Although it only represents the first three months of the year, the most recent police crime report indicates good news for Cayman’s recent problem with armed robberies.
Between January and March 2012, there were eight robberies reported in the Cayman Islands, according to Royal Cayman Islands Police Service statistics. Compare that with 24 robberies reported during the same period of 2011.
The years 2010 and 2011 in Cayman saw a record number of robberies at businesses and homes in Grand Cayman.
Overall, news for crime in the Cayman Islands was positive during the first quarter of 2012. Violent crime dropped by nearly 5 per cent from the year before, while total crime dropped by nearly 12 per cent, according to police reports.
The only serious increases in violent crime occurred in the areas of serious assaults, reports of which went from three in the first quarter of 2011, to eight in the first quarter of this year; and rapes, which rose from one report to eight reports during the same period.
Volume crimes also decreased overall, with the number of domestic assaults and incidents of threatening violence staying about the same while damage to property and common assaults decreased.
Burglary, which accounted for roughly 75 per cent of all crime reports in the Cayman Islands so far in 2012, stayed about the same from year-to-year.
However, police noted that officers on the beat have seen a spate of burglaries recently and were concerned about the uptick.
“Burglars can, and will, strike at all times of the day or night – that’s why we need you, the public, to take all necessary steps to make your home/business secure,” said RCIPS Chief Inspector Frank Owens. “If a burglar has the choice of two properties, one with security or locked windows and doors, or another without such measures, he or she will take the easy option.”
Some steps to prevent burglaries at your home are suggested by the RCIPS:
When you go out, always lock the door and the windows – even if you are not going far.
Window locks, especially on older windows, will help stop people getting in – and remember a burglar is less likely to break in if they have to smash a window.
If you have deadlocks, use them. They make it harder for a thief to get in and out – do not leave the key in an obvious place.
Don’t leave spare keys outside and put keys out of sight within the house.
Use timers for lights and radios if you need to be away from home overnight. This will create the impression someone is in.
Visible burglar alarms, well lit streets and carefully directed security lighting can put burglars off. But make sure that lights don’t disturb your neighbours and alarms turn off after 20 minutes.
Fences at the back of the house may make this area more secure, but walls and solid fencing may let a thief break in without being seen. A good compromise is chain-link fencing, or trellises with prickly shrubs.
Fitting a ‘spy hole’ allows you to see who is at the door before you open it. Having a door chain means you can open the door just a small way to talk to them if you do not know them.