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HE, Acting LoGB Speak to the Public

Acting Leader of Government Business, the Hon. Rolston Anglin (L) and HE the Governor Stuart Jack.

HE the Governor Mr. Stuart Jack

Remarks at Press Conference, 9 July 09

In the last few days we have had two fatal shootings on Grand Cayman. I am going to ask the Police Commissioner to speak about the police response. The Acting Leader of Government Business will then make some remarks from the point of view of the Government and the country's elected representatives. But before then I would myself like to make a few comments.

First of all I should like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families of those who have been killed or injured. Whatever the circumstances every loss of life is a real tragedy.

The gun and gang culture among a small section of our community is totally unacceptable. I am sure I can speak for all of us on this side of the table - Government and Police - that we are determined to do whatever we can to fight this culture. But we can only reduce gun crime and violence with the help of the whole community. Without information from the public the police are going to be less successful.

The community's role goes way beyond just providing information on specific crimes. As parents, as brothers and sisters, as neighbours, as employers and work colleagues, as teachers and fellow students at school, as leaders of churches and community groups everyone can help create an atmosphere that does not tolerate violence or the threat of violence. Our young men need to understand that guns are not cool; guns may end up killing those very young men; or putting them away in prison for many years and thereby seriously damaging their lives and quite possibly the lives of their families.

As a country we must not only deal with the crimes and criminals we already have, we must also do more to address the causes of crime and prevent more crimes and criminals in the future. In particular we need to provide a constructive path for all our young people so that fewer of them are tempted to get into gangs and into crime.

We must not over-react to these recent terrible incidents. In many respects the Cayman Islands remain a low-crime, law-abiding country. Compared to most other countries, certainly in this region, the chances of a resident or visitor falling victim to crime are relatively low.

But there are still too many crimes and most certainly too many violent ones. We cannot relax our efforts to reduce crime of whatever sort, not just the most serious offences such as we have seen in the last few days.

I am confident that the RCIPS under the leadership of Commissioner Baines will play their important part with skill and determination. I repeat: I call on the whole community to play your even more important part to ensure that these wonderful islands remain as peaceable and pleasant to live in as possible.

The Hon. Rolston Anglin, Acting Leader of Government Business

Statement on Shootings

Thursday, 9 July 2009, Press Conference

Good afternoon, and thank you for coming on short notice.

My sincerest condolences go out to the Ebanks family, as they grieve their loss. Losing a loved one so unexpectedly brings a certain kind of anguish that is hard to express in words. It is even more difficult when that loved one is young, with dreams and aspirations that will remain unfulfilled.

This young man seemingly lost his life simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And although I encourage the public's cooperation and participation in any and all police investigations, I ask you especially to assist wherever you can in this case.

As you have already heard from His Excellency the Governor, and Police Commissioner Baines, we are approaching this situation jointly. In order to resolve this matter swiftly.

But all of us have a part in this. The people of this country, from government officials, to Caymanians, to non-Caymanians, must decide what kind of society they want to live in today, and what kind of society they want to pass to the next generation. We all contribute, in one way or another, to community safety. So please do what you can to help.

If you have information regarding this tragedy, if you saw or heard anything, please call Crime Stoppers and share what you know with us. You may think it's small or insignificant, but every bit of information will bring us one step closer to justice.

And while our collaborative efforts today will not bring this young man back, I believe they will help us to avoid similar tragedies in the future.

What we are here asking for today is for Cayman to reject violence. Reject the gun culture and activities that support it. I am not asking you to place yourselves in harm's way. What I am asking is that everyone remain vigilant; when you witness suspicious activities in your community, report it.

I can assure you that government is doing everything in its power to support our police service and to provide the resources they need. We are also committed to supporting the community and particularly, the architects of our future - our youth.

One ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. As adults, we are responsible for implementing educational, employment and other opportunities that will positively influence and occupy our youth. We have the will; we now must find the way.

To our youth, please know that we care about you. We care about what happens to you. But please do your part; you have a responsibility, too. Watch the company you keep; pay attention to your surroundings; and consider the consequences of your actions. Don't just think about how it may affect you, but also think about how it will affect the people you love - maybe that's your sister, your brother, mother, father, a significant other, or your friends.

Nurturing and providing opportunities for our youth and by extension, our community is a top priority - and crime, violence, and fear has no place in that.

So today, we are sending a united message to the criminals in our community. The call is out for the community to come together, to help stop the violence.