Jail at bursting point as arrests mount

| 19/06/2017 | 83 Comments

(CNS): Working with the public, the police rounded up dozens of suspects as a result of a major crime surge over the last few weeks. But the increase in arrests has now created a crisis for the prison system, CNS understands. With HMP Northward at full capacity, remand prisoners are being held at the Fairbanks detention centre, creating significant problems for holding the latest suspects. On Thursday alone, 65 people were taken into custody and the arrests continued throughout the holiday weekend.

Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis confirmed last week that HMP Northward was full. CNS contacted the home affairs ministry about the challenges this poses and officials said that they would respond this week, but since then many more arrests have been made.

Commending his officers on Friday for “working hard and tirelessly” regarding the crime spike, Ennis, as acting commissioner, pointed out again that the prison is full.

“The fact is worth repeating that the prison is at full capacity. We have agreed to accept the overflow for remands at the Police Detention Centre, Fairbanks,” he said. “Likewise, it is important that we resist the temptation to show any tolerance for those involved in criminality and the rule of law.”

He added, “While it is our duty to protect the right of free expressions, it is important that our words do not convey or be misinterpreted as support or tolerance for those intending to disrupt our way of life and the image of these islands, as a peaceful and safe place to live, work and visit.”

Ennis commented earlier in the week that the local crime problem is directly related to drug and alcohol misuse.

Over the weekend, as well as arresting Troy Pearson, who turned himself in connection with a drug investigation, police arrested and charged a 26-year-old George Town man for two counts of assault ABH in connection with domestic related incidents.

On Saturday police arrested another 26-year-old George Town man for attempted burglary at the gas station on Dorcy Drive which fell victim to robbers just last week. Police said they received a call from a security guard when who spotted the suspect trying to break in at around 11pm.

On Sunday a 47-year-old Dominican national was arrested at his Crewe Road home over a burglary last week in George Town in which a number of electronic items were stolen.

All of these suspects remain in custody alongside several other high-profile suspects arrested over the last five days, including three men connected to the home invasion at Admiral’s Landing early Saturday morning.

Welcoming the information coming into police, a senior officer said they were encouraged by the cooperation from members of the public “that have refused to cower in fear and to take a stand against crime”.

“There should be no safe sanctuary for those determined to cause harm to the peace and safety of our communities either from within or outside,” he said Sunday evening. “Police have redeployed several resources, including cancellation of rest days to ensure heightened police presence and to staff up operations to target criminal elements, which will continue and the public should not be alarmed.”

But the problem now is the lack of capacity for the number of people accused of crimes. While not all of the 65 people arrested on Thursday were jailed, many have been detained after already jumping bail and it is not clear where they are all being held. Police have confirmed however that the George Town lock-up, which has been condemned by inspectors as not fit for human habitation, is not being used as a result of the jail overcrowding. 

In addition to the criminal arrests, eleven tickets were issued for traffic infractions on Thursday and 18 illegal tints were removed from car windows, along with 115 obscured licence plates, which were also removed. 

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Comments (83)

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  1. Rp says:

    How many people are locked up for small amounts of drug possession/consumption?

    Let’s get them out and order them proper rehab. How many spaces are we creating?

    We need to lock up people like Webster not people caught with a gram of whatever drug.

    How many spots do we create if we legalize and regulate cannabis. We know it will happen worldwide, what are we waiting for? There are harsher drugs with deadly side effects these days advertised on tv for prescription.

    • Just facts says:

      Does this mean that laws are actually being enforced and you were wrong again.

      • rp says:

        Probably more than 50% of adult population on the island have smoked weed at some point and got lucky and did not get caught.

        When 1/2 of the population are considered criminals based on the current law, then maybe we may need to look at this law again.

        When 100s of pounds wash ashore often, it indicates that a large portion of Cayman is consuming.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Early release and immediate deportation for non-Caymanian prisoners with the provision that they be barred from returning at any point in the future. Further, for lesser crimes going forward, provide the option that non-Caymanian criminals may, upon being found guilty, choose deportation without the right to return and a summary fine in lieu of incarceration. Let them be someone else’s problem – we have plenty enough here already.

  3. Anonymous says:

    kids with education cant find jobs? this society is falling apart…how can govt maje revenue by not employing its citizens?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Send them to Jamaica like they use to !

  5. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately the general response from the local public will be to blame someone for the societal breakdown and rampant crime. Instead look to the governments of the last 20 years who have neglected to educate your children and educate parents and families as well.
    Normalizing being sent to Northward is sad and pathetic. Going there on visitors day and seeing all the young children visiting the prison will break the normal person’s heart. Haven’t heard much about that from our honorable politicians.

