Figures reveal crime rising again

| 14/07/2016 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS officer at work (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): The RCIPS has released the half-year crime statistics for 2016, which reflect a more than 10% rise in overall crime on the same six months of last year, though burglaries and some other serious crimes have fallen. Acting Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis said the figures were discouraging but the numbers did not reflect the full picture and the hard work of his officers. The rise was due mostly to an increase in street robberies and less serious crimes such as theft, property damage and threatening or harassing behaviour, leading to a reverse in the trend of falling crime in recent years.

But there were no murders at all in the first part of 2016 and attempted murder also fell, with just two cases so far this year.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Ennis said police were getting to grips with the previous challenges presented by gang rivalry and many of the known offenders were behind bars.

In some cases the increase in crime figures, such as a 700% increase in the recovery of firearms, was seen as a good thing. Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton said the increase in the amount of guns seized was a result of a change in how police deal with people known to have “an appetite for firearms”, and that officers were getting weapons and ammunition off the street.

Acting Commissioner Ennis pointed to the hard work and bravery of officers dealing with armed assailants.

The fall in drug related offences was due to a focus on dealers and major importers rather than pursuing people with addiction problems, which Walton said had resulted in a number of successful major drug hauls.

The disappointing increase in robberies was down mostly to street muggings, the senior officers revealed.

Although attempted and actual burglaries were down by well over 30%, aggravated burglaries, where the offender is armed, were up by a significant percentage, though in real figures the crime increased from three cases in the first half of last year to five this year.

Burglaries fell from 322 in the first half of 2015 to 212 over the last six months. Nevertheless, Ennis said he recognised that break-ins were a major concern.

“We get it,” he said, adding that the perception and fear of this type of crime was pervasive in the community and the RCIPS took that seriously.

“Whatever positive or negative trends these numbers may indicate, public perception and public confidence are just as important as crime statistics,” said Ennis. “I know that some feel that crime is a real problem on the islands, even though serious crimes have decreased 25%.”

He added, “The increase in volume offences may be contributing to this sense, as well as the fact that a person whose home was recently burgled will probably not be encouraged by the drop in burglaries. I respect that. The public wants to feel more secure. For this reason we have begun initiatives to increase police visibility and presence across the island.”

Ennis said that over the last few months more than 25 burglary suspects had been arrested and one of those had been arrested five times for burglary. Emphasising the problem Cayman has with a very high recidivism rate, he said that was not just a police problem and required much wider community action.

Noting that many changes had been made in operational matters recently, Ennis stressed his commitment to community policing, something he had highlighted at the recent Finance Committee hearing in the LA. He said there was a need to get police back on the beat and on the streets, talking with the community and building trust.

The RCIPS has dusted off the mobile police unit, which is currently in Prospect, where police were building on the efforts made by the residents in that area to make the neighbourhood safer, he said.

Ennis said there was a move to re-deploy cops on bicycles, noting that the RCIPS still has a number of push-bikes in great working order. Once they have new riding kit, the community can expect to see officers on two wheels as well as on foot, he said, adding that the philosophy of community policing had been impressed on all 366 current serving officers.

With a catalogue of challenges and an enormous workload faced by the RCIPS that goes well beyond the 28,000 calls they respond to annually, Ennis said it was a myth that his officers were sitting down doing nothing.

DC Walton detailed the additional work that RCIPS is tasked with aside from responding to call outs. This includes an average of 5,500 police-initiated patrols each year, policing the courts and the detention centre, supervising the security officer legislation, and record clearance for the civil service.

He said the police also serve every single witness summons, not just for the criminal cases where charges have been brought by the RCIPS but also for those cases where charges have been brought by immigration, customs, planning or the Department of Environment — a job that could be outsourced and save staff time, he said.

Walton also noted the problem with warrants, which he said was impossible to address. Even though police are serving the warrants and arresting dozens of people who have jumped bail or have failed to appear every month, they have to prioritize the serious cases, leaving the backlog to grow.

Check back to CNS later for more on the police plans and details of the traffic statistics for 2016 so far.

