Police ask residents for property lists

An unusual request made by police to residents in certain areas of Grand Cayman’s North Side district last week raised some suspicions. 

However, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service later clarified that the request “could have been better worded” and said that they did not wish to obtain lists of property from residents because they expected it to be stolen.  

According to a letter sent to certain property owners by an RCIPS neighbourhood policing officer on Wednesday, 14 November: “The RCIPS Neighbourhood Police Department is organising a survey consisting of valuable property such as electronic devices, computers, precious stones, paintings, collectable items, or other items which could be sold for fast cash. This will assist the RCIPS with investigations should they become stolen, which will provide a better success rate in recovering them.  

“In order for this to be done; we are asking if everyone of you could add to the survey by e-mailing the name of owner and contact details, name or type of valuables, the serial numbers or any 
special markings attached to it. More importantly please provide a picture 
of it if available. “  

According to e-mails sent in reply to the initial police request, some residents seemed taken aback. The senders of the e-mails and the properties involved are being withheld from 
this article for security reasons.  

“We are in receipt of this e-mail from what appears to be the RCIPS, but we are not sure of its legitimacy and wonder if this might be a hacker trying to get information about contents in the homes in the area,” one individual wrote. “To prepare lists of valuable items and send them out to anyone seems 
dubious to me.” 

Another property owner wrote: “I strongly recommend that if it is a legitimate request from the RCIPS and members are minded to respond, that such information is not e-mailed but is contained in a letter to the police.” 

RCIPS Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks said it often does make it easier for police officers seeking to recover stolen property to have photos and the serial number attached to such items.  

“If you have three TVs recovered and they all look roughly the same, police may not be able to identify which one belongs to which resident,” Mr. Ebanks said.  

In any case, Mr. Ebanks said there is no reason for police to have a list of those items before a burglary or robbery has occurred.  

“The intention was to inform the property owners and managers to properly identify their items … any jewellery, electronics and have it readily available to the police in the event that they were stolen,” he said.  

“Most people would be sort of sceptical about sending out that information, letting people know what expensive property they have. The concern was definitely from a legitimate police officer requesting this information.” 

Inspector Ebanks said thefts and burglaries in the North Side area have seen a significant increase in recent months.  

“We’ve had a number of burglaries in North Side over the last several months,” he said, adding that the main targets for thieves were still electronics devices. He knew of very few cases where jewellery had 
been taken. 


  1. This is a questionable request, at the very least.

    Property owners should already be keeping lists of their valuables for insurance purposes…and to pass on to police if and when these items go missing.

    What Cayman’s residents need to now be totally aware of are the human rights, freedom of information and data protection laws that now govern any and all information requested by and passed on to the government, especially the police.

    The days of naively trusting the government with your private information are long gone and these stated laws as there to protect the citizen from misuse of their information by any government institution.

    Its just the safe thing to be thinking about.

  2. property owners would be best served by documenting all their valuable possessions with photos and serial numbers and keeping the record in a secure off site location to only be referred to if they actually experience a theft.

  3. what is even more concerning is the neighbborhood watch program that is overseen by the police… they going around neighborhoods asking people for their phone numbers and names so you have a network of people who could fight crime.

    don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with fighting crime, but we have a police service that the government has no control over, we have a force that is controlled really by the FCO and foreign cops at the end of the day.

    they already have cctv camaras intall all over the island, what more do they want????!!!!!

  4. Why? Why I ask, why should I provide my list of appliances, jewelry, or other electronic devices to police/government? Its not like this is a car or any thing like that. What happen to my right to privacy.Is there some kind of secret agenda by the police on behalf of Cayman Island Government to keep a tab on properties probably for future taxation purposes? Probably television licenses like in the UK? We know that the Government is strapped for cash right now. We also know that the UK is behind the Government find new sources of revenues and to bring the national debt to a place where they can generate new monies. What if these questions are in pursuance of such policy? If electronic devices,TVs etc What next? This is a Democratic society and i believe this questionnaire is going too far in the life of private individuals. This data could be used for all sort of purposes that impinges on the citizen basic right to own private property. And who is to say that once the police gets this information it won’t be passed to other Government departments and agencies for questionable purposes. What next would we be asked for later. They already have our lots and parcel numbers of our properties, our motor vehicles, firearms, etc. What more do they want? The only way I would give out this private information is if there was a criminal investigation in progress concerning the properties in question. Police if you are doing this in the interest of crime that’s OK but otherwise back off of my privacy. Find some other innovative way to fight Crimes. The think tank that came up with this idea, you are casting your net on the wrong side of the boat. Use Government time better and give us value for money and stop trying to interfere in our privacy and one of our basic right under the Constitution.

  5. I completely believe that there is an alternate agenda here, first of all when has the RCIPS ever been interested in proactively fighting crime and if they were why would they target only certain people’s homes. I am sure this has to do with some sort of way to tax the goods, it’s clear that the Cayman islands government is going to be looking for every way to get money out of people pockets, it’s also clear they are not willing to cut costs on their end nor or the Caymanian people willing to except direct taxation, there are a ton of infrastructure upgrades and repairs needed, most of the project that were going to pay for some of them have or will soon be cancelled, Expats are leaving more and more so the income from Permits are down and so on an so on. The point is money is going to have to come from somewhere, so this is just the beginning. Do you think the whole CUC under billing fiasco is a coincidence.

  6. All of the comments on this issue are very relevant…the message focusing on the intrusion into citizen’s privacy.

    Another thing to question; why only the residents of North Side ?

    Are burglaries not being committed all over the island ?

    And…how was this original communique so worded that is caused reason for worry and complaint…that, by the RCIPS’s own admission..could have been worded better ?

    What assurances can the police give that once these lists are compiled and given to them, that they do not fall into the wrong hands and used for the very purpose that they are supposed to prevent ?

    Another disturbing element is the issue of the political representative for North Side being recently interviewed by police over the ‘leaking’ of some confidential document to the media that has premiere McKeeva Bush hopping mad.

    This police interview is a most disturbing issue because this could NEVER happen in the United Kingdom.

    The more serious development implicated in all this is the politicization of Cayman’s police force in an environment where human rights laws are on the books but not imbedded in the culture.

    It is for Cayman’s residents to be very aware to guard their civil liberties and know what to do when they are impinged upon.

    Some very disturbing things continue to happen in the Cayman Islands.

  7. I live out on the Queens’ Highway. Previously I have been burglarized and provided police with serial numbers and photographs of most of the stolen items (after the crime). It has been two years and nothing was recovered. I have not received the e-mail yet but I have a suggestion for the RCIP: In the USA they have found that about 90% of burglaries are committed by individuals previously arrested or convicted for burglary. Please provide us Northside/East End homeowners with photos and license plate numbers of all the convicted burglars from East End and North Side so the next time a creepy looking guy pulls up in my driveway or my neighbors driveway I can check him against the mug shots of the real likely offenders. The burglaries occuring out here are being perpetrated by someone that knows the area very well, is watching the residences and is obviously experienced in stealing.

  8. Excuse me sir could I have a list of valuable that you have in your property…? Why would you need to know that officer..? Well my brother-in-law is coming out of Northward just before Xmas and he doesn’t have the time and money to get to Miami to do his Xmas shopping…

Comments are closed.