Rape reports reviewed
While it acknowledged a 13 per cent drop in total crime during the first six months of 2012 was “welcome news”, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service vowed Tuesday not to rest on its laurels in the coming month.
“This is no time to be complacent,” said RCIPS Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton. “We are well aware that Grand Cayman can be deceptively quiet and, as such, we cannot afford to allow complacency to set in.”
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.
Burglaries 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.
Also, the Cayman Islands reported no homicides for more than a year since the September 2011 shooting death of Asher McGaw in East End in Grand Cayman.
Mr. Walton said the drop in killings and robberies was not an accident.
“We have placed investigative and operational emphasis on those crimes that have had the most significant impact on the Cayman Islands and tackled them with focused and targeted operations; thus resulting in a dramatic reduction in serious crimes such as robberies and murders,” he said.
Also, efforts to make the police service “more visible” to the public may have assisted in garnering public support and continuing the flow of information to police investigators.
“We recognise and appreciate the support shown to us from the entire Cayman community,” Mr. Walton said.
In addition to the drop in serious crimes, offences classed as “volume crimes” also decreased during the first half of 2011.
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.
Reports of threatening violence and domestic abuse both rose slightly from year to year.
Rapes initially over-reported
A sizeable increase in rape reports during the first half of 2012, may be a bit misleading.
According to RCIPS Chief Inspector Robert Scotland: “While there was an increase in the number of reports received alleging that a rape had occurred, we are able to confirm that following investigations by our detectives, the number of actual rapes which have occurred are far less.
“Our records indicate only one active rape investigation at this time; and in that matter an arrest has already been made.
“Relative to the other investigations, there was an individual who was arrested and charged, and is presently in HMP Northward awaiting trial on those matters.”
Chief Inspector Scotland clarified how police record reported crimes.
“All reports/complaints received by the police are recorded. These are logged as calls for service. Once an officer has been dispatched … they will commence inquiries into the matter,” he said.
“Having obtained, reviewed, and assessed the available evidence; a classification is then assigned to the matter. These classifications can be: 1) Matter under investigation or active investigation; No offence detected; Complainant requests no further action; and logged For future reference.”