Crime threatening tourism, warns minister

| 16/06/2017 | 77 Comments

(CNS): The recent crime spike is threatening the tourism sector, the deputy premier said Friday, as he urged the community to help the police bring criminals to justice. Moses Kirkconnell, who has responsibility for this important economic pillar, said tourism has depended on “the beauty and safety of our Islands”, compared to other jurisdictions in the region as a major selling point. But he warned that the increase in crime threatens that and could “erase years of hard work”.

“As minister of tourism I am concerned by the recent rise in property invasions and the escalating seriousness of crimes being committed, which represent an unacceptable increase in lawlessness at the hands of a small minority of the population,” Kirkconnell said in a statement following a surge in crime over the last few weeks.

“While I am thankful that no one has been injured during the commission of these offenses, the frequency of incidents is a grave concern …This spate of criminal activity has the potential to cause significant harm to communities and irreparably tarnish the good name of our tourism industry,” he said, adding, “With tourism being a pillar industry, it is imperative that our country’s reputation and economy is safeguarded from the effects of crime.”

The minister said that the acting police commissioner had outlined the RCIPS response, as he urged people with information about crime to contact the police.

“As residents of these Islands it is incumbent on us all to support our law enforcement agencies in their efforts to maintain the peace and harmony for which the Cayman Islands are renowned,” Kirkconnell added.

But in another statement of his own on Friday, Ennis pointed out that the police have rounded up so many criminals that the prison is completely full and that suspects on remand are now being held at the detention centre at Fairbanks. Yesterday alone, as police stepped up their patrols, they arrested 65 people on various offences, including one man in connection with one of the most recent gas station robberies.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if we are still bragging that we have 100 plus nationalities living in Cayman and that Cayman is a melting pot. Wake up; it is no a melting and has never been, it is a pressure cooker and it HAS NOW BLOWN UP, do we understand that. Mr Moses et al’ did you not think that all these criminals that we acquired in the mass status grant, plus all the ones we continue to accommodate did you all not think of the consequences. CAYMANIANS are suffering in every way because of these criminals and of course tourism is going to be affected.
    And as a matter of fact criminals or good people – we have way too many people on these Islands and we must stop here and now and get control of our Islands or we will be very sorry, shortly. I am calling on every CAYMANIAN, I MEAN indigenous CAYMANIANS TO HOLD EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL RESPONSIBLE.

  2. Whogene says:

    Cpt obvious

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t throw them in jail just vote them off the island.

  4. Aaron says:

    Whenever I go to Miami I’m fingerprinted and have to look into a webcam then a search is done while I wait for clearance, is it so difficult to have this here???????

    • Anonymous says:

      Criminals come on boats while maritime patrol staff is sleeping.
      Stolen goods must leave the island and it is done by sea.

      What is the point of your comment?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Do we have a “3 strikes and you’re out” rule? These crime spikes seem to occur whenever certain prisoners are released from Northward. Once they’re locked up again, things quiet down. A 3 strikes law would put an end to this.

    • Anonymous says:

      So would an end to the rampant open door policy of immigration from neighboring islands.

    • Sharkey says:

      I think that if these Politicians and Leaders of the Cayman islands are just seeing that criminals are destroying the future of the Islands, then we the people needs to sit them down and tell then, take care of the crime today, or your political careers is over .

      I would say that it’s a shame and disgrace to know that these Politicians have been ignorant to the fact that criminals are destroying the Islands all these years,

      But it’s hard to clean your dishes in dirty water .

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to know them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about the home invasion in Patrick’s Island last night? This is Red Bay District where old premier is the representative. What the hell is happening about that? The AG lives there but we pay for his security.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully this governmentioned will complete the dock, we as people and everyone in the community has the obligation to control crime and report the people giving us a bad name so that tourists still want to come here when the dock is done. We need to clean things up before it gets out of hand

  8. Anonymous says:

    You guys haven’t paid attention to your own people for years, much less the youth. Now you’re crying about how dog eating your supper? What did you expect?

