Violence not answer to safety issues

| 26/09/2016 | 11 Comments

(CNS): The police have said that carrying illegal weapons and engaging in acts of violence is not the answer to perceived threats made by people over personal safety. Following a number of recent cases in the courts where defendants were carrying knives or guns because they claimed their personal security was at risk, the RCIPS management said it was not a defence for violence or breaches of the law regarding weapons.

“Fearing for one’s safety is not an excuse for endangering public safety and breaking the law,” the police told CNS this week, following enquiries about the number of defendants appearing in court over the last month who had been armed because they feared they were under threat. In some cases, the defendants had used the weapons and found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

“The police will pursue all individuals who engage in intimidation, firearm activity or violence, whatever they claim the motivation for their actions to be,” the police said, as they pointed to the dangers of people being routinely armed.

Last week, as he handed down a five-and-a-half-year jail term to Orlando Graham, who stabbed his once close friend in the heart after a card game turned violent, a judge pointed out that the situation arose because the men were armed. Both men claimed to be carrying knives for personal protection but Justice Michael Mettyear pointed out how easy it was for them to pull the weapons when they argued and escalate the situation.

The issue of self-defence has been raised in numerous cases recently, from people who perceived the local streets to be generally dangerous to witnesses giving evidence in criminal cases. While the RCIPS acknowledged that it some cases threats have been made to people who are giving evidence, they explained they have systems in place to protect witnesses.

“The concerns of witnesses in court cases widely vary and depend on numerous circumstances,” the police stated. “Detectives regularly work with witnesses in all situations, and are trained to assess the security of those participating in court processes and to implement security measures if need be. In an extremely small number of cases, where a real and imminent threat is determined to be present, further security measures, including re-location, can be offered to witnesses.  These measures, however, are always voluntary.”

In recent weeks Justin Ebanks, a witness to the murder of Jason Powery, was convicted of possession of an unlicensed firearm, which he said he acquired because of the real threats made to him after he agreed to give evidence against Osbourne Douglas and Justin Ramoon, the George Town brothers who were convicted of killing Powery.

David Bodden is awaiting the judge’s decision on his sentence for the unlawful wounding of Bale after a jury found him guilty of wounding when he cut the throat of Blake Burrell after he and another man had threatened his life and shot at his house.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Crime, Police

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Dark Synergy says:

    Says the people that carry guns,tasers and pepper spray.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If the police and the legal system seem sure that being protective of yourself is not the answer then why don’t they give us some solutions since I personally don’t feel safe walking the streets of Cayman. Our legal system lies to us. There is no protection for witnesses and they know that. Why else do they come forward telling us what to do and not explain our options. Until parents start taking back control of their homes there will be no change. I can only choose which battles to take on and live a humble life. Maybe some people in Cayman should try the same. Not everyone in this blessed country is violent, certainly not the majority. Let me be clear, I’m not advocating violence but in a country where s**t is illegal, how are we even to defend our homes?

  3. Anonymous says:

    the local wannabe gangster muppets carry weapons for the look…nothing else….
    time to eradicate this culture once and for all……. carrying a knife should be treated the same as carrying a gun…….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Then my pitbull ”Hulk’ ” will be going with me to every destination in Cayman, in my car, at the supermarket, night clubs, in my house, Caymana Bay….. Name it, he will be there with me 24/7.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In our desire to tackle unsolved crime, what are the Police and Judiciary prepared to do to safeguard the welfare of cooperating witnesses? Appealing for their help, and then leaving them fully exposed to retribution is not encouraging eager volunteers, even if it is the right thing to do. What are Police and Judiciary doing to reduce their reliance on witness testimony?

    • Anonymous says:

      Better yet, what are the police doing anyway, about anything, just even what are they doing anyway?

  6. Anonymous says:

    well, when seconds count. the police are only minutes away.

    These weapons would not be illegal, if they were made legal.

    Funny how hand guns are illegal. But any judge can own one.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:39 Anyone can legally own a handgun, a rifle or a shotgun if they satisfy the criteria in the Firearms Law 2008, you can even download the permit application from the RCIPS website. To obtain a handgun you just need to be a member of CISSA. What you can’t do is carry a registered firearm around for self-defence and not even judges are exempt from that rule.

  7. Armed and dangerous says:

    But the bible tells me…

    “Luke 11:21 – When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace”

    Who am I to argue with the word of God. Is RCIPS above the lord?

  8. Anonymous says:

    No way! RCIPS can’t protect me so I will protect myself.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well said. The excessive Americo-centric media focus and reference points in Cayman lead to dangerous views about such things. Cayman is blessed by the low quantity of guns. Once guns are allowed into a country, for whatever reason, then the damage of their presence cannot be undone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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