Burglaries increasing

Police report a significant increase in the number of burglaries occurring so far this year in the Islands.

‘Burglary offences for the first three months…have increased from 104 in 2008 to 168 in 2009,’ said Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis. ‘We have made 42 arrests for burglary in the same period, so although we are doing well in identifying offenders, we would prefer to not see the offence take place in the first place.’

Mr. Ennis also noted that there are issues relating to repeat offenders committing crimes.

‘We are experiencing a worrying trend in recidivism among those committing these crimes and we will continue to investigate best practices with other stakeholders to address this concern,’ he said.

Police said a large amount of property taken in the break-ins has been recovered, including high value electronic items such as laptops and flat-screen televisions.

‘Reducing your chances of becoming a victim can be significantly increased by taking some basic preventative measures,’ Mr. Ennis said.

Police said residents should review their business premises or home and ask themselves if it looks secure. Any weaknesses in security should be addressed, police said.

Tenants who are not happy with the security of their homes should speak with their landlords, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service advised.

According to police, questions residents should ask themselves include:

• Are locks and bolts sufficient and secure?

• Are sliding doors and windows secured? Using window stoppers mean that even if the lock is breached, the window or door cannot be slid back; this is especially true for sliding doors that pose a high risk of breach.

• Are there places people could hide in the dark? A well-lit area can deter potential criminals.

• Are alarms clearly displayed to deter a would-be thief?

• Do cash handling procedures take into account the safety of staff?

• Could you install CCTV? Closed Circuit Television can act as a deterrent and can provide police with vital information should a crime occur.

• Are items left lying around so they can be stolen easily?

Police said despite some recent setbacks with operational capacity, burglary remains an RCIPS priority and command officers are reviewing policing strategies in response to recent trends.

Some of those strategies include increasing patrols and delivering burglary prevention packs to residents in affected areas.

‘Working with the community is extremely important and we rely on information from members of the public,’ said Mr. Ennis. ‘We continue to urge people to provide details of any suspicious activity as this enables us to gather a picture of what is happening and to work more effectively.’