    • Anonymous says:

      You got that right – no real solutions are ever publicly proposed. Cayman is way too soft on crime – very weak support from Government, lack of cohesive policy from RCIPS and judges who continually allow people to slip thru the cracks on technicalities.

      Prison life is also too easy – and all that human rights garbabe isn’t any help. Hell if I am struggling on the streets having a tough time getting a meal, no job, can’t afford cable tv or ac, used up all my social service benefits – then sure why not commit a crime – get a roof over my head, no electric bill, no water bill, no cable tv bill, food is free – much better than on the streets – so thank you Government for taking much better care of me in prison than you do out on the streets.

      Oh and Mr. Tourism Minister, Cayman is not sleepy, ol boring Brac where you and a couple other families run everything – but at least you have woke up and are now smelling the Milo – now the question is what are you and your Cabinet colleagues going to do about it???

  9. Anonymous says:

    Crime is not only threatening Tourism, Mr. Minister, it is also threatening the livelihood of your people. But we all know, the Caymanian people are not important enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      As I read the Minister’s comment he is concerned about the potential ‘harm to our communities’. Maybe you missed that in his statement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tourism is the livelihood for many of us. Mr. Kirkconnell is spot on.

    • Anonymous says:

      One of the reasons is that Caymanians love to tear down other Caymanians. Too much political bickering, back biting and corruption.

      It will be very interesting to see how this new “Government of National Unity” works together – hopefully they will prove me wrong and actually start looking out for the native Caymanians. . . we’ll see.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the minister agrees with you. Reread the article.

    • Anonymous says:

      Connect the dots. If crime is allowed to affect tourism it directly affects the livelihood of our people. That is what the Minister of Tourism is talking about. Not true to say “Caymanian people are not important enough”. You’re just not seeing the bigger picture.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Unless locals and tourists alike see more police presence on the roads, crime cannot be properly addressed. This is not a problem that can be addressed by meetings or talking or conferences, it requires “boots on the ground”.

    I was with friends from NYC recently and they were surprised at the lack of police presence in Cayman. They commented that they had only seen one cop cars during their entire weekly stay on island.

    • Anonymous says:

      And yet spend a week in a European town the same size of Cayman and you might go to a festival of 30,000 people and not see a police officer anywhere. There is no crime and everyone is safe. Why? The people police themselves and are intolerant of scum that would interfere with their way of life. It has little to do with police presence and everything to do with a collapse of Cayman society and a culture that bound everyone together.

      • hard way. says:

        when you throw out half your population every 7 years for a bunch of strangers that are told they are not wanted but we like your cheap labour what do you expect?

        • Anonymous says:

          No one has been rolled over for years. People have only been leaving because they want to.

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem with your analogy is that you are comparing a town with a country – Although Cayman is the size of a small town as you say, it has all the incumbent challenges of a country, so you do not make a fair comparison. Having said that your basic underlying point should be capable of expansion to a wider application across the entire population.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not just European. I have just visited Russia’s far east and my children were amazed how safe it was and how children freely walk the streets without any supervision.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Albert Einstein observed that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a sign of insanity. I am not sure about insanity but it is the height of foolishness. Yet that is what we do in relation to the constantly rising crime rate.

    I am sure that our Cabinet is well intentioned, but merely calling on people to cooperate with the police will not accomplish anything more than similar calls over the past 10 years. We need action!

    We need new legislation both to plug the loopholes that criminals use and to encourage cooperation in the solving of crimes.There are obvious gaps in our laws that our professional criminals use on an almost daily basis. So many victims of crime have told me that the police know who the criminal is but that the criminal knew to do or say whatever they know would get them a get out of jail free card from our prosecutors. The criminals know these gaps, the police know these gaps and our prosecutors know these gaps. Why don’t we close the gaps and stop giving the criminals free reign.

    Our new Commissioner seems to be trying hard to get things under control but I am sure that his task of keeping our community safe would be better accomplished if our politicians gave him some new legislation as tools.

