NSC backs gun amnesty and safety officers

| 12/04/2018 | 42 Comments
gun amnesty, Cayman News Service

NSC meeting 10 April (L-R) Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller, Gilbert McLean, Premier Alden McLaughlin, Minister Joey Hew, Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is expected to begin a gun amnesty this month after this was agreed to during Tuesday’s National Security Council meeting. Chairing his first NSC meeting, Governor Anwar Choudhury steered officials towards and approved a number of crime fighting measures, including the adoption of Community Safety Officers — civilian wardens who can support community policing — and a joint police and immigration task force to focus on illegal immigrants.

It has been several years since the RCIPS held a gun amnesty, and while debate still rages about how effective they are, previous efforts resulted in a number of illegal weapons being handed in and taken off the streets.

Community safety wardens are the subject of another area of debate as such volunteers are not police officers but act as eyes and ears for law enforcement in their communities. A number of local councils across the UK now have community partnerships with safety officers and they have proved effective, though some believe they divert resources from community police officers.

gun amnesty, Cayman News Service

NSC meeting 10 April (L-R) Chief Officer Wesley Howell, Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne, Governor’s Office Head Matthew Forbes, Governor Anwar Choudhury (chair), Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and Attorney General Samuel Bulgin. In the background are Colin Brown (right) from the UK Border Force and Philip Bostock from the Maritime Coastguard Agency.

The NSC meeting also resulted in an agreement to form a dedicated Joint Task Force between the RCIPS and Department of Immigration to deal with illegal aliens and a sustained media campaign to educate and inform the general public on crime prevention, including the distribution of literature to businesses, residences and visitor overnight locations.

The governor recently promised that the NSC would no longer be a talking shop but would be action orientated.

A statement from his office following Tuesday’s meeting outlined a number of measures agreed to by the council to strengthen Cayman’s borders against the importation of guns, drugs and illegal immigrants. These were the appointment of a Caymanian head of the coastguard at chief superintendent level who will report to the police commissioner, the recruitment of a specialist advisor to assist him or her, the introduction of direct entry recruitment to the new coastguard, and the creation of a ring-fenced budget for the new coastguard service.

In addition, the NSC approved a set of Border Control Priorities, specifically highlighting the importation of guns and drugs, to focus the work of law enforcement agencies including the new Border Protection Service, the authorisation of a UK-funded project to create a Strategic Border Threat Assessment to further refine priorities, and the acceptance of an offer by the UK to train and create an intelligence analytical capability for the Cayman Islands to enable ongoing understanding of border risks.

“Since arriving in Cayman I have had the chance to discuss security threats with the premier, leader of the opposition, the professionals who keep Cayman safe from crime and many members of the public across Caymanian society,” the governor said after the Tuesday meeting.

“Burglaries and armed crime threaten our way of life and were highlighted by everyone as priorities. I was delighted by the way my first National Security Council meeting tackled these issues head-on and agreed a challenging and ambitious set of measures which will make a real difference in tackling serious crime.

“I was also heartened by the way that NSC members readily agreed that security matters would be above politics and this was very evident in the businesslike approach that was adopted,” he added.

Premier Alden McLaughlin and Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller also appeared pleased with Choudhury’s early follow-through on addressing complaints that both men have had about the how ineffective the NSC has been in the past.

McLaughlin said he was grateful that the governor had taken onboard his concerns and suggestions about how the council could be more effective so swiftly. “I am also happy that the NSC has adopted several government priorities, including introducing community safety officers, also known as community wardens, as well as introducing a coastguard service to help better protect our borders.”

Congratulating the governor “on a great start” and saying he was looking forward to the next meeting, Miller said the meeting was “structured, informative and worthwhile” and that the presentations “facilitated informed decisions by members”.

See list of NSC members on the CNS Library

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Crime, Crime Prevention

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s cute!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I suggest all the cns posters who have the answers for everything. Actually stand up and do something.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I worry about Ezzard and Gilbert’s health. They can’t keep carrying all that weight much longer, they’re both in their sixties.

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  4. Rick says:

    Finally, a real governor.

