Robberies, firearms a problem
Crimes like murders and burglaries that plagued the Cayman Islands during the last few years have fallen off police charts so far in 2011.
However, they’ve been replaced by a shocking increase in robberies and firearms possession cases through the first six months of this year.
“This year the crime landscape is somewhat different,” Police Commissioner David Baines said. “The increase in robberies is very concerning and has posed some challenges. These remain the focus for prevention, investigation and detection efforts by the RCIPS. There have been a total of 10 more robberies in the first six months of this year compared to last year.”
Firearms possession cases have also doubled in the first six months of 2011, going from 6 unlicensed firearms possession cases in January to June 2010, to 14 so far in 2011.
Mr. Baines considers the increase in firearm arrests a positive.
“Every hour of every day our officers are gathering information and evidence to target those who possess illegal guns,” he said. “We will not let up on that – even during this gun amnesty period. If you have an illegal gun and you don’t hand it in we are coming after you.”
Police started a gun amnesty for the month of July, asking those who have firearms to turn them in.
Overall crime has dropped by more than 12 per cent in the first half of this year, according to police. Serious crime has fallen by nearly 22 per cent.
Burglaries have fallen by nearly 27 per cent so far this year, and attempted murders have dropped sharply in the first six months of the year. Rapes, attempted burglaries fell while serious assaults increased in the first six months of 2011.
“I hope that when it comes time to release the figures for the next six months that we will still be talking about major reductions in crime,” Mr. Baines said. “But to give us the best possible chance to do that we need to work together, increase our police/community collaboration. That’s the only way we will cut crime in Cayman and continue to keep you, our communities and Cayman safe.”
Theft offences – which hit a record high in Cayman in 2010 – have dropped off so far in 2011.
Still more than 400 thefts have been recorded in the first six months of this year. In 2010, there were more than 450 thefts reported from January to June.
Threatening violence reports and common assaults dropped off in the first six months of this year, while damage to property reports increased.
Domestic violence reports dropped to half of what they had been a year ago at this time. In the first half of 2010, 170 domestic violence reports were recorded compared to 85 incidents reported in the first half of this year.