Fatal accidents spike in 2015
Burglaries and attempted burglaries continue to be the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s primary stumbling block in reducing crime in the islands.
Crime statistics released for the first half of 2015 show overall crime reports to police declined by nearly 10 percent compared to the first six months of 2014. Most categories of violent crime showed decreases as well, with the exception of murder and assaults causing grievous bodily harm.
However, burglaries went up by 16 percent during the period, and attempted break-ins increased by more than 70 percent. More than 300 burglaries were committed during the first half of 2015, leading to a 14 percent rise in what local police record as “serious” crime.
RCIPS Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton said police responded to the increase in break-ins with a “steady pace of arrests.”
“During the first six months, we arrested 76 people, up 12 percent from arrests during the same period last year,” Mr. Walton said.
In one case investigated by police, the person arrested was believed to have been responsible for 10 burglaries alone. It’s a common theme police have reported over the years: a spike in crimes following the release of “career” burglars from prison.
In recent days, RCIPS officers responded to four burglaries in George Town during the pre-dawn hours when the power had been cut to the businesses involved. Three companies on Kingbird Drive, including a bottled water company, a drywall company and a marine company, were burgled on Aug. 18. A car rental office on Owen Roberts Drive was broken into on Aug. 17.
“Burglary continues to be a stubborn problem for our society that will require more than just prevention and enforcement to permanently reduce,” Mr. Walton said.
Most other categories of serious crime remained constant or dropped somewhat compared to January-June 2014. There was a noticeable decrease in the number of reported wounding and rape cases. Thirteen robberies were reported in the first half of 2015, the same number as in 2014.
Crimes such as theft, damage to property and threatening violence all declined compared to last year. Common assault and domestic violence assault reports increased marginally.
Almost all areas of less serious crimes decreased, with the exception of common nuisance and cases involving “insulting the modesty of a woman.”
Another area of concern for police this year is the number of fatal traffic accidents.
Police reported six traffic fatalities between January and June this year, although the Cayman Compass reported on seven such cases.
The victims included two pedestrians, Marcia Donaldson and Donnie Ray Connor; two men on Cayman Brac, Jose Zelaya and Raoul Scott; Caymanians Kimberly Bush and Rowena Scott; and U.K. national Kate Clayton.
It was not known whether Ms. Clayton, who died in the U.K. in February but who received her fatal injuries in Cayman in January, was counted among the total number of traffic-related deaths.
There were no fatal accidents in the first half of 2014, police said.
Overall, the number of traffic accidents declined by 15 percent in the first half of the year. RCIPS officers wrote more tickets for speeding during the period as well.