September 21, 2020

Crime problem escalates to new level

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The robbery at Casanova by the Sea takes the current crime problem to a whole new level.

Stick-ups at jerk chicken stands, gas stations and shops late at night are bad enough but the impact on the economy as a result of this latest robbery is potentially catastrophic.

I have often enjoyed the delights on offer at Casanova’s. It’s a fine restaurant with a warm, homely atmosphere that makes it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

Plus its location means it is one of the ideal eateries for the many thousands of tourists that visit our beautiful Island each year. And we want them to come back over and over again.

But the robbery on Thursday night, as customers enjoyed their meals, elevates the problem potentially beyond repair.

A recent report from an American Government travel website suggests that, “in recent years the Cayman Islands have experienced an increase in criminal activity involving Jamaican gangs, including gang and drug-related shootings”.

Perhaps the information coming out of the States is slightly knee-jerk, especially as it cites a year old crime – the murder of 4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes – to back-up its harsh advice.

Maybe we should look at the hugely negative impact on tourism suffered by our Caribbean neighbour Aruba when Natalee Holloway disappeared during a high school graduation trip.

But when masked gunmen barge into a restaurant as customers dine it does send shivers down your spine.

The mentality of these people is such that they are willing to risk years of incarceration for a few hundred bucks – far less when they are robbing jerk stands and grocery stores.

I wish I had an answer to this problem. As I’m sure do the lawmakers and people in authority within Cayman.

We don’t want burly security guards patrolling the doors of every business establishment every time we want to dine or shop after dark. Perhaps a higher visibility of police on the streets during key times of night may act as a deterrent?

The cost of such an operation compared to the drop in tourism revenue would be inconsequential.

Maybe the answer lies a little closer to home. People out there know who the thieves are. Someone will know which two men robbed Casanova’s on Wednesday night.

It’s time for the community to fight back. Help the police in anyway they can. Use the anonymous Crime Stoppers line – 800-8477 (TIPS) and let’s make Cayman the beautiful and safe place it once was.

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