CoP: Knife crime linked to boozy nightlife

| 04/09/2020 | 45 Comments
Cayman News Service
Police Commissioner Derek Byrne

(CNS): Police will be making greater use of stop and search powers and encouraging the authorities to tighten liquor licence regulations to tackle an increase in knife crime around bars and clubs, RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne has said. So far this year there have been 169 crimes involving bladed weapons. Over the past week or so alone there were three very serious stabbings, including the murder of Recardo Pars.

The death toll could easily have been higher, Byrne said, if not for the emergency medical teams at the Health Services Authority who saved their lives.

Crime in general in Cayman is stable and has even fallen in some categories this year, not least because of the lockdown and limitations on movement from March to July. However, the police have observed an increase in violent crime over the last month, which the CoP has said is largely due to young men carrying weapons when they are out and about around late-night hot spots.

The RCIPS said there is a common profile of the recent offending: it is being carried out by men aged between 20 and 30 who go out illegally armed with knives in a social setting. The violence is connected to the nighttime economy and the misuse of alcohol, the combination of which presents a serious threat to community safety.

Commissioner Byrne said that while the overall crime rate across the Cayman Islands continues to remain stable, the increase in knife crime is of great concern.

“In context, since the start of 2020 the RCIPS has recorded 169 crimes involving bladed weapons, 32 of these crimes involved serious violence against persons,” he said in a statement issued Thursday by the RCIPS communications department.

“Our mission at all times is to ensure that preventative measures are implemented to reduce the incidences and fear of crime, while also creating a safe environment across our communities. As such, next week we are meeting with Department of Commerce and Investments (DCI) and the Liquor Licensing Board to look at liquor licensing laws and conditions of licences to discuss actions around enhanced security measures inside and outside of licensed venues,” he said.

He also warned of an increase in police patrols at night around the identified hot spots to address criminal behaviour.

“We will work with licensees and their security personnel to identify potential offenders to prevent any serious attacks from taking place. Stop and search powers for persons and vehicles will be stepped up by police to address this threat.”

Byrne said that it is illegal and a serious offence for anyone to carry concealed weapons, including knives. Penalties on conviction provide for a fine of CI$5,000 and up to four years in jail. He warned that anyone found to be in violation of these laws will be prosecuted “to the full extent of the law, to ensure the safety of all members of our community”.

Knife crime has also been steadily increasing in the UK. The number of offences involving knives recorded by police in England and Wales last year was the highest on record, according to official statistics. The crime there revolves around big cities and, like Cayman, nighttime economies with a similar profile of offenders.

Police budget cuts and increasing poverty have also been cited as driving the increase in violent street crime in the UK.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Police

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why would a decorated career law enforcement officer be so content with stable crime?!? Derek Byrne spent three decades battling organized crime with An Garda Síochána. Did we hire him to coast along in cruise control mode until retirement? If so, perhaps Gov Roper could accelerate that timeline and get us someone willing to roll up their sleeves. Crime is stable because nothing has changed! It’s an admission of failure!

  2. Jtb says:

    It’s weird, but no matter how drunk I get I never seem to discover a knife in my pocket.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your mileage may vary.. definitely in my case.

      Hennessy: “you can take on all 4 of them”

      Tequila: “you can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind”

      Rum: “we na going home til sun come up”

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for all of your repetitive lame comments.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Legalize Cannabis, use the money to enforce stricter alcohol and weapon laws and protocols.

    Can spend millions a year after cannabis importers.
    They bring in guns and money goes to criminals.

    We legalize alcohol and the money goes to private people who don’t enforce proper safety for the public.

    Just young men(boys) get a few drinks and with all their buddies around like to ego show and pull knives and want to fight all the time.

    Get in trouble in cayman for the violence get deported. Criminals coming to cayman because there’s no punishment. We have to do something or it’s just going to get worst.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Knife crime linked to boozy nightlife.

    Knife crime not linked to doobie rolling nights.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only thing I feel like attacking after is a plate of food followed by connecting my head with a pillow

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t understand given that this is a Christian nation.

