Cayman police get sizeable staff increase

The overall number of officers within the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has grown by about 12 per cent since February 2011, according to records reviewed by the Caymanian Compass.  

The number of RCIPS officers 
staffing the department in early 2011 was 364. According to records released to the newspaper this week the police service now 
has 408 officers.  

That works out to about one police officer per 136 people in the Cayman Islands, using 2010 Census data for population, which stated there were 55.456 people living in Cayman during October and November 2010.  

United Nations recommendations for a “minimum police strength” put the number a roughly one officer per 450 people 
within a country.  

A 2006 analysis of UN data done on dozens of countries around the globe would put Cayman in the high end of police officers-to-residents ratios. Some similar countries included Cyprus, which reported one officer per 150 people, and Brunei, which reported one officer per 93 people. Russia had a higher officer to citizen ratio, but included all of its law enforcement personnel – not only police officers – in the number.  

Only one country of similar sized population to Cayman, Lichtenstein, was included in the UN data. It reported one officer per 427 people.  

The reason for the significant 
increase in police officers here seemed to be largely due to the hiring of foreign cops within the past 18 months.  

Based on early November numbers there were 172 Caymanian police officers in the RCIPS at all ranks, not including civilian employees or special (volunteer constables). There were 236 non-Caymanian officers in the police force, according to the recent data; that makes 58 per cent non-Caymanian officers in the RCIPS compared to 42 per cent Caymanian.  

Going back to February 2011 figures provided by the police service, there were 175 Caymanian officers at the time; nearly the exact same. At that same date, there were 189 non-Caymanian officers, giving a 52 per cent to 48 per cent breakdown between non-Caymanian and Caymanian officers.  

The difference between early 2011 and now is due almost entirely to an increase in two foreign nationalities within the police service, according to records examined by the Compass.  

The number of British police officers has increased from 40 in February 2011 to 54 in November 2012. The number of Jamaican police officers within the RCIPS increased from 86 in early 2011 to 120 this month; nearly a 40 per cent increase.  

According to records examined by the Caymanian Compass, the largest number of officers within the force were at police constable rank. Of the 253 officers who occupied that rank, 77 were Caymanian, 96 were Jamaican and 38 were British.  

Compare that to 207 police constables in February 2011, there were 82 Caymanians, 59 Jamaicans and 23 British.  

The upper ranks of the police service are still largely Caymanian and British. Of the 45 highest-ranking positions within the RCIPS, only 20 per cent are made up of other nationalities and there are no other nationalities above the rank of chief inspector. 

Among police inspectors, there are 14 Caymanias, seven British, three Barbadian, three Jamaican and one Canadian. Records showed there were seven Caymanian chief inspectors, one Irish, one Barbadian and one British. Among police superintendents, there were three Caymanians and one British.  

The department’s two deputy commissioners are British and Caymanian. The commissioner of police is British.  

Among other nationalities, no one other than Caymanians (172), British (54), Jamaicans (120) or Barbadians (25) have more than seven officers on the 
police force. 


  1. There seems to be such a disparity in the Cayman Islands growth and hiring of young Caymanians. For example, the RCIPS is hiring retiries from foreign countries (mainly UK) on contracts to fill positions in the RCIPS. This is a complete waste of tax payers money since we relocate these individuals and their families plus pay an elevated salary for assumed crime fighting knowledge.

    The rational: Every part of the world has its criminal element. Cayman is no different than the rest of the world that is protecting is population from crimanal activity. It’s ludicrious to bring retired officers into the Cayman Island to regulate our Police when they themselves do not know the issues of criminal involvement occuring here.

    Instead, I suggest a education system to teach young Caymanians how to fight crime. Start an Acedemy of Public Protection which will offer an avenue of gainfull employment to young Caymanians who grow up with the modern day crimanal element.

    Instead, the current systems offers a retirement home for outdated cops to be over compensantated for living in our paradise while condenming our youths.

    I am extremely concerned about our Caymanian children’s future. All parent’s of a born Caymanian should be irrate because this stands for the following:

    1). Leave Cayman’s children oppurtunity-less which leads to a life of crime
    2). Offer a false sense of security in foreign nationals to operate our police force
    3). Most important – keep our Caymanian officers in a hole that all foriegners walk in and through a shovel worth of bull on and keep them in the lower ranks.

    Wake up RCIPS – we are the poster child for the Monoco of the Caribbean! Dont let a bunch of rejects from other countries dictate your career to fight crime, remember one thing – your a proud Caymanian!!

    Finally, leaders of our great country – Pay attention to your local crime fighters, they know more than you think.


  2. While I agree with some of the points you raised in your letter, I have to add some of my own. The disparity between local and expat cops IS cause for concern, but perhaps not in the way you think. When the FCO walks in and takes over, and make no mistake, it IS coming, do you think all those Retired UK officers are going to stand up and say, wait a minute, you can’t do that and make sure they adhere to the letter of the law? Of course not..after all, we belong to THEM..and do you think that the hiring of expat officers who have no vested interest in Cayman are going to go against Masters wish? Think again..the FCO have realized that they cannot defeat us from without..therefore, the only way to do it is from within.

  3. To I live in a city with the same population as Grand Cayman – if you live in the US then in addition to your town police force you also have at the very least State troopers, Highway patrol the FBI also maintaining law order in your area. The RCIP undertakes all the law enforcement in the Cayman Islands, so I do not think your comparison is a fair one.

  4. I wonder how much more difficult it is for a Caymanian to be a police officer here.

    It is a small island, and everyone knows who they are, where they live, where their kids go to school. When dealing with hardened criminals that threat need not be spoken to be a reality.
    They won’t be able to go into a bar, store or supermarket without meeting people they’ve arrested (or their friends and families). Despite this there are those who chose to stand up and be counted. WELL DONE! Witnesses also face similar pressure making the RCIPS job all the harder.

    When I look at the figures above I see that there are clearly long term opportunities for caymanians to advance through the ranks. Those in the higher ranks got there through promotion as a reward for their experience and service.

    I am sure that there are Caymanians that serve in law enforcement in other countries too.

    Remember that there are also the Special Constables – Maybe Ms Bodden would like to do her part there?

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