Police go after homeless in GT squat

| 05/07/2017 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The police have arrested five people who were living in a squat in the Rock Hole area of George Town. Three men, aged 63, 53 and 24, and two woman, aged 40 and 24, were arrested on suspicion of several offenses following a raid early Sunday morning. Police said they were joined by immigration officers but no one was arrested for immigration related offences and there is no indication that the homeless people are here illegally.

The police did not say who was arrested for what offence but the allegations include burglary, theft, possession and consumption of drugs, abstracting electricity, handling stolen goods, criminal trespass and obtaining property by deception. Police said a small amount of drugs and other items were recovered. All five were bailed pending the progression of the investigation but it is not clear where they were bailed to.

The raid was one of several operations this holiday weekend targeting lesser crimes, which Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said was happening alongside the battle against more serious crimes facing the community.

“Our aim is to disrupt low-level illegal activities even while we address higher-profile crimes, because these also impact the public and can escalate,” the police chief stated in a release. “We have received a lot of support from the community for our recent visibility measures, and I am pleased to note an increase in the information received from the public as of late, which is being actioned whenever possible.”

Although the accusations against the group include some more serious crimes, all could be related to poverty and addiction. Given the fact that the five men and women were squatting, it raises the question once again of the mounting problem of homelessness in Cayman among locals as well as low paid residents and work permit holders.

CNS has contacted Joey Hew, the MLA for the area of George Town where the people were squatting, about the homelessness in his constituency but we have not received any response.

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Category: Crime, Police

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