    The other problem we have is that our prosecution service is completely inadequate and unresponsive to our community. We need new legislation to create a far more effective prosecution service overseen by a new community based oversight system. The DPP ought to have an obligation to explain to victims and the community why the DPP is unwilling to prosecute criminals when the evidence against them is so clear.

    Unlike other countries, including the UK, where prosecutors have legal obligations to the victims of crime and other members of the community, our prosecutors have no such obligations. It is therefore far too easy for them to shrug their shoulders, ignore the concerns of the community and collect their pay cheques. They get paid whether they prosecute the criminals or not so they have an interest in doing as little as possible with the easiest cases to prosecute. Even those cases they lose on a regular basis even when the defendant chooses to defend himself!

    I beg the new government to create a task force of talented local people to come up with new proposals for both legislation to get criminals off the streets and legislation to create proper oversight for the prosecution service. Otherwise, we are doomed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could not have said it better myself – the tell tale signs of the expatriate exodus has long begun – between Cayman bowing down to OFAC/FATCA/IRS, crime, human rights(Wrongs), and poor cruise facilities – the heyday of Cayman ended many years ago.

      Next place to develop and destroy – Little Cayman, stay tuned in the upcoming years.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This government is doing as much as they can. The police need to step up. We need police to be in touch with our community. We need police patrolling neighborhoods on bikes or on foot not in vars because the police need to get to know the people. Officer Miguel when he was in town was one of the best police on this island. He knew everyone and of something happened he knew exactly where to go to find the crooks.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Since we have a surplus it must be directed at fighting crime.

  14. Local-ish says:

    I guess crime isn’t threatening the locals and citizens that live here and pay taxes. Moses K proves where is concerns and priorities lay with his comments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Moses K has had plenty of time to prove that he supports the people of Cayman. Don’t judge him until you have had time to go over the results of his tenure. A more loyal servant you will not find.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not the full statement by Moses K. His statement also speaks about the security of residents who should not be made to feel unsafe in their homes or places of business.

  15. Anonymous says:

    We need to start making agreements with other countries and start shipping these criminals out. There are private prisons in America that are way cheaper than northward and it would be good deterent to send violent criminals to third world country prisons like Costa Rica or Honduras or another south American country. They aren’t afraid of northward.

    • Anonymous says:

      But if we send them there, they can never come back. Why send them away to be trained by the top violent criminals like MS 13 etc? All they will pick up are worse habits/attitudes/ways to kill.

      If you can ensure they will be gone forever, I am all for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Human rights!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I knew it was our fault.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You see good sir this has been many years in the making. The native Caymanian has been displaced from the workplace by a number of factors – compulsory pension, health insurance, increased cost in doing business (such as recent staggering increase for contractors under Builders Bill).

    Then you have the influx of cheap labour from third world and lesser developed countries taking jobs – with the excuse from every government being it is an important revenue source (i.e work permit fees).

    But in the end, the Caymanian is left to struggle, unable to compete with those who are willing to live in very cramped conditions for meager wages. The Caymanian ends up going to social services/dcfs/nau to live off government – as it appears that Government’s mindset is to support the ever increasing number of people who receive public assistance.

    In Government’s infinite wisdom it seems that the business case must be to get work permits fees for cheap labour and then use that money to support native Caymanians – give them food cards, water assistance, electrical assistance, rent, school lunch, school uniforms, exam fees, CINICO, propane gas, and referral to the joke that is known as NWDA.

    I highly doubt that the money coming in from work permit fees, (please intentionally take out all the management level, attorney, accounting fees), covers the displaced Caymanians who are receiving public assistance – hey didn’t Government cut back on some of that assistance a short while ago?

    Government has created this crime problem of their own volition as they continue to displace Caymanians from the workplace.