  6. Jah man says:

    Lots of grapefruit juice is in north ward ??

  7. Anonymous says:

    Free Rob Aspinall!!!!! But keep Simon Courtney inside for a bit longer.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many in Northward who can receive early deportation which would ease the financial burden we all have to carry.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why not buy up the old Breakers Raceway site and build a new prison on it? That’s 41 acres with an asking price of US$5million – all CIG would need then is a private contractor to build and run the place.

    • Anonymous says:

      We don’t need any privately run prisons in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think we could let them all loose on the Brac, turn the place into a Mad Max zone, set up cameras all over Battle Royale style and sell the rights to the shows. Then the Brac might be close to self funding.

  9. Anonymous says:

    My real concern here is that if CIG cannot afford to build a prison who can and who will? It would not be wise to introduce privately owned prisons here in Cayman with all of the prevailing corruption.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ask Dart to build another prison since you love him so much

  11. Concerned citizen says:

    This is very sad, Cayman is at a cross road! if we are not careful we will swiftly become a third world country with rampant crime…nothing scare me more than a home invasion i hope this is not a trend.

  12. The Donald. says:

    Instead of housing them here and paying over $70k per prisoner per year, I’m sure that many of our South American neighbors and Cuba will accept $us10k per prisoner and they will be reformed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ship them to the Brac and house them somewhere there. At least it would be some return for all the government dollars the Brackers scrounge off GC each year.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are one disturbed and angry individual and a coward to be hiding behind a post on CNS. Instead of wasting your energy spewing all of your hatred for Brackers, you should concentrate on cleaning out your fowl coup before commenting on some of the chicken sh*t that are now residing in the Brac AND are on welfare after running from a life of crime in Grand Cayman. Get your facts straight before you post a load of crap.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Hurricane Hilton is sitting idle and unfinished.
      It has private rooms that can easily be turned into cells.
      It would provide meaningful employment for the Bracers
      Think how many would be employed to cover the three shifts as well as the support.
      Hotels would be full of people going to visit. It a win win for government and the Brac.

    • Anonymous says:

      This idea started as an April fool’s joke a few years ago in the Compass.
      However it was an excellent idea which would bring massive commercial benefits to the Brac. Employment , housing , construction , a boost to the airlines, suppliers of goods and services , hotel accommodations for visiting relatives, attorneys etc etc the list goes on.

      Brackets must not take this as an insult, but rather an opportunity they should grasp to boost it’s economy across the board.

  14. Mr. Rogers says:

    If expansion is needed start with a youth facility to remove younger inmates from the influence of the career criminals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Statisticallly the younger criminals pose a far greater threat to the community than the older ones.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This would not be a problem if it did not take months if not years to bring these cases to trial.

    • Anonymous says:

      So what you are saying is that these individuals are innocent and therefore will be released…that makes no sense

  16. Anonymous1 says:

    I’m scared of Capital Punishment or the death penalty, because of the possibility of some innocent person being put to death …

    However, despite my fears, some stern punishment will have to be made law!

    Because I don’t believe in torture, death penalty for the following offences, I believe should be enforced when there is evidence of conviction:

    (You are entitled to disagree)

    1. Murder
    2. Abortion
    3. Euthanasia
    4. Deliberate torture and killing of an domestic animal
    5. Robbery
    6. Any theft over the amount of a petty theft of lets say 2000 dollars or determined by the Courts
    7. Lying against a person before a Judge or Jury
    8. Threatening violence or assaulting a Judge regarding a Court case
    9. Publicly speaking out against the death penalty – unless there is reasonable belief of someone’s innocence
    10. Having a sexual affair whereby the marriage covenant is ignored (Adultery)
    11. Incest
    12. Buggery (Homosexuality) and any act not according to the Natural Order (Sodomy)
    13. Rape (not the rape based on age) – this includes drug rape
    14. Being in a business or selling a control substance with adverse affects on a person’s well-being (Drugs)
    15. Deliberate substance abuse after repeated Rehabilitation programs (in discretion of the Judge)
    16. Blaspheming the Creator

    Now I’m sure alot of you wimps here are barking human rights. It looks to them like Sheria Law. But trust me, if the death penalty is enforced on these 16 violations, do you think people will continue breaking the Laws with no disregard???

    Here is what will happen?

    PEOPLE WILL STRAIGHTEN UP, THINK TWICE BEFORE DOING WRONG, AND CAYMAN ISLANDS WILL BE THE MOST PEACEFUL ISLAND IN THE CARIBBEAN.

