Members of the public in Cayman appear to be surprised at the sight of a large number of guns on public roads and armed police officers everywhere in the last 48 hours. In some cases, this is because they have never seen members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) with guns before. In other instances, it may be because they live in communities that are not exposed to crime as much as other areas.
“Surprised” responses and evacuation
Almost coming in close call of an incident, one member of the public said:
[I] saw armed police forcibly pull over a white sedan about 6:20pm this evening on the way down to CIS opposite Snug H[arbour]… suspect[‘s] front bumper was bashed and there was a very big gun being pointed in their direction. Frightening.
Another member of the public who appears to have seen the police in action said:
[I] never thought I’d see the day when I had to evacuate 7 mile beach due to a gunman; heard the shot thought surely it’s a firework not a gun but then there were armed police everywhere asking if the guy had come through and telling us to clear the beach which meant going very fast back to the apartment in the direction they may well be coming.
Calls to “stay inside”
Given all of the mayhem this evening, another member of the public suggested that people “stay inside for the night, and make sure all doors & windows are locked tightly.” This is probably good advice at this time because, while armed officers know the description of the persons that they are looking for, if shots are fired, a bullet could easily stray in any direction, harming an innocent bystander.
The truth about armed police
Notwithstanding that members of the public seem surprised at the sight of guns and armed officers over the past 48 hours, this is nothing unusual as special units in the RCIPS have been carrying guns for decades. This is especially so for the Uniformed Support Group of the RCIPS who were well-known to the most notorious criminal elements in Cayman decades ago.
With the advent of social media, violent crimes are now becoming more visible, along with the specially armed police units. To be clear, it’s not that gun crimes never happened before in Cayman, it is just that some members of the public have not had access to or appreciated that the RCIPS publishes crime statistics that show over 30,000 incidents of crime happening annually in Cayman for the past couple of years.
To bring the point home, one member of the public shared that “some young people are known to carry guns… even displaying them on social media and letting their friends know they have guns, even on a casual basis.”
Obviously, some people feel like they need to carry a gun. For safety or some other reason. Perhaps, a gang related one.
The member of the public added.
It is hoped that the RCIPS can continue to keep members of the public safe during this ordeal. Members of the public should also take precautions and stay off the streets tonight while things are “hot.”