Police reveal areas hit by burglars

For the first time, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has released maps detailing the location of burglaries occurring on Grand Cayman.

A pinpoint map made public Tuesday on the RCIPS website shows all burglaries reported for the month of April 2018 in each of Grand Cayman’s five districts. There is no corresponding map at this point for the Sister Islands, but the police did report two burglaries on Cayman Brac during the month.

The red dots on the pin map each represent a separate spot where a burglary was reported in April. Not all of the burglaries reported for the month are recorded on the map yet, but it does list the majority of them.

Most notably, the map shows an already-publicized rash of break-ins in north George Town’s Snug Harbour neighborhood.

It also reveals that Bodden Town district reported 12 burglaries last month; four of those in the Beach Bay area, four in historic Bodden Town and three in Savannah.

In total, George Town district reported 23 burglaries in various locations, while West Bay saw just four. The less-populated districts of East End and North Side reported one burglary apiece during April.

The ability to report general locations of certain crimes has been a goal of the RCIPS since Commissioner Derek Byrne took over the department in late 2016. Mr. Byrne said in his first press briefing that police crime statistics were not entirely useful in giving the public information they needed about crimes in their area.

During a briefing Tuesday, RCIPS officials said it was unlikely that more serious crimes like murders, robberies or rapes could be disclosed via pinpoint mapping in the future. However, the maps could be used for things like traffic accidents.

Police said the burglary maps would be released each month, starting with April 2018, separately from the biannual release of police crime statistics that typically lags a few months behind.

Residential and commercial burglaries have been increasing since the start of last year and have perennially been a thorn in the side of Cayman police.

Overall, burglaries at local homes and businesses rose nearly 20 percent last year while attempted break-ins went up more than 30 percent, according to RCIPS crime statistics which compared 2017 crime reports to those for 2016.

Commercial burglaries increased sharply during 2017, going up nearly 40 percent when compared to the year before. The RCIPS crime report, released last month, also highlighted a 70 percent year-over-year increase 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 year period. 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 map can be found on the RCIPS website at https://www.rcips.ky/crime-info/crime-statistics/.

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