Robberies a problem, most other crime reports fall
Serious crime and volume crimes fell by large margins in the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2010, according to figures released by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service on Thursday.
The statistics show a sizable decrease in most categories of recorded crime, with the exception of serious assaults, robberies and woundings.
Burglaries fell by 41 per cent during the four-month period and aggravated burglaries fell by some 75 per cent, according to the figures.
Overall crime fell by just more than 27 per cent during the period, and total serious crimes dropped by 36 per cent.
“These figures confirm that the Cayman Islands is still one of the safest Caribbean destinations to live [in], work and visit,” said RCIPS Commissioner David Baines. “In this four-month period there have been hundreds fewer victims of crime than in the same period last year.”
Not all the news is rosy. Robberies increased by 125 per cent in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year. There were 27 robberies reported between 1 January and 1 May in the Cayman Islands, which works out to one robbery every four to five days.
“In a handful of the street robberies reported, the victims are being less than helpful, refusing to provide information or descriptions,” the commissioner said. “We suspect some of the crimes may be linked to ‘numbers’ [a betting game] and that’s why those involved may not want to assist us.
“When we have no witnesses and uncooperative victims, it makes investigating and solving the crime extremely difficult.”
However, in one case from Monday, Mr. Baines noted that witnesses were “more than helpful” during the attempted hold-up of the Blackbeard’s liquor store in Grand Harbour.
”The actions of these men were outstanding and it is my intention, when the time is right, to formally recognise their actions,” he said.
Mr. Baines also pointed out that there was only one attempted murder case in the first four months of the year and no recorded murders. Police had still not determined the whereabouts of missing landfill worker Anna Evans by press time Thursday. Mrs. Evans disappeared on 27 January and has not been heard from since.
Firearms seizures increased slightly, while drug arrests continue to fall – similar to what was observed between 2009 and 2010, when the police service redirected some of its drugs task force officers to investigate other crimes.
Crime reports are bucking the trend seen in 2010, when thefts skyrocketed and other types of more minor offences also increased.
In the first four months of 2011, thefts fell by about 9 per cent. Mr. Baines previously said police would change the way in which they recorded thefts, no longer accepting as theft a report that someone left their cell phone at a bar during the evening and forgot about it.
Minor assaults fell by nearly 32 per cent in the first four months of 2011, and property damage reports dropped by about 9 per cent.
Domestic violence reports decreased by about 17 per cent during that time compared to the first four months of 2010.