Ennis refocuses on gun crime

| 16/08/2016 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service

Anthony Ennis, RCIPS Acting Commissioner of Police

(CNS): The acting commissioner of police is turning his attention to fighting the gun crime battle and in particular the importation of firearms. Anthony Ennis said that access to illegal firearms remains a top priority for the RCIPS and he aims to close the gaps that allow weapons to get into the Cayman Islands. The police have already seized nine guns since the start of this year and numerous people have been arrested and charged for gun related crime. But with dozens of people already in jail, either convicted of or on remand for gun charges, the infamous claims by the former commissioner that only a handful of gunmen were behind the violent crime now appears completely misplaced.

Ennis told CNS that while his officers had taken nine firearms off the streets this year alone, there were still concerns about weapons smuggling and he said the police would be closely collaborating with other law enforcement agencies to try and stop the weapons getting here in the first place.

“This concern will require close collaboration with our other law enforcement partners to ensure that we close any gaps that allow for these weapons to get though our border security at sea or on land, as well as collaboration with the community, as many of those in possession of or having access to illegal weapons are known by family or friends,” Ennis said. “Criminals will only thrive where they have a safe haven to thrive, and the rule of law and the chief law enforcement body within the criminal justice system are held in contempt.”

The acting commissioner recently commended the courage of unarmed officers in the face of armed suspects. Police officers, he said, continue to perform “diligently and gallantly” when confronted with the threat of deadly force.

But stopping the flow of weapons requires other agencies as well as the public to help the police and Ennis said that he had been working on re-securing partnerships with other law enforcement departments to help in the fight.

“I am pleased to report that the collector of customs, the acting chief immigration officer and I have agreed to re-engage at the strategic level to build useful partnerships between our agencies and will be meeting shortly,” Ennis said. “This meeting was initiated by Mr Charles Clifford and is a clear demonstration that we share a common interest and objective in making our islands free from illegal guns and a safe place to live, work, do business and visit,” he added.

When he first took up the post, former police commissioner David Baines suggested that there were only 15 to 20 young men in Cayman who were behind the gun crime, and a year later he said that most of the men he had in mind had been jailed or killed. But despite the claims made by Baines at the time that the RCIPS was in top of the gang-related gun crime, the reality is that over the last six years a lot more than twenty young men have been involved in shootings and armed robberies.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Crime, Police

Comments (36)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please all note Ennis was one of the very senior command team of the RCIPS for the entire time Baines was here. I find it hard to believe he had nothing to do with the direction over the past six years. Suddenly he is the saviour. Really? In that case ask what he did for those years with Baines.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:54 What he was told? Baines was an inflexible boss who was most likely appointed with the connivance of the FCO – would you have got into an argument with him?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is really good to see Ennis stepping out and demonstrating positive leadership — something that Baines should have done.

      He would have been one voice in the Gold Command — and who knows how those conversations went. But in any case, this is the type of leadership that Baines should have been showing rather than prancing off to BVI and elsewhere on ego trips for this investigation and other, when he was so badly needed at home.

      So sad that we continue to import these guys who apparently are so inhibited in relating to the local population.

      I actually wish that Ennis would reconsider his stated wish not to be considered for the post.

      As Mahatma Ghandi so famously said in response to whether he thought the Indians would not make mistakes after the British left: at least it would be theirs (the Indians’) mistakes. The implication is that everyone makes mistakes, and I would much more trust the decision making of persons strongly connected with Cayman over a period of time than those going in for short-term leadership. And when they come in and muck up and leave the mess behind like the previous Governor — it is so galling!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I respect Anthony’s wish to not apply for the more political position but instead remain in an operational position where he feels he can be more effective. Hopefully the next COP will recognize Anthony’s abilities and ethics and allow him to carry out his policies without political interference. This will only happen if the recruitment process focuses on the good of the people and not, as in the past, on the good of certain influential people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If it is so important, ask the CoP why the USG are being scaled down and all their supervisors being redeployed. Someone doesn’t get it

  4. Anonymous says:

    Like Trump, Ennis has identified the problem. The big question is though, by what methods is he going to curtail it? Just saying he is going to address it will not stop it. He would need to 4 helicopters to have 24/7 coverage to stop the smuggling. Shoot, Cubans come in here and no one knows for hours; in fact wasn’t one was here for days until his money ran out? He would also need to change criminals desire to possess guns and that won’t happen until he finds a way to persuade criminals to change their ways to become law abiding citizens. I am happy though that he has acknowledged what we all knew all along. Just waiting to see how he goes about tackling the issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trump has identified the problem. Unfortuntely that very statement alone invalidates any further comments!

  5. Cayguy says:

    Whatever happened to the gun amnesty rcips would run once in a while? That used to get at least a few illegal guns off the street. They should continue tightening up on importation

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ennis focuses on gun crime? I would rather he focused on stopping gun crime!

  7. Anonymous says:

    As said two routes planes and boats. The airport is the responsibility of customs not the RCIPS in fact I have never seen a police officer patrolling the airport terminal
    Second route boat this is an island and has no Coast Guard capability which I find astonishing and again boats landing need to be searched.
    I know someone who has a boat here and says he has never been stopped or searched by customs when landing.
    There is also the bigger picture this and previous governments pay lip service to all the enforcement agencies on this island and it only takes a US tourist to be shot for that industry to collapse

  8. Larry and da Puppets says:

    Allar Baines and gang werent here for that bro.Here to manage the flow of info??? by what ever mean necessary. No worries new information manager about to be annointed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A COP with a common sense approach to stemming crime in the Cayman Islands. Innis where have you or someone like you been all these years?

