DEH secures first littering conviction

| 07/09/2023 | 54 Comments
Cayman News Service
Illegal dumping at the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay in December 2022

(CNS): The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has secured its first conviction in court for an offence under the Cayman Islands Litter Law. DEH officials said that a West Bay resident was convicted in court on Tuesday, 22 August, after he was caught on video dumping a sofa on crown land next to the Ed Bush Stadium on Garson Smith Drive in December 2022.

According to a press release, an investigation was launched by the DEH; and the matter was then passed to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP), which recommended prosecution. During the court case, the magistrate said he did not recall ever trying a litter case in the Cayman Islands before. He stressed the importance of the conviction as littering is a major problem and said it was sad to see people littering this beautiful country.

Section 3(1) of the Litter Law states: “Whoever throws down, drops or otherwise deposits and leaves any litter in, into or from a public place in such circumstances as to cause, contribute to or tend to lead to its defacement by such litter is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for six months.”

In this case, the guilty man was fined $200 since it was his first such offence, the release stated. However, there was no indication regarding his identity or when he will be sentenced. Because the case was heard two weeks ago, the court listings that could have identified the offender are no longer publicly available. CNS has contacted the DEH for more details, and we are awaiting a response.

DEH Director Richard Simms said in the release that he was satisfied with the outcome of this historic prosecution in the wake of the work being done in his department to clamp down on littering.

“This decision represents the first court prosecution since our enforcement to crack down on litter and illegal dumping,” he said, adding that DEH officers and assistants had been “working hard to tackle environmental health breaches and crimes in our communities”.

In recent months the DEH team, in partnership with the ODPP, successfully completed a comprehensive training course on case file preparation. Senior Crime Case Manager Dennis Walkington trained them in evidence collection and handling, statement taking, preparing a summary of facts and forms, and court procedures to enhance their performance as enforcement officers.

The DEH has also partnered with the tourism ministry and the Beautification Task Force (BTF) in the current Anti-Littering Campaign, which was launched on 1 August.

Members of the public are encouraged to do their part in keeping the Cayman Islands clean and report any instances of littering and illegal dumping to the DEH
by calling 949-6696
by emailing
or by making a complaint via the DEH website.

Under the Litter Law, convictions can result in $500 fines, and/or six months imprisonment.

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Category: Crime, Local News

Comments (54)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Government does illegal dumping of old vehicles and appliances. What about that ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hahahahhababababaa 40 years to do it! As caymanians don’t enforce anything

  3. Anonymous says:

    Third world culture can not be hidden. It is what it is. Change starts at the top and you all can see that’s not gonna happen here in your lifetime.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So what if you have a piece of furniture that you have requested from Red Cross to pick up for donation, they ignore you, who will collect if you do not have a truck and paying the demand of hiring soneone? May as well smash it up and put it in much for recycling and helping the community!

  5. Elvis says:

    There i was running past a complex in prospect one day. Felt tired so started walking. I saw a police car parked 200/yards up from me. His doir opened and he placed a white plastic bag with a food container inside on the verge and drove off. What chance do we have i ask?
    I tried to take his number of vehicle but just couldnt make it out

    • Anonymous says:

      You could have still complained. There are a very limited number of units at any one time. Any that are tied up on a job would be accounted for easily. If Prospect, it’s likely a GT unit, alongwith the time, that alone would narrow it down to one or two units.

      PSU would also get involved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bullshit. Complaining has consequences around here. We are without standards. We have become corrupt to the core.

  6. Mad limo driver says:

    I blame the DG for this!

    Have a look at the Cause List. So many employers are before the court for pension and other labour offenses.

    Will done CIG.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too little too late. Hundreds of victims. For years. By the time you are prosecuting countless people have already been harmed. Would it not have been better to properly regulate and enforce the laws so there were no breaches?

      • Anonymous says:

        But isn’t this enforcing the laws? Your comment is confusing.

        The difference with this case is there was clear evidence and a witness I understand.

        I also heard that many litter cases have been brought in the past but without a witness willing to appear in court and the name of the person or a video or picture as proof, then the DEH has a very hard job of enforcing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hundreds of victims of pension theft have been returned to their countries of origin over the last three decades with no remedy. The pretense of effective enforcement is an insult.

  7. IIlegal dumping on Marine Park. says:

    Will Fin Cayman face a fine for the building material dumped on the marine park? Talk about being caught in the act.

    Photos of damage to the marine park (petition)

    Video of debris from the Fin spreading down the shoreline.

    Photo of Michael Ryan picking up after himself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. Thank you for highlighting this. I had no idea. DOE/DEH, any comment please? If we can discipline the average citizen we sure can the wealthy developers!!

