Opposition calls for crime select committee

| 06/03/2018 | 53 Comments

Rising crime in the Cayman Islands, Cayman News Service(CNS): The opposition leader has called on government to form a select committee of all members of the Legislative Assembly to examine the question of rising crime in the Cayman Islands and to find cross-party solutions. Ezzard Miller told CNS Monday, in the wake of a police shoot-out with robbers at the weekend, that he was extremely troubled by the increasing reports of criminals taking on the police. He said that this was “a notch too high for me” because he believed it was an indication that the criminals had no fear of law enforcement and that government needed a strategy to deal with the escalation.

Miller said the police had made some significant arrests and interceptions in recent months, doing their part, but that crime would not stop through enforcement alone. He said that other elements in the system needed to be addressed through bi-partisan research, which a select committee could provide.

The opposition leader also wants to see public input to focus on the social causes of crime and what he believes is a lack of rehabilitation in the prison to produce policy proposals to tackle the wider problems.

Miller pointed to his disappointment with the National Security Council (NSC), which was not functioning in the way he expected. Unable to say much about it because of the need for operational secrecy, he said it had met only once since the election, and only at his request, and it appeared to have very little to do with shaping policy.

He said that the formation of a select committee could come up with a crime strategy, which could also address the function and purpose of the NSC, as the constitution is vague about its role.

Miller said there were many issues to consider, such as the social ills driving the issues, what is happening to the young men who are imprisoned repeatedly for burglary offences, the problem of drug misuse and what appears to be the complete absence of any rehabilitation for drug users, who appeared to be consuming more drugs in jail than outside.

He said legislators needed to know the facts and the numbers about drug addiction among inmates and how they were being helped to get clean once in prison. The time offenders spent behind bars had to be more constructive and prisoners should not be released early unless they have a chance of getting back on a straight path, he said.

Miller also noted the increase in “crime tourism”. While he was well aware that most crime was committed by home-grown offenders, he said there had been a marked increase in people-smuggling cases, where drug canoes were bringing illegal immigrants as well as cargoes of ganja and firearms.

“We need to examine this,” he said, pointing to the select committee as a way of collating information and research that could fuel a cross-bench strategy for the future of Cayman.

Miller also complained about government’s apparent lack of urgency and that the premier, who still retains some responsibility for the RCIPS, had made no comment at all following the incident last weekend where robbers engaged in a shoot-out with the police in order to make their escape.

He said he would be filing a motion for this whole-house select committee at the next sitting of the LA, which is scheduled for next week, and he urged government to join forces with the opposition benches to develop a national, rather than a partisan, policy on how the Cayman Islands can get a grip on the escalation of violence and serious crime.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Policy, Politics

Comments (53)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What crime? Haven’t we been told for years that crime has reduced and hasn’t this been “backed-up” with some imaginary statistics? I thought the daily headlines of shootings, stolen cars, dangerous driving, DUIs, drug dealing, child molesting etc etc. were just fiction – clearly this is what our “leaders” seem to think.

    Oh how I long for those days when the crime report in the news was tiny and almost funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      The rogue cow eating breadfruit trees in West Bay was a good one. I remember “faxing” many of those quaint redacted “Police Reports” to colleagues overseas. But we need to remember that there were overturned dominos tables, cowcods and machete fights on pay days – going back at least three generations. Those were not always included in the published police reports. The guns are new, but some of the core DNA hasn’t changed much from the days of Edward Teach.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not that new. I remember a drive-by shooting in the centre of GT 20 years ago. It’s just that back then the Compass was the only news outlet so things like that weren’t reported.

      • Amateu says:

        You are part of the reason how on professional can you be. Faxing confidential information to collegues. You should have been arrested and served jail time just like the female communication officer last year. By the way i agree with your comment about Edward Teach the English is still stealing from Caymanians.

  2. Rocketfish 210 says:

    Dear Ezz we done pass that bro. This is a utter and complete failure the leadership and their cronies are a total waste time Time to drain the Swamp time to drain the swam Cayman.

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  3. Prospect says:

    I hate to be all doomsday about this matter, but it seems to me that the only rescue we have to reduce the crime, is an Act of God. Mere talk and relying on the police is not working anyone. For as population increase, so does the rotten apples. And there is nothing we can do to reduce the population. Babies are being born every year, and many youngsters graduating and not finding jobs. Cayman, we need to really pray and see this for what it is: a serious spiritual issue

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  4. Anonymous says:

    While I appreciate the vocal concerns from Mr. Miller regarding crime… it is great to know that he has the ability to speak up to the people! Unlike those on the Government side… including the Premier! Given the concerns of increased crime in Cayman, one would think that the Premier would have been the first to say something about addressing crime given that this incident happened practically in his back yard, as he resides in Prospect on Birch Avenue! But again the silence is deafening and it shows the deficiencies in REAL leadership!
    Now regarding Mr. Miller’s suggestion of a select committee of all elected members of the LA…. I don’t think that is needed! Within our constitution we have a National Security Council in which includes both Mr. Miller (leader of opposition), Premier, Police Commissioner, and the Governor (and I believe another member?)… so the real question is why isn’t this council functioning as it should?? Why have they only met once since the election…. some 10 months ago? Surely the level of crime isn’t at record low levels to warrant for the meeting to not happen. This should be a meeting that is held monthly… and if there is a escalation then they have emergency meetings in between.

