September 20, 2020

Chilling similarities between Cayman and Liverpool crime gangs

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Liverpool’s famous skyline

iNews reporter Paul Kennedy spent more than 20 years working as a journalist for regional and national newspapers on Merseyside. Here he looks at what the people of Cayman can expect if officers from his home city come to help the RCIPS.

Merseyside has seen its fair share of criminal problems over the years.

Drugs, guns and gangs are commonplace and the region’s main city of Liverpool was once identified as the major importer for most, if not all, the narcotics on the streets of the United Kingdom.

A recent spate of violence, similar to what’s happening in Cayman today, saw a turf war between two rival gangs spill out of control.

What followed shocked the country, and indeed the world. Caught up in the crossfire was 11-year-old Rhys Jones.

On his way home from football training, the schoolboy was hit by a stray bullet aimed at a gang member. He was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.

Chilling similarities to the senseless murder of 4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes in February last year.

Just like the Cayman community, the people of Liverpool were horrified at the death of young Rhys. Tensions were boiling over and the local community demanded action. The police needed to act, and they did.

Murder victim Rhys Jones

It was swift, efficient and clean. More than 300 officers were involved in the investigation. Not only did they arrest and convict the gunman, Sean Mercer, they also charged 10 others in connection with the death.

The gunman’s own mother ended up in the dock accused of lying to protect her son. Two other parents of a gang member were also convicted of the same charge.

Having covered the area for 10 years as a reporter and later chief reporter of the Liverpool Echo, I know first hand what the police are capable of.

No stones will be left unturned. Their judgment won’t be impaired by local knowledge and they won’t rest until the job is complete.

Yes, the climate may be different and they will need a helping hand from local police getting around and dealing with a different culture.
But whichever officers make the journey from the North West of England to the Caribbean will be professional, determined and extremely thorough.

This is guaranteed not to be a sunshine squad-style jolly boys outing. They are coming to Cayman with a job to do, and they won’t rest until it’s done.

In comparison

 Merseyside

  • Population – 1.5 million.
  • Famous people – the Beatles, Wayne Rooney, Ken Dodd.
  • Weather – warm, dry summers, strong breezes in autumn/winter.
  • Sport – Premiership football, Super League Rugby, professional golf.
  • Murder rate – 1 per 42,000 residents each year.
  • Major crimes – drug-smuggling, murder

Cayman Islands

  • Population – 44,000.
  • Famous people – World champion diver Tanya Streeter.
  • Weather – hot, rainy summers with hurricanes.
  • Sport – diving, snorkelling, 9-hole golf course.
  • Murder rate – 1 per 5,500 residents each year.
  • Major crimes – drug-smuggling, murder, off-shore banking for crooks

 

 

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