Amnesty nets 18 guns and nearly 900 bullets

| 04/07/2018 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Deputy PC Kurt Walton and Acting Superintendent Brad Ebanks show off the results of the RCIPS firearms amnesty

(CNS): Senior officers at the RCIPS were lauding the success of last month’s firearms amnesty on Wednesday, as they showed off the weapons and rounds of ammunition that were handed in to police as a result of the month-long clemency period. Throughout the month, 18 firearms and 896 bullets were handed in, including seven handguns. Deputy Police Commissioner Kurt Walton, who spearheaded the campaign with Acting Superintendent Brad Ebanks, was particularly pleased with the significant results.

With around 35 local young men killed over the last decade by handguns and another 33 currently serving time in Northward for using guns, Walton said it was especially gratifying that so many of the smaller firearms had been handed in. He said he was very satisfied with the amnesty, which he said compared very well with previous amnesty efforts.

Walton said the main aim was to get the guns off the streets, and these guns are now in the hands of the police instead of the criminals.

The 18 guns came from across all three islands, and the police said that during the ‘no questions asked’ initiative, members of the public had handed in the illegal firearms to the pastors who were part of the programme, as well as Cayman Crime Stoppers and the local police stations.

“In our view, this amnesty has been extremely successful, not only because of the number of firearms and ammunition handed in to police, but because of the type and condition of these firearms,” Walton said. “In past years the bulk of the firearms received were old and rusty rifles. This year, however, we have received seven handguns, some of which are in good condition, which are precisely the types of weapons we want to be taking off the street.  In years past we did not receive anywhere near this many handguns.”

Ebanks also noted what he said was a remarkable amount and variety of ammunition that was turned in.

“Nearly 900 rounds is a lot of ammunition, and removing that …is a big step in the right direction,” he said, adding that having those weapons taken off the streets meant that guns were just a little less available to those willing to use them to cause harm. He was also hopeful that the amnesty will have some impact on the number of young men serving time for illegal guns and result in less young people falling victim to their use.

Ebanks said that the programme offered people every possible opportunity to hand over weapons and avoid the legal consequences of illegal possession.

However, Walton refused to comment on whether or not the guns will be forensically examined to see if they can be connected to any crimes, saying he did not want to go into the details publicly of operational matters.

“The support of community organisations for this amnesty has been really encouraging,” said Walton. “While crime is often a topic of conversation and public debate, it is another thing entirely to take concrete and positive action to solve problems. We are grateful to our partners in this campaign for their active involvement, but even more so I want to thank those people out there who had the courage to do the right thing or convince someone else to do the right thing by turning in firearms or ammunition during this amnesty. Our islands are a bit safer now thanks to you.”

In addition, a cross-bow and a 12-gauge flare gun were also turned in to police during the clemency. While those are not illegal, flare guns have been adapted and used in crimes in the past.

The police said the success of the amnesty was the result of a powerful community effort, with the Cayman Ministers Association and Cayman Crime Stoppers partnering with the RCIPS. The media campaign was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, The Lions Club, The Cayman Islands Sports Shooting Association, Superior Auto and Stone Island Limited.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Police

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Good job RCIPS.

  2. Michel Lemay says:

    Well done RCIPS and all those involved. Some say it’s not many but i say it’s 18 guns less and many bullets. I would even suggest that you consider extending it. I for one appreciate the efforts.

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  3. Catcha Fire says:

    Oh yes the Firearm Amnesty and as we suspected more BB & pellets air rifles galore and if you had to the count all those pellets & BB’s mann you got ammunition bro and of course handed in expired licensed firearms making up numbers. I applauded the efforts to removed all illegal guns or weaponry out of the hands of the citizen “criminals” knowing the current socio-economic climate or crisis in these little islands, which ain’t very peaceful or safe for us all. Especially our very aloof political apparatus and their high society connected friends who for some odd reason have armed themselves to teeth legitimately with the assistance the local Gun Club memberships scheme. Yes ain’t nothing certainly more dangerous in an OT than disenfranchise and disgruntle locals wid firepower! Oh but you see the colonial strategy and policy of arming only those in authority and their sober friends to keep the peace and good order still works to this very day.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s worth taking a look at the YouTube video on this because that puts these figures in perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UEin_LHX4g

    I suppose it’s better than nothing but given the scale of the problem it’s not a significant result.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, this is nothing but good news, I guess.
    Good job, RCIPS.

    – Who

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  6. Cess Pita says:

    It’s a start, now we only have 250 handguns, 30 shotguns, 25 semi-automatic rifles and a grenade launcher to go.

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