September 24, 2020

Police reveal amnesty arsenal

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Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden with some of the weapons handed in

Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden holds a powerful shotgun that if it was in the wrong hands could kill in seconds.

Thankfully this weapon is clearly in the right hands after it was handed in to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service as part of their gun amnesty.

Mr Bodden yesterday said that although the amnesty was a success – with a number of bullets and firearms handed in to officers – he would have been a happier if they had been given more.

Police yesterday hailed their latest gun amnesty a success – but admitted they would have been happier if more weapons had been handed in.

Following a recent rise in the amount of gun crime seen in the Cayman Islands, it is clear there are still illegal firearms in circulation.

But since the beginning of July police have offered a “no questions asked” service allowing guns and ammunition to be handed in a special drop off zones across Cayman.

The first four weeks of the amnesty proved extremely disappointing with very few weapons handed in.

After that, the police teamed up with High Impact Digital Billboards to offer cash incentives in exchange for weapons.

For each gun handed in, $200 would be paid plus $25 per 10 bullets. In total more than a thousand dollars was given out, but some people handing in weapons refused to take any cash, police said.

After a similar amnesty last year, the weapons handed in were broken down and encased in concrete to make boat moorings for the RCIPS Marine Unit.

Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said: “Generally the gun amnesty has been a success.

“Obviously we would like to see more but we got what we got. It has been very helpful but it’s only one part of our firearm reduction strategy.

“Not as many guns have been handed in as last year but if it weren’t for the amnesty then these guns and ammunition would still be on the streets.

“They can’t use the guns without the bullets and vice versa. One can’t do without the other.”

“The amnesty is not about identifying people but getting guns off the streets. If someone comes in with a gun or ammo and wishes to receive the cash incentive they are given the money straight away without question.”

“We are reviewing circumstances in which unlicensed and unwanted firearms are collected to improve our strategy for future amnesties.”

“There have been no links made with any outstanding crimes and these weapons will be checked as well.”

Despite some of the weapons only being air rifles, Mr Bodden said it can be difficult to tell them apart from real guns.

He said: “There is very little to tell you that this is not a real gun. The intimidation factor is exactly the same. You can’t look at this and straight away say ‘it’s a toy’.

“In total CI$1242.50 was handed in cash to citizens during the amnesty. There were some good spirited people who refused to take anything in return for handing in the weapons and we sincerely appreciate the efforts of these people.”

List of weapons:

22 shotgun

4-10 rifle

12 gauge shot gun – lethal barrel weapon

3 x air pistols

825 all rounds

307 x 22 rounds – more internal damage with 22’s

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