    What gets me is that meetings such as this can’t happen as they should… but facebook & twitter postings can be made daily if not several times a day about less important information!!!! #whereisourpriorites #thisaintprogressive #weneednewleadership

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your (10:58) knowledge of how select committee work and the public hearing they can conduct ,even you could come and have your say either in private or in public. The only meeting of the NSC was at Mr. Miller’s request and it took several months for the Governor to have the meeting.

  5. Anonymous says:

    who cares….cayman was doomed from the minute the police commisioner said he did not believe in law enforcement regarding the illegal dirt bikers.

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  6. Black Urhru says:

    What makes MLA Ezzard Miller believe solutions to the crime situation lie with in the elected dummies we have warming chairs at the LA .Waffling on constantly about foolishness in Cayman. Dear Mr Miller you need to look at some of those very members criminal associations and links to criminals and their networks. Before you go sticking them on crime select committee’s Careful careful sir.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your comments are extremely disturbing and given the limited vetting of politicians and lack of investigative reporting in the country of concern.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Until Government is willing to even address, let alone confront the immigration element of so much of our crime, it will continue to grow. The lack of training, lack of apprenticeships, limited on the job training, sporadic truth in advertising, jobs staying at minimum wage no matter qualifications or experience, imported poverty, unsupported baby mamma’s dealing with absent (sometimes foreign) fathers, overwhelmed education and social services, little idea who is Caymanian and effectively open maritime borders, are all conspiring together with other purely local issues. What is happening should surprise no-one.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Almost 90 % of prisoners are caymanian for you information.
      And you are a racist.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Only 25 foreign prisoners? There have been 10 in the headlines in the last few weeks alone. There is nothing in the slightest racist about the post. What aspect do you challenge?

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    • Anonymous says:

      when the hi tec crime is committed they need to hit the high seas, they are out of here, thats why they can’t catch them, send the copter up

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The opposition calls for action on crime via a select committee , all the power to them, but shouldn’t the reigning government already be on this ? If not , why not ? Obviously they don’t care , what else are we to think ?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Your borders are wide open. Even a local criminal can hide in a boat after a robbery until all searching activities subsided. Then he changes his clothing and mixes with local residents.
    Don’t wait for something really tragic to happen to take drastic actions. You don’t need Parkland Florida type of tragedy, the tourism would cease to exist if that happens.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Free condoms would go a long way to reducing crime. Maybe not immediately but over time.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    All we need is LOVE!

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    • Isaac Parker says:

      All you need is capital punishment to be carried out on heinous crimes and repeat offenders. It will reduce crime immediately! GUARANTEED! Why pussyfoot around?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Here you have the Opposition stepping up and doing the government’s job, LEADING. What is this government doing in this situation? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  13. Anonymous says:

    The marked increase in smuggling by canoe is due to the RCIP:S detecting them. Not that there are more of them!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    If you feed your people a diet of bigotry, self entitlement and nationalism you breed a generation of those who think they have a right to take without giving back.
    And the biggest advocate of rights without responsibility, yep, you got it, Mr Ezzard Miller MLA and hopeless representative of the disenfranchised on North Side.
    Whilst patriotism and pride are worthy qualities in society, deliberately promoting nationalistic ideals that divide nationalities, religions, gender and races will only feed into a self indulgent mentality that cannot get passed its own failures for blaming everyone else.
    Mr Miller, you are part of the problem, stop pontificating and actually do something in your own constituency to bring all residents, homeowners and visitors together to stop the parasitic scourge of burglary and general lawlessness that is rife on your continual and hopeless watch.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Bring in the SAS/SBS and have a little round up….only issue is that personally I believe that some of the larger criminals and their organisations here are tied in to politicians/police and duly protected…

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  16. Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

    This may offend some people, but, this lack of fear of our police, is the culmination of years of British style “Softly, softly” policing where criminals who refuse to drop weapons on command are not shot as an immediate threat. We have been very lucky not to have lost any officers in confrontations so far, but this is exposing our officers to undue risk. After all, at the end of their shift, they want to go home to their family in one piece!!

    Time to toughen up!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      So the American shoot first ask questions after option is better? Can’t believe you wrote that.

