Thu | Dec 7, 2023

Cayman police seize gun used in killings in Jamaica - Commissioner

Published:Saturday | September 30, 2023 | 3:53 PM
Cayman Islands' Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne. - CMC photo.

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, CMC – Commissioner of Police of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Derek Byrne has disclosed that they recently seized a firearm that was used in at least five murders in Jamaica.

Speaking with reporters, Byrne said the gun made its way to Cayman and is now part of a major investigation, with the five killings in Jamaica dating back to 2019. 

Byrne, who will be leaving the post in less than a week, said that Cayman's relationship with Jamaica remains very important as that is where many of the guns found on the island originate, as well as being a source for most marijuana and other drug shipments.

He said one of the many enhancements he has presided over during the last seven years was the development of ballistics, and based on this, the territory is now a regional hub for firearms forensics.

Byrne said since taking office he has presided over the most significant budgets in the police service's history, adding that the enhancements of the service led to significant successes such as connecting the gun from Jamaica.

However, as he passes the baton to police commissioner designate Kurt Walton, a career officer, after fulfilling the succession plan goal to replace himself with a Caymanian, crime is still a concern following a summer marred by robberies at restaurants, gas stations, and small grocery stores.

He noted that two major issues during his tenure were the need to improve community policing and deal with traffic issues, especially the disproportionate amount of serious crashes. 

The commissioner said he is leaving behind a different police service than the one he found and that he is leaving it in the capable hands of Walton.

Byrne, who is returning to his native Ireland, said it was not easy “walking away from the Cayman Islands”, which he said was “a fabulous place” where he had worked with “some of the best men and women ever” in his career.

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