Collisions in Cayman have steadily increased over the years and so, too, have crashes involving police vehicles.
In the last three years, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has logged 50 crashes, based on data released to the Cayman Compass through a Freedom of Information request.
Already for 2021, the police have recorded seven collisions, four of which occurred within three days in February.
According to the data received, five officers between 2016 to 2021 were reported to the Professional Standards Unit following collisions involving police vehicles.
However, none of these cases resulted in any disciplinary actions taken against the officers.
Two of the officers reported to the PSU paid for the damage to the police units.
In the other three cases, the Compass was told, legal advice was sought. Those cases remain pending.
The issue of police collisions has come under the microscope following the spate of collisions back in February involving police vehicles.
The Compass filed an FOI seeking a record of crashes and cost of repairs.
The current RCIPS fleet manager, according to the open records request, was only installed in 2018 and, as such, only records dating from February 2018 were available.
Repeated collisions flagged
Based on the data released to the Compass, the seven collisions recorded to date this year, from February to March, involved four SUVs and three cars amounting to a combined total of $50,095.976 worth of damages.
Most of this was covered by government insurance, with the exception of one officer paying for damage and four others being covered by third party insurance.
The cost of damage in three of the collisions crossed the $10,000 mark.
Four of the collisions occurred between 4 Feb. and 6 Feb., 2021.
On 5 Feb., a police vehicle and a Chevrolet Aveo collided at the roundabout at Anthony Drive and Smith Road in George Town. The day before, on 4 Feb., a police car and a private vehicle collided while officers were following a stolen car in George Town and on 3 Feb. two police vehicles and a private car collided near the four-way stop in West Bay.
Current Police fleet
154 motor vehicles
2 16-seater buses
2 All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)
7 boat trailers
Following those incidents there was another crash involving a police car on 12 Feb.
In that incident the police service vehicle and a gold Honda Accord collided at the intersection of Watercourse Road and Hell Road. The police officers were following a suspected drunk driver in West Bay at the time.
While Cayman was locked down for several months last year, the police recorded 18 collisions amounting to $72,708.24 worth of damage to police vehicles in 2020.
The most significant damage cost that year was $20,551 which was logged following an 13 April crash involving a SUV.
The damage was extensive to the right rear quarter panel and truck, according to remarks on the crashed vehicle.
Collisions in 2020 involved 10 police cars, 7 SUVs and one motorcycle.
In 2019, police recorded 17 collisions amounting to $48,286.89 worth of damages to RCIPS vehicles. An SUV involved in a May 2019 collision was declared a total loss as the insurance covered value stood at $9000. The SUV suffered major damage to the right front and left side, according to the remarks in the FOI.
In 2019, five SUVs, 10 cars, a van and a motorcycle were damaged.
The only available data for 2018 pointed to eight collisions between February and June that year. The total cost of damages from those crashes amounted to $16,898.41.
The highest total damage was $6,348 from a collision involving a police van. The damage was listed as “significant denting to the rear left side of the vehicle and dent to the front bumper”.
According to the FOI, the vehicles that suffered damage included three cars, two SUVs, a truck and two vans.
The fleet manager, according to the FOI, stated that, generally, damaged vehicles are out of service for about three weeks, however that depends on the extent of the damages, e.g. if the parts are not available on island, it has a knock-on effect on the time it takes for a vehicle to be returned to service.
Most of the collisions listed a $375 deductible and coverage by insurance.