    So, the ever increasing crime statistics should not be a surprise to anyone. Blame it on drugs or whatever, but in the end all of us Caymanians at the lower end of the social scale see employers day after day putting outlandish and unreasonable standards to get a job – them knowing full well that they intend to hire, in many cases, those who can barely speak English.

    So again good sir from the Brac now it is your turn in conjunction with Cabinet to do something about the problem – when you start putting Caymanians first perhaps things will change. You have been blessed to acquire business acumen thru your family name/contacts and you are looking thru the glasses of someone who has a huge say in what happens on our two smaller islands (Brac and Little Cayman).

    You are not in our shoes here in Cayman, nor does anyone hardly ever see you in the trenches of West Bay, East End, George Town getting the sense of our situation. And on the Brac everyone knows everyone and they know who to lean on when they need assistance – again you have been blessed to be in a position where you can be counted on – being involved with multiple businesses/boards and showing a keen interest in your own community.

    And oh to remember the good ol’ days when we had the Caymanian Protection Board, in the days before ever increasing numbers of MLA’s and a mountain of new rules/regulations/codes designed to line the pockets of a few persons at the expense of us at the bottom of the barrel.

    In closing my fellow Caymanians, we see our own business owners, cast aside all of us, knowing that their bottom line is much better hiring foreigners.

    Okay trolls have your fun tearing me apart – I going to try and look job again today – if not guess I will just have to keep on keeping on waiting til I can use my food card.

    Peace and Love to All,

    Unemployed Caymanian

  18. Larry says:

    Give the poor caymanians employment minister Moses. Obviously, the whole employment, work permit fiasco is in a mess and it’s now coming to pass of what many leaders in the past has been stating. Anthony Eden stand your ground do not bend one bit on your principles. The rest of politicians and the business community is in it for the profits.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, give the unemployed to Anthony to solve their problems. He would not have a clue where to start because he actually knows most of them are, unlike his own children, total wasters and layabouts and as an ex military man he does not believe in sympathizing with them. His only use nowadays is to keep going on about gays which most people are bored with. Savannah voters should be ashamed of themselves.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The RCIPS and Government are stepping up, thank you and keep it up.

  20. Anonymous says:

    We spend a couple of weeks in Cayman every winter and have always felt safe bringing our grandchildren with us. It’s comforting to see your Minister of Tourism understands the importance of safety to attracting visitors. We’re looking forward to hopefully visiting more often as soon as my husband retires!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Minister Kirkconnell, glad to see that our government understands how important it is to address these outbreaks.

  22. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Completely agree with the Deputy Premier. It’s a no-brainer. Street crime is the antithesis of the safe, sleepy, laid-back island chain which we’ve been known for in the past.

  23. Sharkey says:

    I am ever so happy to see that Mr Kirkconnell sees and understand that the CRIMINALS are destroying the most important pillar of the CAYMAN ISLANDS ECONOMY “TOURISM INDUSTRY”.
    About Northward being full, we have Cayman Airways and Flowers cement block Factory. No excuses for not cleaning up the crime.

  24. Elvis says:

    And we have only just learned this yes?

  25. just asking says:

    It is about time to install the finger print system at the airport everywhere has one why not here. Plus get the police boats out at night on the eastern side of the island .

    • Something about stones and glasshouses. says:

