The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has reported a significant drop in the number of burglaries in the Bodden Town area. The decrease is attributed to safety measures conducted by police and community members.
The first two weeks of May saw 25 burglaries, an alarmingly high number for the district, but the Bodden Town police received reinforcements from the Criminal Investigation Department to pursue investigation and apprehension of burglars. Bodden Town police officers and CID detectives have made seven arrests for burglary as of June 7, with five of those coming in the last two weeks.
Much of the downturn in burglary arrests comes from an increase in activity and vigilance in the Bodden Town community by ordinary citizens responding to property crime in their area. “We have seen residents in Bodden Town really come together in different neighborhoods throughout the district to form neighborhood watches and generally just support each other and feel more secure,” said Rudolph Gordon, Neighbourhood Inspector for the Eastern Districts. “They have passed a lot of useful information and observations on to us, some of which has helped us make arrests. Fighting crime is a joint effort between police and the community, and we can have great results when we work together.”
There has been an active WhatsApp group called the “Mijall Watch Squad” which has started work on distributing watch flyers and regularly trading messages on all happenings in the area. Colin Taylor, a resident in the Mijall Road area, said the group has made a large difference in his community.
“Knowing that your neighbors are on the alert makes you feel more secure,” said Mr. Taylor, a member of the new group, “And I notice that I am also more aware. I used to drive straight into my driveway after work, but now I circle the neighborhood just to see what is going on first.”
The National Roads Authority has installed street lamps and cut hedges in the area in response to requests from the neighborhood watch group.
While burglaries have decreased in Bodden Town, they have increased in other parts of the island, including residences in South Sound and commercial businesses in George Town.
Neighborhood officers are hoping to facilitate new neighborhood watches around the island, and they are also urging residents to be aware of weaknesses in security of their homes and businesses.
The following tips provided by the RCIPS can help ensure safety and security at home and in your workplace:
- Ensure that doors are properly carpentered, with hinges on the inside and a proper lock jamb
- If going off island, arrange for someone to check the property daily
- Keep hedges low so neighbors can see what is happening.