The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has been one of the fastest-growing government departments over the past two years, according to records released last week by government.
The service, including both police officers and civilian employees, had 406 employees in mid-2010. Two years later, the department had grown to 475 workers.
The growth rate for the RCIPS staff was much greater than all other law enforcement departments in the Cayman Islands, although most of them did expand between 2010 and 2012. Her Majesty’s Customs grew from 132 employees to 140 employees during the period, while the Immigration Department increased from 159 people to 170.
The prisons service had the exact same number of employees in June 2010 as it did in June 2012.
The government’s annual human resources report releases staffing data for the central government service, as well as statutory authorities and government-owned companies, and breaks down the number of Caymanian staff and non-Caymanian staff.
According to the records, the number of Caymanian employees in the RCIPS between 2010 and 2012 remained virtually unchanged. All of the growth in the department derived from non-Caymanian employees, who went from 183 in 2010 to 253 last year – almost a 30 per cent increase.
The increase of overall staff within the police service is mostly due to an increase in police officers during the period. The number of RCIPS officers staffing the department in early 2011 was 364. According to records released to the newspaper in late November 2012, 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 figures.
United Nations recommendations for a “minimum police strength” put the number at roughly one officer per 450 people within a country.
The additional police personnel in the Cayman Islands appears to have had a positive impact.
According to the government’s Compendium of Statistics for 2012, 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 clearance rate for the year. The figures for 2012 show a steady improvement in clearance rates for the police service during the past three years.
“Cleared” in police terminology means a case was either brought to 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 stood at 30 per cent.
More foreign officers
According to records examined by the Caymanian Compass, the largest number of officers within the force were at the rank of police constable. 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.