Juvenile crime raises concern for cops

| 30/07/2018 | 41 Comments
Cayman News Service

Winsome Prendergast, RCIPS Area Commander of the Eastern Districts

(CNS): Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers are concerned about the current spike in serious crime being perpetrated by young people across the islands. Meeting with residents in North Side last week, Police Commissioner Derek Byrne and officers from the district said the increase in juvenile crime is directly associated with youngsters being out of school for the summer holidays. “This time of year we are seeing a rise in youth crime,” Byrne said, as he pointed to community efforts by his officers to combat the spike.

Although young people appear to be responsible for a number of serious crimes in and around West Bay and George Town, the problem is island-wide; there have already been twenty burglaries and seven attempted burglaries in North Side since the beginning of the year.

While the perpetrators of those crimes may well be young people, the police also pointed to other factors that traditionally fuel crime, such as recently released prison inmates or addicts funding their drug habits. But Commissioner Byrne warned that much of the crime in the district was due to poor security and stressed the importance of crime prevention.

“One of the key messages is that we don’t seem to have many forced break-ins. There appear to be issues with security,” he told attendees, noting that investigations often found that locks and doors had not been tampered with.

“The community is not independent of the police; the police are not independent from the community,” said Winsome Prendergast, RCIPS Area Commander of the Eastern Districts. But officers cannot be everywhere at once and residents need to take better care in securing their homes or businesses, she said. “If the gate is broken …there is no CCTV, the back door or the front door is faulty …certain people will try [to open] the door.”

Prendergast said that although three people had been arrested, there have been no charges or convictions for the burglaries. With no witnesses or CCTV footage, “the possibility of solving many of these burglaries is not there,” she added.

She said that police need evidence and that’s where the community can help. However, she warned against the assumption that all former prisoners are guilty. Witnesses need to give their reasons for alleging that a person committed a crime instead of assuming they did it because they have been released from prison, she noted.

Prendergast said that many of the burglaries are being committed in the early hours of the morning,  where there is no CCTV and in remote parts of the district, citing Robin Road and Rum Point Drive as hot spots.

The police also highlighted the need to keep visitors informed about security. “People come from foreign countries and may not be aware that we do have some crime symptoms,” Byrne said, suggesting that they should be warned not to leave valuables in cars or bags unattended on the beach, and that landlords inform guests about safety measures.

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller urged his constituents to offer assistance to the police to help solve crime and encouraged them to look out for one another. “If your house is not occupied, ask your neighbour to turn your lights on and off so that people will believe someone is home,” he suggested.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention

Comments (41)

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  1. Theft victim says:

    Crime soon spike last week in August some going back home some returning back to school that’s reality deal with! Send a strong message to outsiders search out going cargo on passenger flights with nationalities other than those who now currently mann and police the airport including baggage handlers. This transportation of stolen goods has been going on way too long unabated right under the noses of the RCIPS who are complicit in this terrible situation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t we keep schools open all year? This problem is easy to solve! It shouldn’t cost a fortune as teachers don’t get paid much, they don’t have a union or a voice: they will just have to “deal with the problem.” They seem to do a great job according to the police attributing the rise in juvenile crime due to holidays . The curriculum should be skills based (Social & Technical) and youths at risk should be compelled to attend. To be humane we could make summer employment voluntary for teachers who want to make up for their poor salaries.

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    • Anonymous says:

      12.48pm… great idea.. they should keep schools open all year round On a certain island. That would be a wonderful move and Cayman airways should STOP flying there. This would go a very long way in solving our problems.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Simple solution…charge the parents or care giver.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The best long-term strategy is to legalise abortion.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    All this is simply due to cocaine and alcohol. Simple…dont believe then watch…not even the young pill poppers care to rob and steal. Terrible.

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  6. Kman says:

    Robbers and criminals are armed with guns, knives and aim to harm home and business owners but Police aren’t armed and residents can’t even carry mase legally then crime will continue. Michael Myles and many others in the community highlighted a major problem with teenagers and juvenile dilenquents and gangs 15 years ago but the RCIPS, politicians, education system and religious leaders choose to turn the blind eye. So as the old saying goes you reap what you sow.

    We need asap a crime prevention programme, a overhaul of our justice system, education system and more importantly hold parents more accountable for their children.

