raising those children which would later become part of the systemic problem? Did these mother not have a vote in how their country would be shaped? Did these mothers use their collective maternal instincts to ensure that the education system was not neglected? Has it not been mothers who have long time now run the family homes? It is very easy to cast blame on one gender, but as is pointed out, these are systemic issues in which mothers, fathers,the media, the church, politicians and the education system have failed.

      Perhaps in order to properly address the problem, one needs to look at the equation in a holistic manner. One way to start that process is for everyone that lives in this community to look in the mirror and ask themselves, not what they’ve done, but what have they not done over the past 50 years to allow this problem to get to this point. Then tackle those areas and stop passing the buck and making excuses. Stop patting mothers on the back for doing the bare minimum and look at all of the factors. This is an island, which has believed in the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps best to start living by this philosophy.

    • Joseph Stalin says:

      What’s a father?

    • Anonymous says:

      We all (community) should be there father.

  15. Anonymous says:

    A very well written and thoughtful piece.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This sure beats any analysis/report prepared by paid consultants.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Easy answer, mandatory education to a high level even in the prison.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Abortion. Permitting abortions in Cayman would reduce crime sharply in the long term. At the moment rich girls have abortion on demand the poor do not. And solitary confinement for the ones that do commit crime, so prison is no longer a university of crime. Money spent on “rehabilitation” of these sorts is a complete waste.

  19. My 5 cents says:

    Thank you for a well written viewpoint which should have every citizen thinking, what can I do for my country?

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