  8. Donald Duck says:

    There should also be community service of 100 hrs or more to clean up the mess of others. Hit the pocket book and free time. There is alot that can be cleaned up for the people that do make the messes.

  9. Anonymous says:

    30 years to late

  10. Anonymous says:

    Take a look where Mariners Cove used to be. Humans are truly the worst. Mattresses, fridges, cars, condoms, fast food bags, everyday waste, building waste. Disgusting people. DEH should go and look at some of the receipts among the detritus, you’d soon be able to link it to the scum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe DEH and Government should up their game!

    • Anonymous says:

      Instead of commenting here why don’t you report it to the DEH directly.

      There are doing a campaign now like the article reads. Call DEH 9496696

      Did you know you can actually request a clean up? I searched their website and you can actually send DEH a request to clean up that area.

      That may help them to realize they should go pick up trash there. Let’s be fair that’s not an actual location for trash collection anymore.

      I can see that we the public really do need to report what we are seeing properly

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah right, they want you to provide your name AND accuse someone of an offence. Never going to happen in Cayman (and they know it).

  11. WhaYaSay says:

    They should check the cement trucks working at Vida (Barkers, West Bay) and where they go to clean the mixer after delivery (hint, a park is involved).
    I think there is a CIG mounted near Vida so perhaps video footage has recorded the vehicles disappearing, typically at excessive speed, in a direction that is a deadend and has no residential or commercial facilities.

  12. Geeza says:

    The fines have to be better advertised and signed

    Then the fine has to reflect the full cost

    This is the moving of the garbage pile to the bigger garbage pile

    And all associated costs for it having to go to a court

    I suspect this cost is closer to about 5k

    This is why we remain on a grey list

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ought to be called illegal dumping. Litterng sounds like a gum wrapper or cigarette butt.

  14. Peter says:

    Need to watch the illegal dumping in Barkers by CS and officers of the Law!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The fine should be higher and as part of their punishment, they should have to do community service clean up in a high-vis jacket. Shame is a powerful tool to stop bad behavior.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to the day when it isn’t news that laws are being enforced.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It should be 200 hours of community work picking up litter as well.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Cheaper than hiring a skip. What a waste of time. I wonder why the name has been left out all reporting…

  19. Bob says:

    Should have the offender clean up the mess he made as well as whatever is at the location, in addition to the fine levied.

    • Anonymous says:

      These “Offenders” don’t think they’re offending.
      As one Jamaican angrily explained me , when I suggested he shouldn’t throw his empty beer bottle on the road……”No man, It’s Bush….!”
      There you have it, concern for your neighbors, another unwanted first world import.

      • Anonymous says:

        Look at Bodden Town,( First Capital ) as you enter and several places as far up the Church. Shameful.

  20. Anonymous says:

    While this is a good sign, $200 is about the cost of having a grab truck take a load of garbage to the dump, so I would imagine most people who litter will continue to do so.
    The fines need to be updated.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Director Simms says “Historic”. Hear,hear…new Silverados all around at DEH.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Name the litter bug and show a photo of him wearing a work vest and cleaning garbage off the road or beach.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well done done DEH. Got to start somewhere to change habits. Person should have been named just like any other defendant. If they could get it to this location they could have taken it to the dump. Simply laziness.

  24. Anonymous says:

    $200? What possible message does that send? Other than the mildest little wrist tap (can’t even call it a slap)?

    Land of many laws but no regulation.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Good on them. Especially the internal groundwork of making sure the team were trained in the evidence gathering, etc. Imagine how embarrassing to have lost the case on a technicality. This is a great first step. Now keep the prosecutions coming and we’ll remain in support.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Respectfully, we need more opportunities to dispose of our bulk garbage. Dumpsters, perhaps more bulk collection days?

    • Anonymous says:

      No excuse to leave this crap out on your yard. It makes us look like 3rd world dirtbags all these houses like this. DEH should just drive through prospect/red bay and you could fine hundreds.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Probably should set up a camera at the entrance to Barker’s sometime.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ohh I guess Heather gets to keep her job now! One conviction she is probably doing a celebration dance!

  29. Anonymous says:

    30 year old law. Widely committed offence. First conviction? We celebrate? It is shameful!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, yes, but if it’s the start of many more to come, then it’s progress. I’m not holding by breath, but we have to start somewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well have YOU witnessed such an offence, recorded evidence (e.g. photos), and reported it to the authorities?
      Or is it always someone else’s responsibility?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. Yes. And yes.

        Including construction debris and concrete into mangroves.

        Have you?

      • Anonymous says:

        How many millions have we paid to enforcers whose job it has been to robustly enforce our laws? Almost 30 years – and a single $200 fine? Wow!

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