The overall number of officers within the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has grown by about 12 per cent between February 2011 and November 2012, 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 in late November the police service had 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 Caymanians, 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.