One local proprietor says she fears for her business after a masked gunman robbed a restaurant less than a mile from her shop. This as Chamber of Commerce President Paul Byles said this type of crime has far-reaching ramifications. Cayman 27’s Jevaughnie Ebanks has more.
Nina Squire, Proprietor of Beach Bubbles said, ” The whole thought that someone is just going around with a gun is out of control.” She has owned Bodden Town-based beach bubbles for 10 years. These days, she said she feels unsafe. “Frightened, extremely frightened and my house was also broken into last year so I have had to put extra locks on the windows and it’s a very scary feeling,” she said.
On Saturday (3 March,) two masked men with a gun fired a shot and robbed local eatery Czech Inn just down the road. She said she cannot process how crime on the island has changed since she first opened for business. She said, “I tried to believe that Cayman is like it always was, nice and safe and people were lovely. It’s very hard to wrap my brain around the fact that stuff like this is even happening on the island.” Ms. Squire said she refuses to live in fear, but drastic measures may be needed if the situation worsens. She said, “I choose not to go there because I would get very freaked out if I really started to think about it and probably would want to have a gun.”
Chamber of Commerce President Paul Byles said crime remains a big problem for businesses. “A lot of people don’t realize that when you have a crime against a business there are a lot of other effects in addition to the actual crime itself, for example, its not just a lost of profit it could be the loss of a job, someone who may lose a job as a result of the crime and it could be other things that impact the businesses ability to survive and recover,” he said.
The solution? Mr. Byles wants more focus on the root problems of crime like using early childhood intervention programmes. Police continue to hunt the two suspects involved in Saturday’s incident, where two businesses were robbed at gunpoint and police exchanged gunfire with the suspects before they fled from officers.