Police average 60 per cent crime clearance

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    The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has cleared up about 60 per cent of the criminal cases reported to it between 2006 and 2010, according to figures released as part of the government’s compendium of statistics.  

    According to the report, a total of 3,124 crimes were reported to police in 2010 and 952 of those were considered “cleared” by the police service, giving the RCIPS about a 30 per cent case cleared rate for the year.  

    However, the figures for 2010 taken alone can be misleading. Over the past five years, 15,596 crimes have been reported with 9,792 cleared – about a 60 per cent success rate.  

    Cleared in police terminology means a case was either brought to the court with charges filed or police found insufficient evidence that a crime was committed following an investigation.  

    Typically, case cleared rates for the police improve over time since not every case is solved in the year it occurs. The statistics report indicates that the RCIPS’ overall case cleared rate for 2009 was 62 per cent; between 2006 and 2008 the police case cleared rate averaged about 74 per cent, according to the statistics office report.  

    Police confirmed that there is usually a lag in crime clearance reports.  

    “Only the crimes cleared … in the year that the crime was reported are included in those charts,” said RCIPS spokesperson Janet Dougall. “Therefore, if a crime was reported in 2009 but was not cleared until 2010 it would not be shown on either the 2009 or 2010 chart as cleared.”  

    There was a slightly higher clearance rate for drugs-related cases in the past five years; police service officials reported those clearance rates as hovering in the mid-80 per cent range.  


    Juvenile offenders 

    The number of young criminal offenders in Cayman convicted during 2010 fell slightly compared to the previous year, but one encouraging sign is that the number of offenders between the ages of 11- and 16-years-old dropped sharply.  

    According to the statistics office report, 21 out of 55 convicted juvenile offenders were either ages 17 or 18. Thirty-three of the 55 juvenile offenders were between the ages of 11 and 16 – that represents 60 per cent of all the convicted young offenders, however it’s much less than previous years. Young offenders aged 11-16 made up 77 per cent of the juvenile convicts in 2009 and 81 per cent of the convicted young offenders in 2008. There was just one convicted juvenile offender aged 11 to 13 in 2010, down from six the year before.  

    The majority of offences reported against juvenile offenders fell mainly into four categories including; alcohol and drugs, assault and disorderly conduct, burglary and theft and traffic-related offences.  

    Five firearms offences involving juveniles were reported in 2010, along with three cases of assaulting a police officer.  

    Males continued to make up the vast majority of young offenders in the Cayman Islands during 2010. Forty-one of the 55 young people convicted of crimes in 2010 were males.  


    Prison population  

    The divide between male and female adult offenders is even more pronounced.  

    At the end of 2010, there were 201 males held in prison according to daily prison population averages. There were just 11 female offenders held in prison on average each day in 2010.  

    The average age of those in the prison system, male and female was 33.  

    By year’s end, Caymanians made up more than 80 per cent of the prison population. According to statistics there were 169 Caymanians being held in adult prisons at the end of 2010, compared to 41 non-Caymanians. 

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    Burglars broke in through the window of this West Bay store in early July. Case cleared rates for burglaries in 2010 were around 32 per cent. – Photo: Brent Fuller


    1. 40 percent of crimes, in other words, are never solved. That is a bad rate as far as I am concerned. We need MORE policemen and ones that are better trained and better armed. Would have been nice to see what the stats are for a few other cities in North America. So for the criminal, the odds that they won’t get caught are quite good. And we see that every day in the news — at least 1-2 robberies a week.

    2. Hi Mermaid,

      We’re working on more details on this story for a follow up. Hopefully we will get to speak to the commissioner about it. In general, a 60 per cent clearnance rate for overall crime is considered quite good in most free societies, we have found.

    3. Well, 40 percent is terrifying. Don’t forget that, unlike other societes, we are less than 50,000 people, everyone knows everyones, there is very limited land to hide, and we are surrounded with water. And in 2010 only there are still 2,172 cases not cleared. These statistics should be compared to small towns, not to other societies at large. In this case i am sure that we beat them all. In many countries policemen are always posted away from their home place. Not because they are not trusted but to prevent all kind of issues. Isn’t there any kind of exchange programs within the commonwealth?

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