    OUR POLICE WILL GAIN ALOT OF RESPECT ONCE AGAIN

    • Anonymous says:

      Lmfao!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is singularly the greatest post I have ever read. EVER. I would vote to overturn the election and make you Premier. Thank you SO MUCH for enlightening everyone! If I could add anything, I would also make free speech a capital offense as well, and sugar, because it’s the devil’s delight. You are a light in my dark world, Anonymous1.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for saying that. I agree, greatest post ever. I’d like to add, death penalty for using words like ‘darn’ and ‘heck’, when we all know what you really mean.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good idea, but we would also have to add Criticism of the Premier to the list at the same time.

    • Anonymous says:

      You want to put to death blasphemers?! LOL I sincerely Hope you are joking. You sound like a right nutjob.

    • Anonymous says:

      This would be hilarious if if wasn’t (most likely) genuine. By sprouting this ridiculous drivel you show yourself to be the ignorant cave-dweller that you most certainly are. Back under your rock you go.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think we need one more
      STUPIDITY

    • Anonymous says:

      Here’s another good idea.run all the expats from here and give caymanians back there jobs with minimum wage of no less than 10$c.i an hour not 5,6u.s caymanians can’t survive from that only expats that send their money back to where ever they come from.and if its a job that require someone to be flown in then train young caymanians to do it.all the youths that are leaving school now a days have great education just no work so what you think a happen now that mama and papa can’t give them what they want anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wake up, and enough with your fire and brimstone crap. Legalize weed and see how much room the prison gains in 3 years time. This would also allow the police to concentrate efforts of the real hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and synthetics.

      Building a larger prison is just a short term solution. The youth in our community need skills in order to enter and be effective in our workforce. Build a technical/trade school and foster apprenticeships. We are wasting too many potentially bright minds that otherwise become idle, disenfranchised and delinquent.

    • Cheese Face says:

      Jesus Christ, where’s me weed?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for not including age based rape. You are a free man.

    • Bring Back the Penalty says:

      Damn, don’t think they’d be anyone alive in Cayman after that point.

    • jotnar says:

      Think that’s actually way more punitive on many of the “offences” than even Sharia law.

      Particularly like the differentiation between statutory rape of minors, cause that’s perfectly acceptable in your Old Testament view, and other forms. Got any particular inclinations in that direction?

    • JG says:

      What we need is the Spanish Inquisition! Why?? Because NOBODY escapes the Spanish Inquisition!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      All said was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah

  17. Expat Andy says:

    Don’t we have a few tents lying around after Easter? They can camp inside the fence.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Find another country to send them to like the poster said Cuba or Jamaica would be good. We used to send them to Jamaica before. They wouldn’t commit the crimes after that. Other solution: put them to work on building another prison.

    • realistic says:

      Don’t send them anywhere except where they originally came from. I can’t afford to keep them here providing free shelter and food which I have to work hard for for myself. Send the criminal Caymanians with them too if possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, I’ll bet they learned to be real stand up citizens in Jamaica.

  19. Anonymous says:

    bring back the gallows

  20. Anonymous says:

    We have choices. There’s always the death penalty for the murderers. That’ll make some room and maybe deter some future crimes. More costly is of course building a new prison. A maximum security prison for most. Then they could retool Fairbanks, make some improvements, and make a wing for the younger population since there are so many of them committing crimes. Maybe that will also be a deterrent. If not…..suck it and put m away.

    Cayman kind:)

  21. right ya so says:

    Well done RCIPS. We’ve run out of space in the prison?! there’s a large number of able bodied men right there to build any additions needed! Then send the non Caymanians back to their home country.

  22. Elvis says:

    if someone somewhere would get their finger out and clear the detention center of Cubans that would make room for the overflow.

    also some of those people in northward could easily be tagged.

  23. Fred the Piemaker says:

    18 illegal tints and 115 licence plate covers removed! At last – but keep it up, and don’t just remove them, fine them.

  24. Anon says:

    But crime is committed by expats, just deport them. Then you will have an empty prison…. Simple right.oh, wait…..

    • Anonymous says:

      There are quite a lot of Caymanians in Northward as well. It’s a worldwide issue that affects everyone regardless of where you are born.

  25. Anonymous says:

    and legalize ganga and watch how much free prison space there is, and how many millions of dollars the government saves

    But nope, they gotta wait until the USA does it, before they debate if they should do it or not.

  26. Anonymous says:

    good job RCIPS, next step is using professional judgment and discretion in trying to identify what actions actually require arrests as opposed to documented warnings and start putting that “caution” to use. police work isnt easy and it is an unloved profession most of the time. good job and keep it coming… very glad to hear of the public stepping up as well. just one more high profile and i mean very high profile arrest to be made, you guys have all of the information. it was literally handed to you on a silver platter.