    Thank you for making a real effort to curb all types of crime in the Cayman Islands and in particular violent crime.
    I sometimes wonder if the succession of prior COPs we have had has not had a vested interest in ensuring that some level of violent crime remained in Cayman, if for nothing else than job preservation.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Guns only get to Cayman by one of two routes , either by sea or by air. Obviously the weapons problem here was a result of inadequacies in policing these two areas of Cayman’s border control, but it did not happen overnight.

  11. Allar says:

    Let me say, we have a long time before we will see the end of the effects of Baines incompetence. By far he was the worse COP we have ever had. Keep telling the country the truth Mr. Ennis and many thanks for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop Baines baiting! The gun and drug culture is endemic in Cayman and also has been. It is not the just the enforcement agencies to blame but how the young people are brought up by their families….take responsibility!

      • Kent says:

        As COP you should be held accountable for your failures. He failed miserably and we all know it. It will take a person with vested interest in Cayman and its people to see changes regarding law enforcement. No, one man cannot be blamed but like I said he should be held accountable for his obvious failures.

        Ennis knows the culture, is approachable and is trying to make a difference.

        Good luck to all those who DO care about these islands and all residents, local or native!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry as a Brit, here for 10 years + I have got to commend Ennis on his policing which (at least in my perception) seems much improved since the departure of Mr Baines, and certainly beats any of Baines’ predecessors during my time here. I only wish Mr Ennis would consider/be considered for the CoP role but respect his wish not to do so.

        • Anonymous says:

          lol as a Brit? You mean Jamaican born in UK?

          Please, we like Ennis, he’s a very nice person to deal with but he doesn’t seem tough enough to deal with the criminals from his own country, thankful he doesn’t seem to have that Jamaican cop-mentality but a loyalty to them may be worse, and ignoring the impact of the negative influences of other cultures and only focusing on native Caymanians will not help anyone. We need to address all criminal behaviour regardless of their nationalities.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Baines was incompetent he was still a vast improvement on most of our civil servants (Mr Eniis excepted).

  12. Rick says:

    No surprises here. Ennis knows the terrain. Any new commissioner will spend years trying to figure it out. Baines thought he knew it all on arrival and made his mistakes up front, then spent the next several years doing damage control. Ennis should go for the top job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ennis has already stated right here on CNS that he doesn’t want the top job – more’s the pity!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Quote, “The infamous claims by the former commissioner that only a handful of gunmen were behind the violent crime now appears completely misplaced.” Absolutely correct so can we now bury Baines memory (along with other UK sponsored fiascos like Tempura) and get on with sorting this problem out using local resources.

    Just a shame Ennis didn’t go for the CoP job because he’s the first senior officer I’ve heard talking any kind of sense since Kernohan was sacked.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Talk is fine, but anybody with a boat capable of traveling from Honduras/Jamaica can import all the weapons they want. It is impossible to effectively patrol the Cayman coastline at night.

      • Tammy says:

        Not impossible to secure our islands. They don’t want to do it….that’s all.

        The $$$ that comes from drugs and weapons is massive; the culture that exists today feeds this very lucrative industry.

        It takes all of us to make a difference.

        I am happy that Ennis is focusing on gun violence and trying to remove as many unlicensed fire arms as possible; it is scary to think of all the young uneducated males and females who have access to unlicensed fire arms in Cayman. These same young people don’t have respect for themselves much less the dog on the street. We can’t expect to ignore these people and their social issues because Cayman is just too small to be so ignorant!

        Young men/women take note: holding a gun in your hand doesn’t make you a bad-a$$ it makes you a coward. Taking a life doesn’t make you strong or important it makes you weak and pathetic as you can’t GIVE life back.


        • Anonymous says:

          Tammy, that’s a fair point. Remember the USCG offer to base a helicopter here? It was rejected by the politicians. Remember what happened to Derek Haines? Driven out by a political witch hunt after his DTF trod on some well-connected toes. There are more than a few people on these islands working to a hidden agenda when it comes to drugs.

    • Anon says:


  14. Anonymous says:

    And I hope that special attention will be given to trying to solve the cold case murders!

    • Tim says:

      Well, that being said let’s be honest. In court, evidence is necessary without a witness to testify…..as we all know too well, witnesses don’t come by too often in this jurisdiction; therefore, police need to be able to do their job properly when collecting and containing evidence.

      This is essentially the problem, police here don’t know how to collect evidence without contaminating it and they don’t know how to preserve it either.

      We have such a large police force and yet we have so little results to show for it. Might as well cut that service in half and keep the honest, intelligent ones of the bunch.

      Also, time to get rid of officers who don’t obey the law themselves and yet want to enforce it on others. We can’t have police officers talking on cell phones while driving, speeding through 25mph zones, weaving in and out of traffic (for so) etc. it has to stop. We also don’t need police officers who are aggressive towards law abiding citizens; they need to point that aggression in the right direction!


    • Anonymous says:

      6:24 Sadly, it’s hard to follow up cold cases when roughly half the population is transient.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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