While certain crimes such as robbery, burglary and firearms possession remain a concern, it does appear local police saw a significant drop in reported crime during the first half of 2012.
According to Royal Cayman Islands Police Service statistics, nearly every single area of serious crime tracked by the department fell when comparing January through June of this year to the same period in 2011.
The only exceptions were reports of rape, which increased from three in the first half of 2011 to nine in the first half of this year, aggravated burglary (home invasions) which went from just one during January through June 2011 to two through June of this year; and possession of imitation firearms, reports of which went from one to three.
Every other category of serious crime recorded in the territory either dropped or remained the same.
Most notably, robberies – which hit an all-time high during 2010 and maintained that level for 2011 – fell significantly.
For the first half of this year, there were 26 robberies reported, compared to 40 during the first half of 2011; a 35 per cent drop.
The number of robbery reports did go up from quarter to quarter. For the first three months of 2012, there were just eight robberies reported. The next three months of April, May and June saw a total of 18 robberies – including some high profile heists at two local banks and a heist at the local television station operator, WestStar.
However, the total number of robberies when comparing year-to-year remained far lower than in 2010 and 2011.
Burglaries remain a problem for the RCIPS, although the figures reported were a bit lower during 2012 than they were during the same period of 2011. Through 30 June, 2011, there had been some 246 burglaries reported, compared to 237 by 30 June, 2012.
Police Superintendent Marlon Bodden said in August that the number of burglaries had actually reached 293 through 31 July. And seemed to be concentrated around certain areas of Grand Cayman. Fifty-five of the 293 break-ins – about 19 per cent – occurred in homes on the beach side of the West Bay Road/North Church Street area.
Another 24 break-ins happened in the Windsor Park/Walkers Road area, 18 occurred in the Prospect area and eight more occurred on the land side of the West Bay Road/North Church Street area.
No other area of Grand Cayman reported more than five break-ins through the end of July. There were 12 new illegal firearms possession cases investigated by police during the first half of 2012, compared to 16 during the same time last year. There were just three cases reported where it was believed an illegal firearms discharge had occurred this year.
Also of positive note, police have reported no homicides in Cayman for more than a year. The last such case investigated by police was the September 2011 killing of Asher McGaw in East End.
Incidents classed as “volume crimes” by police also fell overall when compared with the first half of 2011. However, reports of threatening violence and domestic abuse both rose slightly from year to year.
Theft offences reported between January and June 2012 dropped sharply – by more than 26 per cent – compared to January through June 2011.
Common assault cases and damaged property incidents also fell during the first half of the year.
Drugs arrests dropped as well, by some 16 per cent during the first half of this year.