  27. Anonymous says:

    With oversight by local contractors, allow minimum security prisoners to build a long-overdue prison wing and learn construction trade skills in the process. Allow the most proficient workers an opportunity to earn early release/rehabilitation parole credits.

  28. knotcaymanian says:

    Time to start shipping a few hardened convicts to spend some serious time in the Cuban and/or Jamaican systems for half the price. If they choose to reoffend, they can always have their citizenship stripped away. Caymanians place such a high value on their citizenship (nearly impossible to get), yet allow all kinds of criminals and thugs to keep it. Should this offend the sensibilities of most Caymanians, do what Singapore does, and start flogging a few.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This is excellent work that’s been carried out by RCIPS in apprehending and convicting these criminals. Let no one say they aren’t pulling out the stops in coming down on these people in great force.
    Unfortunately, Northward is full to capacity and in desperate need of the construction of a new wing. It is a very sad statement to make that this is a requirement due to the increase of crime in Cayman. Let’s keep the good work up and continue to work together with law enforcement in combatting the crime and put these people behind bars for a very long time. Let’s rid these islands of the scum!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Our existing prison is hopelessly out of date and built for a time when crime was infrequent and relatively minor. We need to build a state of the art super-Max prison where violent and career criminals and can be locked in a 6 x 8 cell 23 hours a day and prevented from running criminal enterprises from inside the prison.

    • Anonymous says:

      The eastern end of Cayman Brac Bluff would be a great place for a new prison. It would have a natural wall at the end of the Bluff, the economy would get a boost in construction, and the ongoing spending in the economy in perpetuity would be exactly what the Brac needs, becuz it can’t seem to attract any other sustainable development. A military type base there for coastguard etc would provide much training and discipline for the people there.

  31. Anonymous says:

    “not fit for human habitation” seems an appropriate place for holding anyone caught red handed after a heinous crime.

  32. StopTheCrime says:

    As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as a jail or prison that is “too full.” If they’re crowded, then so be it. Imprisonment is supposed to be uncomfortable. Let them “hot-bunk” and rotate turns using beds in shifts… just like the hard-working military men at sea who committed no crimes at all. Too few meals? Tough! Share 4 meals among 5 men to save money. Maybe that will teach these slimeballs to not commit crimes anymore once they get out.

  33. Sharkey says:

    Time to put them all on a big ship and keep them at sea in the ocean to serve their term without visitations.

  34. realistic says:

    If our prison is full then government should look at doing the obvious. Deport and or send home all foreign prisoners that are causing us money to keep here. If the crime does not warrant deportation then put a time limit on the time they can return to this island. Time also to invest in fingerprinting and eye scanning at our ports of entry

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should any crime not warrant deportation of foreign nationals?

    • StopTheCrime says:

      I especially like your idea of fingerprint scanning and iris scanning. The only thing left is to have a 24/7 coast guard to prevent illegal arrivals and drug smugglers.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to the RCIPS for their clean-up exercises! Now how about the non-Caymanian criminals to be quickly processed through the Courts, sentenced and then deported back to the prisons in their own countries to serve their sentences? Why should our Government and our people have to pay huge sums to give these criminals an easy, guaranteed, work-free life at Northward?? Why REWARD them like that for their crimes??

  36. Anonymous says:

    Jails need to expand? Well that sound like some good jobs for the inmates.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hard Labor. There are plety of places that are polluted and full of trash that need to be cleaned including using the jailers to hard contruction work to increase the capacity of the jails. Now they know they will get a slap on the wrist, free drugs, Tv, cell phones,good food and a club-fed atmosphere. Word gets around that jail is hell and all they have is hard-work and reflection upon thier crime, and they little cream-puffs will think twice before they committ to a crime, or they will now want to recede back into crime.

    But that is the problem, since caymanians always pretend even the most tough criminals are family and coddle them.

  38. Anonymous says:

    That’s what they get for making everything illegal. Can’t even own a wrist rocket here. Legalize ganga and decriminalize drugs and the prison problem will decrease. They said them selves most of the problems are drugs. Get rehab instead of jail.

    • knotcaymanian says:

      Rehab instead of jail? Yea, because it’s worked so wonderfully everywhere else…

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually a lot of truth to this. Addiction to drugs needs to be solved with compassion and not punishment. Jail only turns non violent drug users into violent criminals. Simple possession should be legal but selling drugs should be done by a government regulated business. Create jobs and lower crime by taking money from the criminals.

    • Anonymous says:

      My question is this. If Ganga is so safe and non addictive why do so many people risk their lives and jail time to smoke it. Think about that for a minute…it makes absolutely no sense.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Do a deal with Cuba and send foreign nationals to serve their sentences there.

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