Violent crime rises more than 10%

Police crime statistics for 2009
and the first three months of 2010 show a significant rise in violent
incidents, as well as significant increases in other types of crime in the Cayman
Islands.

In 2009, Royal Cayman Islands
Police reported more than an 11 per cent rise in violent crimes. Attributing to
that was a nine per cent increase in burglaries, a 75 per cent rise in assaults
leading to serious injuries, and a 25 per cent rise in weapons possession
cases.

The 2009 figures were compared to
2008 police crime statistics.

Overall crime rose nearly 14 per
cent in 2009 compared to 2008.

The trend has mostly continued for
the first three months of 2010, although burglaries have actually fallen
slightly through March.

Between January 2010 and March
2010, robberies, attempted robberies, attempted murder, murder and discharge of
firearms reports all increased when compared with the same period of 2009.  

Police Commissioner David Baines
said the crime figures were “serious stuff” and noted that he would like to see
a significant reduction, particularly in violent crimes, through the second
half of this year and into next year.

But he urged people to take better
care of their properties and said residents should realise that Cayman has
changed.

“These islands were once where you
could leave your door open,” Mr. Baines said. “I’m sorry to say, those days are
gone. We live in a much more complex world where the haves and the have nots
are vastly different.”

Two major areas of crime concerned
the commissioner; first the shootings and assaults that have plagued the
country since January. Five people were killed between January and March in
shootings on Grand Cayman – a record number.

The killings were followed more
recently by a spate of business robberies; six have occurred in the past week.
In each case the suspects were armed either with a gun or a machete.

RCIPS Chief Superintendent John
Jones said there was no apparent immediate connection between any of the
robbery cases. Commissioner Baines denied that any of the recent heists were related
to gang-initiation activities; although he said some of the suspects were
apparently gang members.

“Almost for some it appears (the
robbery) has been undertaken on a whim,” Mr. Baines said. “We had a strange
incident with the three young girls (robbing) the Domino’s…I just think its
opportunism, or stupidity that takes over.”

“Middle of the day, with machetes
(taking) a degree of money and two bottles of pop. It’s not exactly organised
crime, is it?”

Mr. Baines said arrests have been
made and charges filed in connection with four of the five murder cases since
the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, three people have been arrested in two of
the robberies that have occurred since last week.

The second area of concern is the
increase in “acquisitive crimes”. Thefts have seen a 65 per cent increase in
the first three months of 2010 when compared to the same period of 2009.   

Chief Superintendent Jones said
there has also been an increase in cases where people carrying earnings from
businesses have been robbed on their way home or going to the bank.

“Far too many homes and businesses
on the Islands are very easy to get into,” Mr. Jones said, advising business
owners to take more care in deciding which employees transport their cash and
warning residents not to leave large sums of cash in their homes.

One bright spot in the crime stats for RCIPS was in
the traffic area. Fatal crashes dropped by nearly two-thirds in 2009 compared
to the year before. Only one person has died on Cayman Islands roads so far in
2010

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is so said to hear. We have been enjoying Grand Cayman for over 25 years, usually making two trips per year. These figures will definitely impact our vacation plans for the future.