Police target crime hot spots

RCIPS-Infographic
RCIPS-Infographic

Police are dealing with nearly 10 times as much crime in West Bay as in either North Side or East End, statistics for 2013 show.

The district also outstrips Bodden Town, which has a similar sized population, with substantially more crime reported in West Bay than all three eastern districts combined.

A map of police responses for the first nine months of the year shows that officers are called to deal with an average of less than two crimes each day in North Side and East End.

In a budget debate over police resources earlier this month, legislators for the two districts had suggested their areas were urgently in need of additional resources to fight rising crime.

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller proposed adding around $1.3 million to the police budget to pay for new officers, including six specifically to cover East End and North Side. The motion was rejected.

The map, which charts police response to public calls for assistance, shows that despite a couple of high profile incidents, including the armed robbery of Chisholm’s supermarket, crime remains comparatively low in the two districts. There were a total of 392 crimes in North Side and 310 in East End in the first nine months of the year. In North Side, the most common reports were of “persons in distress”. In East End, “disturbances” were most common.

In West Bay, police responded to 2,744 calls in the same time frame. George Town, the capital and most populous area in Grand Cayman, had by far the most crime, with police responding to 8,418 calls.

Bodden Town, the fastest growing district in Grand Cayman, experienced 1,744 reported crimes between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 this year.

Police do not usually release an area-by-area breakdown of where crimes are reported. The map, displayed at Thursday’s statistics fair at the University College of the Cayman Islands, provides an insight into the islands’ crime hot spots.

The crime stats loosely follow population demographics. The exception is West Bay, which has a similar population to Bodden Town but significantly more crime.

West Bay also suffers a disproportionate amount of serious crime with 119 assaults, 29 firearms offences and eight robberies. In Bodden Town, there were 80 assaults, 12 firearms offences and five robberies.

The allocation of police resources, particularly in the eastern districts, has been a topic of concern for some time.

Residents at a public meeting in Bodden Town complained that the area was being discriminated against because the number of officers assigned to cover the district did not match its size. They said they feared it would become “like West Bay” if police did not get ahead of the problem.

RCIPS Superintendent Adrian Seales said there was no comparison between the crime rates in the eastern districts and those in George Town and West Bay. “[This] is one of the safest places to live in the Cayman Islands,” he told the meeting.

At the budget debate Police Commissioner David Baines told legislators that there were 77 dedicated officers for George Town, 32 for West Bay and 31 for Bodden Town, East End and North Side.

Mr. Baines said he was not opposed to focusing new police officers in the eastern districts, as long as they could be called away if the situation warranted.

“The operational deployment of any officer has to be at my sole discretion because I hold the responsibility,” he said.

Crimes by district (population in brackets) for January-September 2013

  • George Town 8,418 (28,089)
  • West Bay 2,744 (11,222)
  • Bodden Town 1,744 (10,543)
  • North Side 392 (1,479)
  • Sister Islands 330 (2,296)
  • East End 310 (1,407)

A map of police responses for the first nine months of the year shows that officers are called to deal with an average of less than two crimes each day in North Side and East End.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting very interesting, is there any correlation to the amount of shotguns owned by farmers in the outer districts for the level of crime? Talking about the amount of men population in a district opposing to other districts ? Probably need some students in a college or university to calculate this as an assignment.

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  2. Um, maybe you could actually do the calculations and provide crime rates, rather than just number of calls.

    My calc shows the following rates:
    Gtown: .299 calls/pop
    W Bay: .244
    B Town: .165
    N Side: .265
    Sister: .143
    East End: .220

    Take from it what you will, since the data isn’t really relevant as it doesn’t differentiate between actual crimes versus police calls and I don’t have time to break out types.

    But it does show that instead of pointing out West Bay has a much higher rate than Bodden Town, that maybe Bodden Town just has an unusually low rate. Georgetown is clearly the highest and the other districts seem about average.

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