Burglaries at homes and businesses rose nearly 20 percent last year while attempted break-ins went up more than 30 percent, according to statistics released Friday by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
The annual crime statistics report also noted – for the first time – a district-by-district breakdown for burglaries and related crimes that revealed Bodden Town district bore the brunt of that increase.
The number of burglaries and related crimes reported during 2017 in Bodden Town, including attempted burglary and aggravated burglary, more than doubled when compared to 2016. There were 156 burglary-related crimes in Bodden Town last year compared to just 68 during 2016.
“During the spring [of 2017], a wave of burglaries affected Bodden Town, most of which fit a similar pattern and were found to have been committed by the same group of individuals,” an RCIPS statement indicated.
Meanwhile, burglaries for East End and North Side, which have experienced similar problems in earlier years, either dropped off or stayed about the same between 2016 and 2017.
Also of note, commercial burglaries increased sharply during 2017, going up nearly 40 percent when compared to the year before.
The RCIPS report highlighted a 70 percent increase from year-to-year in criminal trespass crimes.
The police report looked at the number of burglaries committed in the islands between 2013 and 2017 and found that last year had the second-lowest number of burglaries – 515 break-ins – out of the five years. Only 2016 had a lower total. During 2014 there were nearly 700 burglaries in the islands, by 2016, that number had dropped to 439.
“It is the position of the RCIPS that even the lowest burglary figure…is still too high an annual incidence of burglary for a population of 60,000,” the police report stated.
The overall total of crime during 2017 stayed about the same as in 2016, according to the police report.
In addition to burglaries, rapes and arson reports increased. The number of motor vehicle thefts also nearly doubled year to year.
On the positive side for the RCIPS, robberies and assaults decreased, as did thefts and damage to property reports.
The number of traffic collisions during 2017 more than doubled from what they had been during 2016, according to the RCIPS crime report, while traffic enforcement across nearly all areas declined.
Cayman reported 2,725 traffic accidents during 2017, while having just 1,295 collisions in 2016.
Meanwhile the number of offenses for traffic violations, particularly for things like speeding, cell phone driving and seatbelt violations decreased drastically during the same period.
The number of drunk driving arrests increased during 2017.