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Reclaiming Peace: A Response to Rising Crime

Local News 04 Mar, 2024 Follow News

Hon Roy McTaggart

Several days have passed since the horrific shooting incident at the Ed Bush Sports Field. The shock that ripped through our islands was palpable, understandable, and shared by us all.

Before the shock diminishes in the days to come, we should reflect on what lessons we can draw.

In times like these, it’s natural to wonder if our peaceful Cayman Islands have been lost to violence. Let me reassure you: I firmly believe that our Islands retain their essence of peace and safety. We mustn’t allow fear and the acts of a few to cloud our perception of the strength, beauty and resilience that define us and our country.

However, we must not let these types of crimes worsen and become the norm in our society. The rise in gun crimes and gang activities demands our attention. It requires action to prevent future shootings and to bring those associated with the recent shooting to justice. The Police Commissioner has assured the community that we will see action, and he and the RCIPS have our complete confidence and support. 

We must tackle the underlying causes of this violence head-on, as neglecting them could exacerbate these incidents. Similar to many countries, we grapple with social issues within our community that demand our attention.

 We know that some of our youth encounter personal challenges that lead them towards gangs and criminal paths.

We must show our young people the countless positive opportunities our islands offer. To achieve this, we must unite, focusing our strengths on confronting these varied social challenges head-on.

 Moreover, we must equip law enforcement agencies with the latest technology and strategies to effectively combat gang activities. Collaboration amongst the various government agencies is also essential to crafting a holistic approach to tackling these complex social issues.

 Over the past year, the Opposition has spoken out often on community safety and we provided common sense recommendations that the Government should prioritise.

I thank the Premier for her strong stand and assurances that the RCIPS will have the resources to solve this case and make our communities even safer.

However, words alone are not enough. Action is absolutely needed. The Government must prioritise the issues of at-risk youth and gang disruption and provide the RCIPS with the resources necessary to revitalise Community Policing and strengthen capacity. We will support the Government when we see progress and remind them to act when we see none.

Before I conclude, On behalf of the Progressives Opposition, I again extend heartfelt condolences to the victims and families of the recent shooting. We pray for their healing and the healing of our community from the fear caused by a few.

May God continue to bless our beautiful Cayman Islands.

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