The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service “cleared” about 45 per cent of the criminal cases reported to it during 2012, according to figures contained in a government statistical report.
According to the Compendium of Statistics for last year, a total of 2,659 crimes were reported to police in 2012 and 1,208 of those were considered “cleared” by the police service at year’s end, giving the RCIPS about a 45 per cent case cleared rate for the year.
The figures for 2012 show a steady improvement in case cleared rates for the RCIPS over the past three years.
“Cleared” in police terminology means a case was either brought to the court with charges filed or police found insufficient evidence that a crime was committed following an investigation.
In 2011, the overall clearance rate for local crimes was 37 per cent, according to the compendium. In 2010, that number dipped to 30 per cent.
Case clearances in drug–related matters were slightly higher, at 45 per cent in 2011 and 37 per cent in 2010. Last year, RCIPS reported clearing nearly 50 per cent of its drug cases.
Over the past five years in the Cayman Islands, 14,341 crimes were reported to police with 7,035 cleared – about a 50 per cent clearance rate overall for the period.
Typically, case cleared rates for the police improve over time since not every case is solved in the year it occurs. Going further back, the crime statistics report indicates that the RCIPS’s overall case cleared rate for 2009 was 62 per cent; between 2006 and 2008, the police case cleared rate averaged about 74 per cent, according to the statistics office report.
Another interesting item gleaned from the police statistical reports denotes that the number of offences reported to the RCIPS during 2012 dropped sharply from the previous years.
Between 2009 and 2011, the RCIPS averaged close to 3,000 reports of crime per year. In 2012, that number fell to 2,659 – the lowest since 2008.
The number of young criminal offenders in Cayman convicted during 2012 also fell significantly compared to the previous year.
Only 43 offenders between the ages of 14 and 18 recorded convictions last year, compared to 77 juvenile convictions in 2011. Total juvenile offences for the year also dropped by half, going from 307 reported in 2011 to 157 in 2012.
According to the statistics office report for 2012, 29 out of the 43 convicted juvenile offenders were between the ages of 14 and 16. Fourteen of the 43 juvenile offenders were aged 17-18. Although age 18 is considered the age of the majority in Cayman, it is recorded on the juvenile crime reports for the compendium of statistics.
Most of the criminal offences reported against juvenile offenders fell mainly into five categories including; alcohol and drugs, assault and disorderly conduct, burglary and theft, breach of probation and traffic-related offences.
There were nine firearms offences involving juveniles were reported in 2012.
Males continued to make up the vast majority of young offenders in the Cayman Islands during 2012. Thirty-six of the 43 young people convicted of crimes in 2012 were males.