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      • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

        4.50 pm. Your response leads me to believe that you did not read or understand my point. And you better believe that I wrote that! Do not exagerate other persons arguments in order to attack on a non-existent point. I do not honestly believe that you have a clue what working in the front line against armed criminals is actually like, and by the way, I do, you idiot!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Shhhhhhhhhh. Amen to that. The message has to go out that perps who carry firearms will be shot – dead!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Too many Jamaicans coming over here without proper screening. It’s a shame because they are giving the good Jamaicans a bad name.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it Jamaicans being blamed for the recent raise in crimes? Surprising no one is looking at all the other foreign nationals that are being employed by Darts empire, surly the other nationals out rank Jamaicans and Caymanians. It is concerning when one looks at who is in court for the various crimes in these islands yet it is always the Jamaicans to blame. HSA fiasco, a caymanian, the soccer fiasco, another caymanian, the lady who robbed millions from the elderly man, a Canadian, the Pines, an English, the man who stole from the law firm, a South African, the man who stole from the supermarket, an American, the amount of illegal firearms and bullets, Americans, the lawyer that almost killed two tourist and ran definitely not a Jamaican and the list goes on and on. Check the facts and you will find, it’s not all Jamaicans that are creating havoc in our community when it comes to crime.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    GOod idea opposition. I really hope the Premier will take advantage of this opportunity. Crime does not descriminate whether you are government or opposition. It touches us all.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Fear?

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  20. Anonymous says:

    With due respect to Mr Miller, more political interference in law enforcement is the last thing we need. He obviously doesn’t remember what happened to Derek Haines when certain MLAs used (can I say abused?) their elected positions in the past. That little stunt cost these islands one of the best senior police officers we’ve ever had and destroyed a very effective DTF.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    If people told the truth, we would not have half the problems that we do.
    As an aside, people cannot even write in the only language that they speak.
    Pretty shocking really.

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    • Anonymous says:

      When you (12:56) say if people told the truth, do you mean if people started to report what they see and who they know are doing the crime? That would surely be a step in the right direction.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Job one – get the violent criminals off the street and keep them off the street. That will include ending mandatory release for all violent criminals, introducing mandatory consecutive sentences for violent repeat offenders, and introducing a scale of increasing penalties for repeat offenders to keep them from harming the law abiding people of this country,

    Job two – sort out all the rehabilitation, crime prevention and other problems. That will require the construction of new segregated units that will keep all violent criminals/gang leaders away from all other prisoners. Otherwise the Northward Hilton will continue to double as Cayman’s premier college of crime.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t our seasoned Police hierarchy already know what to do?! Or do they know, but are restrained by some undisclosed gang truce (because that’s what it feels like)? The Rx for what ails us is to apply pressure to close down nautical traffic, put more responsive and situationally aware eyes in appropriate vehicles that can respond to public calls within minutes. To build trust, the RCIPS have to be seen to be enforcing all of our laws all of the time, without exception. If we had a division of 30 cycle cops enforcing the traffic law at informal checkpoints – coordinating stops, searches and arrests, going where the rebel bikers can go, and giving pursuit within reason – opportunistic crime would plummet. The RCIPS should be using dirt bikes like the anarchists – maybe recommission the ones they confiscate? We have over 500 paid and volunteer officers…do we know what they are each doing? What is the performance criteria?!? If the Police leadership can’t figure this out as managers of their officers, they should step down or move aside and let someone through that is willing to lead against the gangs and thugs that run around with impunity.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Who will form the committee to oversee this committee?

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  25. Eklund says:

    Yep, that’ll sort it – set up another committee. Then they can examine it…………..

    You need leadership and decisions taken, implementation and action. Stop kicking things around – the solution doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it started. As a start, start getting people to take ownership of their responsibilities where crime, policing and security are concerned.

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  26. Diogenes says:

    The likelihood of this being approved, basically no chance, the government isn’t going to put themselves on the spot to be held accountable by a group like they are suggesting
    This is contrary to their interests, the only way I see them putting something like this into place would be so that the opposition would be unable to criticize the government for their plans or lack thereof as they would be part of the committee and hence part of the problem in planing

  27. Anonymous says:

    This incident was a notch too high…

    Wasn’t there a similar incident a few years ago where someone fired shots at police at (or close to) BT police station?

    Does something like this need to happen in their back yard before something is done?

    Wow.

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  28. West bay Premier says:

    Mr Miller by the time this committee come up with a solution to the crime problems the Islands will be ruined. You have two options,
    One bring in the Scotland Yard Force .
    Two make a Law that protects property / business owners to arm themselves within their own property, with no rights for criminals once they enter one’s property with a weapon and a mask on their face .

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Alden’s ego cannot allow for something like this proposal to happen it’s too progressive

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  30. SMH says:

    Ezzard Miller is showing the type of leadership and bipartisan approach to national issues that seems beyond Premier McLaughlin McKeeva Bush and the Government of National Unity. SMH

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Make this guy Premier! He is the only guy making sense at the moment.

    Honestly, whether you like him personally or not, he is the only person vocally expressing his concerns while everyone else hides in their office.

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