  6. Anonymous says:

    just ban loitering…all establishments should have strict door policy and dress code…
    time to send these rats back to where they came from

  7. Anonymous says:

    Clearly we need new leadership. These aren’t revelers letting loose. These are amp’ed up occupational gangsters, a year or two loose from prior incarcerations for armed robbery, assault, and other serious offenses. The parking lot is their office, and they are at work, on their busiest night of the week. HM Prisons, Lillies, RCIPS, and the Strand landlord cannot continue to pretend that they don’t have a public duty to protect their customers from these dead-end losers that routinely congregate in and outside their club every week. How can you miss this when it is literally the only thing open in the mall at that hour? Not least of which, there’s an entire parking lot of theoretical DUIs and accidents waiting to happen every Sat morning that you can set your watch to. Why aren’t the police there every pay day night to intercede? There are also 14 and 15 year olds with fake ID routinely in that parking lot and club that have no business being outside. Shame on the parents, the club, and the authorities for continuing to ignore these dangers, and all of the blood that’s been shed over the years in shootings, stabbings, rapes, DUI fatalities, all pretending these were random unpredictable accidents that couldn’t have been avoided. Tell that to the families and friends that mourn the kids lost over the years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same at Rum Point/Sand Pointe Road on a Sunday. Trash openly drinking Hennessy and beer, smoking whatever makes their minuscule brains need to make sense of stupid, and then driving home to whatever rock these morons come out from.
      Do your dam job COP, stop making excuses for your failure to get control and retain it. Get your staff out of their cars and make sure the Traffic Unit work after 4:00 pm on a Sunday along Rum Point Drive.
      We are sick and tired of your lame excuses and lazy staff.

  8. Get Real Cayman says:

    Criminal Trends only move from one jurisdiction to next when people move we have brought so much Riff Raff back to this island during this pandemic it is no surprise here. I hope this Government doesn’t again start its idiotic campaign of drafting more draconian measures and laws when a simple solution of arresting and imprisoning and deporting criminals and stop importing so many people into this small little island.This government population expansion program is just plain stupid and is destroying our little island.We need drastic change Cayman stop voting for dummies!

    • Anonymous says:

      Although I agree with you that we shouldn’t try to expand the population too drastically (ie governments plan to get it to 100k) but you are assuming that these little s#%t’s arent Caymanina born and raised. I think we need to stop blaming “foreigners” and start looking at our own people.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Yes. We have met the ‘riff-raff’ and they are us.

        • Anonymous says:

          You move here after 2003?

          • BeaumontZodecloun says:

            No. My great-great-great grandparents “moved” here quite some time ago.

            Did your ancestors spring up here like a mushroom, or did they once immigrate?

            Does generational seniority really make a difference to you? It doesn’t to me. Almost any other nation/territory a person can move there legally, go through the citizenship process, and they are citizens, not conditional qualifiers as we have here. We have Caymanians and non-Caymanians. What we do with our short time is far more important than our pedigree.

            • Anonymous says:

              BZ. Many of the dudes with knives are imports or the children of relative. newcomers. Cayman’s youth were not stabbing each other when we were truly poor.

    • Anonymous says:

      These are recidivist Caymanians. Google the names against the Cause Lists and Status Grant Gazette and tell me otherwise. Show your work.

      • Anonymous says:

        All those with status grants should be having those grants revoked. That is the law. Why is it not done.? EVER!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nothing to do with possibly illegal status grants then, or the corresponding and subsequent mass importation of poverty, that the RCIP are yet to even investigate?

  10. RCIP Distress Signal says:

    These are informal groups of the unaffiliated. Nothing to see here folks. No action needed.

    That is the official police/govt policy on gang violence going back to 1980.

  11. Caymanian 37 yrs says:

    I grow my own weed on my land, mind my own business and stay home instead of going to these clubs.

    These guys get drunk, stab up their countrymen and light up tobacco cigarettes.

    When I can be medically prescribed this plant why am I categorized as a criminal like them? Legalize personal growing of medical cannabis and I won’t need to spend $1300 a year on my prescription for cannabis oil.

    • Anonymous says:

      I tried to go legal this year. $400 to see the Doc and try the oil. $500 to see the Doc and try the vape. Not as good as just smoking a joint and way more expensive. It was better dealing with the Docs then the pushers but the price is so much better. Come on Cayman. Grow up a little. Time to legalize it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Too be perfectly honest, I think CoP knows exactly what he is talking about. Experience trumps opinion. You go, Derek.

    • Anonymous says:

      Action trumps inaction. Byrne has been in Cayman for two years presiding confidently over a “stable” crime portfolio. What does that say?

      • If the walls could talk.... says:

