Prosecution warnings mount over curfew breaches

| 13/04/2020 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service
CoP Derek Byrne delivers message about beach closures and curfews over Easter

(CNS): Forty people were warned for prosecution on Sunday morning, the police commissioner said in a video message circulated to warn people about the Easter Monday restrictions to the beaches and the parameters of the various curfews in the Cayman Islands. But so far only one person has been jailed for a curfew breach, and Summary Court documents available online show only three individuals have appeared in court facing these charges to date.

Police have not yet said how many people were warned for prosecution on Good Friday, if any, though the premier and the commissioner both said worrying numbers had been on the beaches congregating and drinking, and breaching the gathering limit, social distancing order and the parameters of the curfew.

CNS has contacted the police and is awaiting a response about the consequences these individuals will face. The possible wider loss of access to the beaches because of a handful of people has caused significant backlash in the community, as expressed in CNS online comment forum as well as all over social media.

The number of people breaching the evening curfew on all three islands remains very low, but breaches of the soft curfew appear to be increasing. People are using the limited access to supermarkets and exercise as excuses to be out doing more than getting essential supplies or getting in their daily 90 minute walk, run or swim.

While the number of people being warned for prosecution appears to be growing, these cases have not yet reached the courthouse and are now backing up.

The first case was heard in court 10 days ago, when a local man was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to breaching the curfew. This may have served as an early warning to the community about how seriously the courts are taking curfew breakers, but it seems to have lost the desired effect.

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    forget the police…they will never be forgiven this time.
    unwillingness or inability to the basics of their jobs… they just punish everyone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you are on the beach with beer or alcohol, you are in breach. I would gladly volunteer for plainclothes work (or beach clothes) to film the buggers ruining it for us all, so there would be ample evidence of them breaking the law and prosecutions can follow.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What the police need to do is to video every arrest so that there is proof otherwise most of these will walk free.. Spend a little money and buy them bodycams..

    • Anonymous says:

      been saying that for years regarding dashcams….remember what byrne said…
      ‘law enforcement is not always the answer’….zzzz

  4. Anonymous says:

    There are people publicly bragging with photos on FaceBook about going to the public beaches on Easter Sunday. Whether it a sense of arrogance and entitlement, or just being deeply unappreciative of the importance of staying home – I don’t know. But it is clear that the message is not getting through to everyone.

  5. Anonymous says:

    these people have broken hard curfew..hence automatic prison term due to precedent set.

    in reality, the police will bring few if any to prosecution…plus if any of these people had a lawyer with half a brain, they will walk free…these cases will be impossible to prove.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? The Police have warned a whole heap of people for prosecution so far. 40 or so alone on Saturday I believe.

      After that, it’s not up to Police to ‘bring them to prosecution’. Once they’re warned for prosecution, the Department of Public Prosecution takes over and does the prosecuting part. Hence the name.

      As for the lawyer part: Who knows. This situation is rather unprecedented in Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        byrne was asked why the offenders were not charged straight away….his fumbling fudged response tells you everything you need to know.

        • Anon says:

          Your fumbling misguided and incorrect comment tells us all who you are, a local bigot. The commissioner has several times explained at length what is meant by being warned for prosecution.

          • Anonymous says:

            so why were no people ‘warned for prosecution’ on the beach on friday????

          • Anonymous says:

            Th Commissioner clearly stated that not a single person at Royal Palms was warned for prosecution. It’s an utter failure by the police and the Commissioner did not have a good excuse for why.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, it might be difficult to prove that two people were more likely than not to have been fewer than six feet apart based on the officer’s recollection of his constantly-changing visual of the two persons. But it is much less difficult to prove that someone who was stopped and questioned about why they were on the road and offered no explanation was in breach of curfew without lawful excuse. So yes and no, but very good point. Some offences they have created or activated to deal with this situation are hard to prove, others are easy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh dear, mixed up my standards of proof. ‘More likely than not’ is civil. For criminal, the judge would have to be ‘sure’ based on the evidence that the offence was committed. So sometimes that will be very easy (caught red-handed), sometimes very difficult (relies on testimony).

      • Anonymous says:

        There are CCTV cameras at governor’s residence immediately adjacent to the public Governor’s Beach parking lot and beach where cooler violators like to congregate. Their footage has been used for less in the past, why not for emergency curfew breaches? All the cop needs to do is gesture to the cctv, write the tickets and invite those “Athletes” assembled with booze in their hands to challenge in court if they dare.

    • Test law breakers says:

      Please start testing every person the police ticket and warn for intended prosecution.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “CNS has contacted the police and is awaiting a response about the consequences these individuals will face”

    —— Isn’t that up to a judge and not the Police? If the police warned people for prosecution, then it’s up to a court to decide their consequences. Not the cops.

    CNS: Before it gets to court, they have to be arrested and charged by the police. That hasn’t happened yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m quite confident that’s not true, CNS.

      If someone is warned for prosecution, they don’t get arrested. That’s the point. They get a summons to appear in court. It’s an alternative to an arrest.

      CNS: Sorry, I messed up explaining. We are trying to find out if anyone was warned for prosecutions or arrested for being on the beach during curfew.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s up to the DPP whether to charge them based on the information provided by the police.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The CIG needs to scrap the imprisonment and just bump up the fine significantly

    Everyone knows the prison is full, they couldn’t imprison the people breaking the restrictions even if they wanted to, just bump the fine up to $5000 CI or $10,000 CI for every person caught in violation and watch how quickly people would stick to the script

    Its not hard, but of course just like the liquor stores, with an election coming up in a year the Legislators don’t have the wherewithal or the testicular fortitude to do what needs to be done
    and thus the infection numbers will continue to rise

    As my grandmother would say ears don’t hear, ass (or in this case wallet) will feel

    • Anonymous says:

      1:32 I agree with you but unfortunately allot of people dont have that kind of money. I agree that if you break the law you should pay a fine but what will the police do to them if they generally don’t have the money? Unfortunately it’s the poor and uneducated people who tend to be in breach of the curfew. That or just plain stupid people. Im all for fining people particularly as the money can go to the government purse and in turn be used to help support those most in need (food handouts etc). I just don’t see how the police could genuinely get people to cough up 5000 +

    • Anonymous says:

      These types don’t have money to pay $25 let alone $10k.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can they do either? I think they will have a challenge for breaching the actual constitution/ bill of rigjra. Perhaps CNS to ask Premier if he has taken legal advice from his AG to determine whether he actually has the right to do what he has suggested in his regulations and ask the Governor the same thing.

      CNS: I’m sure he would have consulted the AG.

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