A hail of bullets in a place of public gathering killing one man, injuring others has understandably sent shockwaves rippling through the tranquil Caymanian society.
But just as Cayman has safeguarded itself from the COVID-19 virus, the same community effort is required to contain the crime virus before it takes hold.
The tranquillity might have been disturbed. It’s the responsibility of all of us to make sure it’s not shattered.
There must be concern about the sudden spike in violent crime and this upsurge must be ‘arrested’ - along with the perpetrators - before it gets worse. It’s already bad enough.
Looking at the type and frequency in the recent spurt of gun-related crimes clearly requires an urgent and focused response.
While the tough questions are being asked, the current situation demands equally tough and immediate responses leading to longer-term solutions.
The analysis will raise numerous questions. How could this be happening in Cayman? Have we taken our eyes off the ball? Are we living in denial and looking the other way, just too ashamed to accept that a monster is in our midst?
Has peaceful, tranquil, modern, well-to-do Cayman become a soft -tough for the criminal-minded?
Can Cayman handle this threat to its tranquillity on its own?
Do we need to deploy the resources of the newly-formed Regiment to support the RCIPS by calling on its much-debated and questioned mandate?
After all, on the government’s own website the Regiment’s mission is stated thus: “The role of the CI Regiment is to provide disaster relief and security within the Cayman Islands and the wider Caribbean region.”
In this situation we emphasise security.
It is reassuring to learn of the ‘proactive’ response by the RCIPS in nabbing a suspect of another recent shooting. While not advocating anything akin to a police state, the question arises; Is the RCIPS adequately resourced to confront challenging situations such as what we’ve experienced recently?
Just a few days ago Hon. Premier Wayne Panton voiced his concern about the emergence of a type of two-tiered Cayman with poverty levels and other social ills blighting some segments of an otherwise prosperous society. That’s like saying, in the abundance of much, many don’t have any.
This could be a breeding ground for criminality, but it could also inspire tales of people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps with a little help from the government and society.
“I am keenly aware that the social ills, such as the inequity and the disenfranchisement that has led to a subculture of gun possession and criminality didn’t emerge overnight,” Premier Panton said.
He was on point.
He was also correct when he said: “Right now our focus has to be restoring law and order, peace and tranquillity and getting illegal firearms off our streets. The police cannot do it alone. The government cannot do it alone. We must stand together as a community and not allow misguided elements to reign terror and bloodshed on our community.”
Bloodshed, he said. Not a term that you would immediately associate with Cayman.
Let’s stem the flow of blood, guns, drugs and other crimes before Cayman becomes a troubled paradise.
The Caymanian Times expresses condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.