        He has been here for FOUR years and done nothing but monitor the stable crime and dismantle the RCIPS. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing, and it has nothing to do with improving the safety or security of Cayman.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This was always going to become an issue in Alden’s isolation utopia. More to come.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Landlords, light up your parking lots with nice LED lights. 1am onwards until everyone has left the premises. It will improve your chances of retaining tenants as the incidents are reduced and allow your cameras to properly record what takes place.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s missing is political will to tackle crime. We need competent police that action their child-like understanding of the predictability of Friday pay days; the purchase habits of young drug users on those days; where they buy, and consume those drugs (so that they can stay up til 4am and later); and who the sellers are, and where they operate. Hint: it’s all happening in that parking lot filled also with DUI vehicles. Lillies, mall owner, liquor license inspector, and RCIPS are all still pretending it’s not their problem, or that it is somehow this is a random public occurrence. Yet, it’s so predictable you can set your watch to it. Fridays are when a week’s worth of business gets done. The drug dealers, all pumped up with a night’s takings, then go inside for bottle service with their parking lot earnings and throw money around, calling dibs on women they might think are theirs. Everyone that’s been to a club in the Cayman Islands in the last 30 years knows how this works. We also know, from the inaction, that the CIG and club owners/managers like it this way, regardless of the body count. Lillies only community contributions are condo devaluation, mall tenant erosion, social decay, and body counts. If there were any justice, the current owner/manager would loose liquor license, and be denied any further applications. Let someone else run it responsibly at those hours, or not at all.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s the Latino way. They are known for their use of knives in every conflict.

    Yet we continue to import these types into our work force.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, it’s not. The rise in knife crime in the UK is much the same as knife and gun crime in the US and Caribbean.
      Yep, the perpetrators and victims are invariably black, but no one wants to hear it, they want to live in a delusional world that shouts out the names of dead criminals but forgets the dead children and innocents caught up in the wholesale slaughter within black communities.
      Black lives absolutely do matter, but they have to matter to black people as much as they want them to matter to the rest of the community.

      CNS: Sadly, this is a horribly racist argument that has made its way via social media into the mainstream. But please understand that it is racist, which is not countered by a layering of ‘caring about black lives’ and the reference to dead children. Cribbing from this:

      The overwhelming majority of white murder victims each year are killed by white assailants. So, when’s the last time you heard the term “white on white crime?”

      As shocking as it may be for some to hear, people generally commit crimes against people they know or live near. If you want to have a real discussion about crime, let’s talk about the factors that contribute to it happening in the first place.

      White supremacists have attributed the fact that crime rates are higher among African Americans than whites to people of color being biologically more prone to violence. In reality, crime is directly linked more to poverty than race or any other factor.

      According to the Bureau for Justice Statistics, People living in households with income below the federal poverty threshold are twice as likely to commit a violent crime than people in high-income households, regardless of race.

      We live in a country where the poverty rate is more than twice as high among black Americans than white. And that has as much to do with 400 years of systematic racism than anything else.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said CNS!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Except for that we don’t live in America. Thank God.

          • Anonymous says:

            But it’s a Fox News/Qanon talking points the poster used.

            • Anonymous says:

              Oh the famous QAnon garbage hoax story. Q was the biggest distraction and has produced nothing of any note. It is designed to shackle conservatives to never-never land.
              Sadly, some of them are still drinking the koolaid.
              Q is fake and Trump is an actor. Liberals have poisoned minds and Obama will be back by popular request.
              That will be a sorry day.

              CNS: The FBI named QAnon in a May 2019 intelligence bulletin produced for distribution among intelligence and law enforcement agencies that described “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” as a growing threat in the United States. QAnon has been specifically linked to incidences of violence. It’s not harmless.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thing is CNS there are more poor white people in the US than there are black people yet blacks account for far more murders, mostly of their own people.

        CNS: I feel like this comment needs an essay as a response and not a few sentences, but I’ll have a go. Firstly there are a lot of bogus or manipulated statistics floating around, some of which are retweeted by the tweeter in chief and his right wing twitter friends, but I’ll get to that. Here’s the basic starting point: if you look at any stats and your reflex is ‘blacks themselves are to blame’ or ‘black people are more inclined to crime’ you’re a racists. It’s that simple. I’m not saying you are, it’s impossible to tell from one sentence.

        The most recent full set of stats on homicides in the US from the FBI are here. Clearly the assertion that ‘blacks account for far more murders” is bogus, and also, as said in my previous comment, that the vast majority of white murder victims are killed by white offenders, but it is also clear that murder is disproportionately high in black communities.

        Now if your aim is to prove that black people are somehow inferior, as many in the US do without explicitly saying so, you would use that as a straight correlation and not look at any other factors. However, if you wanted to look at the picture honestly and ask why this is so, you would ask questions like, what is the poverty rate (more than double that of whites)? Are black people (young men especially) more likely to be arrested, more likely to get a longer sentence for the same crime, more likely to be targetted by police, less likely to get a job because of their race, have less hope of escaping poverty by legal means, more likely to grow up in single homes (because their father is in jail perhaps), more likely to live in a city rather than a rural area, more likely to feel pressured to join a gang, etc, etc, and therefore more likely to enter a spiral of crime/violence.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you CNS for trying but people like this poster doesn’t have the brain space available in their hateful skull to understand the real problem with the US.

          Also, we don’t live in the US poster…. get a life.

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