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  5. Darin B. says:

    Just another cruise on the Ship of Fools for Caymanians. Get real! Hard core criminals aren’t going to turn in any guns. Dream on, Fearless Leaders.

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    • MM says:

      The previous gun amnesties held in Cayman can be considered very successful because getting even one illegal gun off the streets can save multiple lives. In 2010 there were 26 illegal weapons and 233 rounds of ammunition turned in, including a grenade…. so please do some research.

      Every effort must be made to combat crime in Cayman and you are hear beating down a very sensible attempt as if you know exactly what goes on in the minds of every person who has an illegal weapon here in Cayman.

      The gun amnesty is well overdue and one should be held annually because weapons arrive weekly:

      https://www.caymancompass.com/2011/06/13/rcips-offers-gun-amnesty/

      • Darin B. says:

        Wishful thinking, MM. I repeat, “Hard core criminals are not going to turn in their guns.” You are living in La La land. But I really WISH you were right!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Define hardcore criminals.

          • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

            Let me help you with your problem :- (1) Make a living from criminal activity. (2) Been in and out of Northward with no reformation. {3) Total disregard for human life, or their society. There, did that help you?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Amnesty plus a doubling of sentencing after the amnesty ends. Give the pond life an incentive.

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    • Anonymous says:

      In the late 80’s Rotary organized an excellent 3 month Amnesty/buy back program.

      The most effective part was a reward in the third month for persons who reported illegal gun owners who had not turned in their weapons during the first two months.
      That sure brought them out of the woodwork.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did they swallow the guns?

  8. West Bay Premier says:

    No where they have discussed about any serious prevention of importation of guns/drugs , like if you are caught with a gun , that’s a 25 years prison sentence by Law . This meeting sounds to have proven my point about NSC being ineffective . What I have read about in their discussion sounds like just throwing away money but will not be keeping guns and drugs out of the Islands .
    I think that if they had talked about getting the death penalty brought back , and new Laws against illegal immigration guns and drugs , they would have solved the illegal importation problems right there .

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    • Anonymous says:

      -The death penalty doesn’t deter crime in the slightest
      -The war on drugs is ineffective and thus our strategies should change
      -New laws against guns and drugs isn’t a solution to the problem there are already laws in place

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      • Darin B. says:

        The death penalty doesn’t deter crime in the slightest??? BS! It very effectively “deters” repeat offenders!

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        • Anonymous says:

          :Lets see the numbers behind this statement
          Where is the significant decrease in violent crime in the US compared to Europe ( with the death penalty and without it respectively)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good initiatives, most  of which have been done before or have already been in place for sometime. For example , the Special Constables. How are the Community Safety Officers different from the Special Constables?

    How about adding more traffic police to do something about the illegal tinting of windows, license plates which are obscured, reckless driving and speeding and of course the motorcycle bone heads?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Riddle me this: if we have 400+ officers on the payroll, why do we need special constables and community safety officers at all?

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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      “Community Safety Officers” – cut and paste from the UK current policing tactics! Here we go again. Why does everything re policing here have to be imported from the UK? This new Security Council initiative will be judged on results only, NOT press releases or conferences, or labels. Simply make people feel safe again on the streets and in their homes.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:18 It’s not quite the same thing because the NSC proposal is for civilian volunteers but where I come from in the UK the Chief Constable is currently working on axing the entire PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) force of 150 officers because he discovered that, ‘the organisational cost of a PCSO is no longer significantly different to a PC.’ When you consider the limitations on PCSOs (like no powers of arrest!) and the minimal cost saving (about £2000 a year) you can understand his logic. In fact PCSOs are commonly referred to as CHIMPS (Completely Hopeless In Most Police Situations) by many serving police officers. PCSOs were, and still are, a ‘bandaid’ fix to law enforcement staffing issues that was introduced because it was believed that they could make up the numbers while being cheaper to recruit, train and employ. In fact they’ve proved an ineffective and very expensive mistake. The bottom line is that there’s no substitute for properly trained and well motivated cops but that seems to be what RCIPS lacks right now.

        • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

          What I understand that they actually do in the UK is “respond” to complaints, having no powers whatsoever, and merely swing the statistics to show shorter response times. They are useless in effect, but it is all about the statistics looking better than the reality. I have very often seen our earlier Specials doing incredible front line wiork, especially on weekends, like dealing with bar squabbles and ofter brawls, domestic violence etc. not to mention the strong support for special events on long weekends like Agriculture show and others. If it aint broke, you dont need to fix it. The problem is that public officials all too often want to “create” new entities and claim credit, often this is simply “badge engineering” as they say in the auto trade.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please tell me they will use the grocery shopping bags at the police station as the drop off again?! I forgot to get a photo last time and no one believed me.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Look at that bunch of incompetents. We should all feel much safer now. Were refreshments served?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Very few meetings happen where they are not served. Sounds like you are miffed you didn’t get an invite.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    This is great
    A “mandatory buyback of unregistered guns”, how exactly does that even work
    How does the government force you to give something up, if they don’t know who has it?
    An amnesty program for those with illegal guns already on island without payment (why should they be payed for illegally attaining items, buybacks are for legal guns), along with comprehensive 24/7 border protection to prevent the importation of new illegal guns and severe punitive repercussions for those caught with illegal guns is how this should be handled

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because his momma or concerned cousin can bring in a gun during an amnesty, and get $500 cash. Lots of places do it, because it works. 100 guns is $50k. We should offer to buy unchambered ammo for destruction too. Far less than tactics not currently working, like the cost of doing nothing. Clearly there is no honour system we can rely on. We are dealing with people that only understand cash and opportunity. We should give both.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Mandatory just means it’s not optional. The government needs to say clearly and loudly that if you possess an unlicensed firearm for yourself or someone else, that it must be handed in during this amnesty period. If you fail to honour the obligation, then that’s on you. If you get caught subsequently for a gun crime, the judge can ask why you didn’t hand in your weapon, and that can weigh at sentencing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Where were the outside members? If they weren’t invited, query if this was even a properly convened meeting.

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  14. # no guns. says:

    I believe it would help if you gave a monetary reward also. I am almost certain more would come forward.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The biggest security threat to Cayman is Cyber crime, where is the cyber defense and offense plan? The dynamics of security threats have evolved, you would be well advised to have some younger trained Caymanians at that table. It just seems as if people are chosen by default for this council.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanian leaders are just as capable when it comes to cyber issues as the US Senate (who spent most of the last two days embarrassing themselves in front of the world)
      They know very little about today’s new age and the issues regarding internet safety and privacy
      We have the same issue that the US has, the elderly leading us acting like it is still the 70s
      Take 5 minutes and watch some of the clips of those old farts who likely don’t even know how to turn on computers and you will see the root of the problem
      How can anyone expect them to protect their rights and privacy when they haven’t the slightest idea what they are talking about

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      • Anonymous says:

        There is no privacy on the internet. Emails are postcards. It’s always been this way.

      • Anonymous says:

        Leave it to the experts at GCHQ and NSA, we don’t need Caymanian self importance or self entitlement getting in the way of such important work.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need to trust that GCHQ and NSA are more advanced than we will ever be (as a tiny sideshow Territory) and relax. If they don’t catch it, we certainly won’t. As Snowden revealed, GCHQ’s Tempora already monitors internet traffic at up to 100Gb/sec from incredible facilities employing hundreds. Assume the same for our territorial submarine cable metadata. It’s way above the ministerial pay-grades, intellects, and security clearance of those preoccupied with battered Japanese prawns. Anyone worried about the security realities of living in post 9/11 planet, should probably just get off the Internet. It’s not our theater of expertise.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes and don’t forget about the inter-modulation of the hyper-digicube.
        I am so glad smart people like you are looking out for us. Shit, I was about to call it a day.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Most of us who are being birglarized wpould not agree with you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is a joke, right?

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  16. Anonymous says:

    A mandatory unregistered gun buy back would be a better idea – considering the audience. $500 per firearm, including improvised homemade flareweapons. The addicts embedded in the worst neighbourhoods and robbing corner stores at 6am can’t plan further than their next fix. The NSC needs to speak their language and get the guns out of those communities – esp. stashed communal gang guns.

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