      Presumably you also support finger printing of Caymanians too, including all resident on island? I am sure you are not suggesting that all crime is committed by non-Caymanian visitors, that would be stupid and blinkered.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mr Kirkconell is right in every aspect of his statement. The escalating crime on Cayman will be this beautiful islands downfall. It is imperative to the economy and the future of tourism to combat this daily occurrence. No tourist will want to visit whether it be off a cruise ship or vacationing in hotels if this constant crime doesn’t cease. People are being robbed at gunpoint! Who would want to visit a place like this where you wouldn’t feel safe walking the streets day or night. Kingston comes to mind!
    Every effort needs to be made by all law abiding citizens to be active in bringing these criminals to justice. We all want to feel safe in our beds and cooperation with Law Enforcement should be of top priority. Our future and the future of our children depends on this island being safe. A huge amount of hotels have been constructed over the years in Cayman which employ a vast amount of Caymanians and expats. If there should be a decline in visiting tourists due to the constant high crime rate here, jobs are at risk. It will have a knock on effect and this island will suffer the consequences.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone please give me the actual numbers of Caymanians and work permit holders that are employed at some of the newer hotels. Really do not see many Caymanians working in the hospitality industry. You go to a hotel, the front desk clerk is an expat, bartender is an expat, room cleaner is an expat, groundsman is an expat, waitress is an expat, chef is an expat – hmmn tell me I am wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        Construction crews are expats too. Hell, even the supplies and materials are shipped in direct bypassing local vendors. Much of it is unlawful, but hey, this is Cayman. Then do not even get me started on the realtors who sell and rent the properties when they are built.

      • Anonymous says:

        You will never get an answer to that question, and if you did, you could not trust the answer. Some of them will tell you that everyone who is simply married to a Caymanian is a Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians dont want these low jobs…they want to leave school and be a big player in a bank or law firm. After all, “we are Caymanians”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously; our people don’t want to serve others!

        They don’t want to wait tables, cook for people, clean hotel rooms etc. so rest assured, you won’t see Caymanians in those positions because they don’t want them!

        I am a native Caymanian, born and bred as were my parents, their parents and so on for many generations back; my people don’t want to serve. Learn it, accept it and move on. I did…

        Which leads me to state the obvious; if we don’t “want” to serve, because obviously we feel we’re above it (sick), then why on earth are we complaining and pointing fingers at those who are willing to do it?! The jobs have to be filled, the work must get done. So? Whatcha talk’n bout Wilis???

  27. Anonymous says:

    They soon give police guns but then liscense to “carry” weapons would be permitted to civilians too…thats how UK law works

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, No it doesn’t 5.53pm. I think you have been misinformed as regards to gun laws in the UK. NO civilian is allowed to have any permit whatsoever for a handgun. Civilians are allowed shotguns for sport, and also farmers to protect their livestock against dogs that worry or kill sheep which is a regular occurrence in the countryside. The civilians are vetted prior to permits granted and home visits are carried out to ensure these shotguns are stored in a lockable steel cabinet. There are gun clubs available to join for target practice and these are well regulated.
      Due to the recent terrorism, armed Police are currently patrolling the major cities. These are specialist teams that have been trained. Other than this, the UK is like Cayman, basically an unarmed Force. Unlike the US the general public will never be allowed in the UK to carry handguns.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Actually, Minister, crime is primarily threatening the security of Caymanians.

    Finally we are graced with a Cabinet acknowledgement and response to the rise in crime but the focus is protecting the economy.

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone however it is an unfortunate indictment of the horrible and neglectful government which holds the country captive.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the tourism industry and the economy go down the tubes due to crime, what do you think happens next? Do you think businesses will remain? Jobs will be safe? If tourists stop coming what do you think will happen to the thousands of people that earn their living in one way or another from tourism?

      He didn’t say protect the economy and forget everyone else. You’re the one implying that. But he IS spot on about the long term and far reaching consequences of crime. Its not the government that is horrible and neglectful, it is those mindless thugs going about terrorizing everything in sight!

      Make yourself useful and try to be a part of the solution, rather than complaining about things you don’t seem to understand.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, you are absolutely right on the money.

        I am also sure the couple so horrendously invaded a few nights ago would wholly second your sentiments and disregard mine – while adopting your priority of risks.


        – Who

        • Anonymous says:

          Who gene?

        • Anonymous says:

          The ‘horrible and neglectful government’ which according to you ‘holds the country captive’ may not be your choice, or mine for that matter, but let’s not forget they were voted into office following democratic elections. Nuff said!

          Secondly, voicing concern about the impact of crime on tourism does not mean government’s sole focus is on the economy. At least, that’s not what I understood from the statement. But by the same token you’re entitled to your own opinion.

