Burglary offenses in the Cayman Islands are being committed at the rate of nearly two per day and are largely overshadowing what police statistics show has been a significant drop in violent crime during the past five years, a Cayman Compass analysis of crime numbers has revealed.
Break-ins reported to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service between 2012 and 2014 have almost doubled in three years and are continuing to trouble local police this year. In 2010, the number of burglaries for the year totaled fewer than 600. Last year, the number of burglaries was above 700.
The resulting crime statistics for the years, due to the sheer number of burglaries compared to the rest of the crimes, showed a 20 percent increase in what the RCIPS considered “serious crime” between 2010 and 2014.
However, removing burglaries and attempted burglaries from the total of serious crimes and the remainder of the “serious” criminal offenses recorded by police actually fell during the period. Serious crimes include home invasions, major assaults, rapes, robberies, wounding, attempted murder, murder and attempted robbery.
A total of 64 robberies were reported to police in 2010. In 2011, there were 67 robberies reported in the Cayman Islands. In 2014, there were 47 for the year.
Reports of serious assaults, called grievous bodily harm in the Cayman Islands, went from 12 in 2010, to 28 in 2011, to just seven last year.
The number of murders and attempted murders to occur in 2010 totaled 22. In 2014 it was 12.
So far in 2015, the trend appears to be continuing as local police have noted their lowest number of violent crimes committed in the first six months during any of the previous five years. However, the number of burglaries – more than 320 in the first half of 2015 – served to increase “serious crime” recorded by the RCIPS during first half of 2015 by 14 percent.
“Violent crime [serious crimes not including burglaries] … fell 24 percent,” the RCIPS noted in a statement. “There were 59 incidents total in these [violent crime] categories, while during the first half of 2015 there were 45 incidents.
“During the second quarter of 2015, a noticeable increase in incidents of burglary and attempted burglary elevated the number of overall serious crimes by 14 percent. Burglaries themselves increased by 16 percent in the first half of .”
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. It’s a common theme police have reported over the years: a spike in crimes following the release of “career” burglars from prison.
“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.