Total crime reports made to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service decreased by nearly 24 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter last year.
Crime and traffic statistics for Jan. 1 through March 31, released by the RCIPS on Thursday, showed most categories of crime monitored by local police had decreased.
Offenses considered “serious” crimes by police stayed about the same compared to the first three months of 2014. Reported burglaries, a trouble spot for the department in recent years, numbered 147 in the first quarter this year; there were 146 cases during the same period last year.
According to police statistics for the quarter, robberies increased from three to six, attempted burglaries increased from 15 to 20, and murders increased from one to two cases, all in the first quarter of 2015. Reports of abductions, rapes, attempted robberies, wounding and defilement all went down in first quarter of 2015.
The big decrease in reported crimes came in the area of lesser offenses, often called “volume crimes” by police.
Thefts, damage to property reports, threats and common assault cases all declined significantly in the first quarter of 2015. Theft reports in first quarter 2014 were 190, compared to 123 this year. Similarly, damage to property fell from 99 reports to 58 reports.
Domestic violence reports went up by two during the quarter, but police generally view an increase in this category as an indication that more cases are being reported rather than as an indication of an increase in domestic violence cases.
Other crimes reported to police, often described as “public nuisance” crimes, dropped by a total of 38 percent in the first quarter. Harassment, disorderly conduct, gambling, ferocious dogs offenses and “common nuisance” offenses all dropped sharply.
The number of drugs-related arrests made by the RCIPS in the first three months of this year fell by about 26 percent from last year.
For the first time in several years, certain traffic offenses in the Cayman Islands saw citations spike, according to first quarter 2015 numbers released by the police. Overall, recorded traffic offenses jumped 37 percent, due mostly to an increase in speeding tickets and unlicensed driving offenses.
Speeding citations were up 114 percent compared to first quarter 2014. Police officers issued 341 speeding tickets in the first three months of 2015, compared to 159 in the same period last year. Driving a vehicle without a license offenses increased 482 percent, up to 221 citations this year compared to 38 last year.
Other traffic offenses declined in the first quarter, including citations for drunk driving (down 42 percent), cellphone driving (down 33 percent) and failing to wearing a seatbelt (down 30 percent).
There was also an overall decline in traffic accidents. Cayman saw 208 traffic accidents in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 279 during first quarter 2014. However, the number of fatal accidents increased, with four reported between January and March this year vs, none during first quarter 2014. Three more fatal crashes have occurred since March.