    Teenager pregnancy is prevalent as is child and drug abuse and sports and vocational training is constantly ignored. Alden get your head out of the hole and wake up as Mac gave status to 2,000 who didn’t deserve it and now you’re importing cheap labor to lower our standard of living. Until these old heads are gone we will be heading further on the road to self destruction.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Sexual education needs to be taught in school! The parents are doing a crap job at raising kids so we need to intervene and stop all the unwanted children being born. Also, free condoms at local bars with every drink.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is taught. When you have people thinking that papaya is a contraceptive, you get an idea of what we are dealing with, and how hard it is to get through to them. And yes, you read right, papaya!

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  8. Elvis says:

    Only now it’s begining to raise concern? Lmao

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  9. Say it like it is says:

    Are these “hotspots” patrolled in the early hours?, this would bring some solid evidence.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Hm…the answers must be in the Cayman national youth policy, which is “… a product of historic and current research, envisages a future for our youth in which they will be full partners in a democratic, united, peaceful and prosperous society.”

    So talk to Tara Rivers and Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, it is their “child”.

    “ It [CNYP] represents a launching point for a holistic, integrated and coordinated approach to youth development. “ “…Other initiatives that will immediately flow from this policy are the development of multi-faceted national anti-violence programme ..”.

    Cheers!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    We are too soft. Good honest people need protection by locking this miscreants up in solitary for a long time.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Charge the parents with the crimes for anyone under 18.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    That’s the best Ezzard can come up with? Money well spent then!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Ever notice that we have a spike in robberies every year in the summer ,,,emm,wonder if it’s the heat ? Do some serious baggage checks at airport when the summer visitors from some places are returning home . And don’t tell me we have home grown thiefs ,I’m aware of that .

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    • Anonymous says:

      The kids are out of school and bored. what else are they going to do.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wtf!?

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      • Anonymous says:

        How about NOT break the law? When I got bored during the summer time… I didn’t resort to criminal activity!?

        Boredom is not an excuse for commiting a crime.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Crime levels rise everywhere during school breaks. It isn’t just here. Go check the facts. Kids get bored and do not have supervision.

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      • Anonymous says:

        future caymankind

      • Anonymous says:

        3.49pm… my God don’t even know what to say about that.
        I say put them to work – lots to do around their homes – And also stop allowing these opportunitsts to come to Cayman – for their school vacation they are our major problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! Byrne is quoted above as saying “This time of year we are seeing a rise in youth crime.” What time of year is it? Hood season! Lets hope they aren’t Perennials!

      • Anonymous says:

        5.57am _ this of the year.
        This is when the garbage is dumped in cayman for three months.
        Byrne needs to run them out.
        Everyone knows the problem is… do something about. Cowards!!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cayman, where everything is reactionary. Where are the real-world education programs, trade-schools, farming initiatives and so on? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    May I suggest the authorities actually check into the Immigration status of miscreant youth? It may be possible and appropriate to have them deported. Some are not Caymanian and according to our immigration law should not be permitted to remain here. Who is checking?

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    • To the haters says:

      Keep on wasting resources, this will continue to aid the home grown.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It wouldn’t be a waste of resources, had the $800,000 finger-print system that sits in a closet somewhere, was implemented. I would take 5 minutes to confirm whether the youths involved are “home grown” or immigrants.

        • To the haters. says:

          Thank goodness, your not influential (well I hope not) have you not heard of gloves, mask and so forth that the youths are using, go back to your hole and don’t come out until you learn more than expat and Jamaican as a means of solving Cayman’s ills. As your fans and self are stuck in a time warp.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, right, 1:01 they are all Jamaican Indian American British Canadian…right? Do you read the courts lists every week where 90% or more of the people before the courts are Caymanian and they and their families are very well known to us all….including you, bobo. Stop trying to pretend the issue is not a Caymanian one.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Police test to determine whether someone is Caymanian or not is different from the legal test to determine whether someone is Caymanian or not. That is a fact, and has been for more than a decade. Where are you getting your 90% statistic from?

        • To the haters says:

          Go sit in the court house for a day, I have on many occasion and guess who is at the top of the league, for non payments, DUI, thief and the list goes on yes Caymanians, by the way I do not mean paper ones or first generation.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The issue is very much a regional one. I do not ignore the Caymanian element and acknowledge it is substantial. A significant element of the problem is however imported. Why do you refuse to acknowledge that and refuse to encourage the use of easy mechanism to protect us from that element?

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        • Dunz says:

          Of course crime is committed by Expats and first generation Caymanians, but where is the statistics for “significant element of the problem is however imported”. As the news papers have never reported that as far as I know and the daily attendance at court both for youths etc do not display that.

          • Anonymous says:

            How do you know the Immigration standing of youths by attending court? In fact, you are not allowed to attend youth court!

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