          What I ALSO got from that same statement was an acknowledgement that the rise in crime is unacceptable and the RCIPS are in overdrive going after the thugs and bringing them in. I have no idea whether the couple from the home invasion would adopt my priority of risks but I am 100% sure they are relieved to know the thugs that horrendously brutalised them were in custody within 36hrs!

          Crime isn’t only ‘threatening the security of Caymanians’. Everyone living and working here are potential victims of the next robbery, car theft, etc. The more criminals we can get off the streets, the more our collective safety improves.

          • Anonymous says:

            Exactly. Well said!

          • Anonymous says:

            Your strongly worded start and general defence of our current “government” makes it clear you fall into the party member category of Caymanian.

            My criticism was not based on party lines or specific administration, but more so on the general and failed government of the Cayman Islands in respect to social, economic, immigration, employment issues.

            Cayman has followed a mantra of; “bring in the money, follow the money, protect the money” – a very Eurocentric and cannibalistic philosophy – as history shows.

            My argument is the long overdue address of crime by government was initiated and based on the negative impact it will have on “the money”.

            The want to protect our children from being attracted to life of crime is way down the list.
            A national development plan that includes a structured and purposeful policy to transfer and absorb Caymanian students into the workplace is both missing and way down the list … I could go on but the point has been made – at least to those with any intention to see it at all.

            Neither of the above is a priority, which ironically has contributed to the rise in crime, yet still we see our current administration singing from the very hymn book that created the problem in the first place.

            To change a reality we must first change the perception thereof.

            Wishing you a good day.

            – Who

  29. Anonymous says:

    This might be far reaching but the crime spike is no doubt leaving the country in a state of disarray. Therefore, I will be bold and say we need a curfew put in place. To hell with the bars and clubs that will suffer, this move might also save some drunkards and/or innocent persons life but we need to get these scummbags off the street and where applicable, OUT of the country.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday they arrested so many people for tickets. Not paying tickets! that’s why there is no damn room!!!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    So we are paying him to state the obvious and offer no real solutions…

    • Anonymous says:

      We are paying him to be the Minister for Tourism and that’s exactly what he’s doing. Your gripe should be with the Police Commissioner.

  32. Anonymous says:

    “small minority of the population”… Don’t think so buddy. There are many many criminals on these islands now!

    • Anonymous says:

      That may be so, but criminals are still in the minority. Or are you saying there are more than 30,000 of them?

  33. Anonymous says:

    $30,000,000 plus annually on community policing and crime prevention.

    $30,000,000 plus annually on public education.

    Additional millions annually on social welfare programs.

    Further millions on the so-called Nation Building Fund.

    An annual government budget approaching $1 Billion.

    How can it be that so much expenditure yields so little in the way of results?

    Cayman, as a community, is seriously adrift.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much, spot on.

      We get sooooo much $$$ and spend soooo much $$$ and where are the wondrous results?????


  34. Anonymous says:

    double up on our police activities, give them rights to fire arms, one less criminal a much safer community, wake up cayman people dont care about the innocent people how much longer till one of these criminals kill our innocent children or people?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Yes I pay attention to the island, Yes I know there’s been a spike in crime, Yes I’ve been visiting the island the past 15 years – twice a year with my family, NO it’s not going to deter me.
    What? Do I stay here in States and deal with the same thing somewhere here?
    No mon!
    See you soon-

    • Anonymous says:

      Happy to hear that you are not deterred from visiting our beautiful Islands with your family.

      Like I tell all my visitors, Cayman is generally safer than a lot of places but crimes do occur so try to be as mindful about your safety as you are at home. Meaning, you don’t leave your front door unlocked at home, or your valuables on the seat of the car, so try don’t do it here. The vast majority of times my guests have a wonderful vacation and leave already planning their next visit.

      Look forward to welcoming you when you arrive.

  36. Anonymous says:

    No shit Sherlock. CNS readers have been telling you that for a couple of years at least…

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