See crimes stats here

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Good luck to Mr. Ennis and Mr. Walton trying to solve societal problems where children are left to raise themselves as parents remain non-existent.. mothers are partying at the club scene and having more babies for other men whilst baby fathers hang out at northward smoking weed with his buddies in a cell…the nation then accepts decriminalizing use of weed to lift the strain which incarceration cost and social services are being blamed by the politicians. Thankfully these are in the minority and most kids will grow up to lead productive lives so there is hope yet for our tiny country.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The problem with these stats is very simple – they’re compiled by RCIPS and not independently verified or audited. Check out what’s happened in the UK when similar crime figures have challenged – some of them have turned out to be complete BS.

    One of the problems with policing is that there’s a very simple way to pad out your clear rates – you simply classify reported crimes as not meriting investigation. In the UK crimes as serious as rape have ended up this way.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All rubbish posts …..no murders for the year seems like a big win to me. The police have gone at the burglaries and they have dropped another big win. By the time the next figures come out robberies will have dropped.

    Compared to another other Caribbean islands we are crime free.

    Thank you Police Governor and Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Compare us to Singapore or Hong Kong or Jersey if you want a fair comparable. Comparing us to some of the most corrupt and crime ridden economic and social nightmares on earth provides little comfort for the wealth and sophisticated small state we are are.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Home break-ins and home invasions are on the up. I personally know four people who have been robbed or broken into at home. For some reason these are not showing up in the local news. I guess its to protect Cayman’s image. However, the scary part is that when the police were called at the time of incident it took over 20 minutes for the police officers to show up. That is scary, we can’t protect ourselves and the police don’t seem able to. Its a problem that needs to be addressed and cannot continue to swept under the carpet by government any longerl

    • Anonymous says:

      One local Hotel on the Brac was broken into and 16 TV”s was stolen and it was not reported in the Press, why ? why? Why?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well the police aren’t there to protect you. They are not obligated to protect anyone. Police have one job and that is to enforce the law of the country. If you think police are there to protect you then your gravely mistaken.

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess. But the laws are there to protect us and the the police are there to enforce the law so….

        • Anonymous says:

          The laws are their to be enforced, end of story. Arresting teenagers for using cannabis is not protecting you or anyone, it is contributing to the problem.

      • Cass says:

        Then why the F*** does their motto say “To protect and serve” OR “We listen, we care, we act”???

        How can the police enforce laws if they don’t know or understand them?

        Lastly, if they are not there to protect us why are we told to call 9-1-1 in an emergency???

        • Anonymous says:

          They are there to keep the peace and to enforce the law. They’re not obligated to protect you. 911 is an emergency line to the police not protection agency. If you want protection hire security.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As some of us have long observed; the lower the percentage Caymanians make up of the population, the higher the rate of crime.

    Nevertheless, many are still focused on the golden number of 100,000.

    – Who

    • whatever says:

      Can you be more specific please? Which of the expat groups are contributing to the rise in crime (robberies, burglaries, break/enter)? Is it one group of expats in particular, perhaps several? Is it the Canadians, Americans, British, Australians, South Africans, Hondurans, Jamaicans, etc?

      • Anonymous says:

        Couldn’t tell ya.
        What I can tell you is the era when people could leave home and not worry about locking their door was when Caymanians made up the vast majority of the population.

        Furthermore, your question is basic to the extent of insulting, what you and everyone reading this by now understands to be, my level of intelligence.

        Should I say; “It’s the Jamaicans!”? Are Hondurans inherently criminal in nature? Perhaps it is the Brits? After all they come from a nation with alarming rates of serious crime in pockets and regions throughout.

        Unlike many here on CNS I am not a basic thinker and prefer to approach issues from a wide and pragmatic perspective. My initial comment was simply an observation of statistical fact. Make of it what you will.

        – Whodatis

        • Ken says:

          True “who”. Agreed.

          We have a lot of organized crime now….lots of white collars involved today.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow! It’s point the finger again. Yes, true Caymanian youth would never be to blame, heavens no. Sure…..
          I’ll go further on this subject once you come back down to this rock and confirm to reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the % of Caymanians in prison? The high % tells you that the crime is a home grown thing and not an expat thing! Afterall we have to file police clearance certificates before we even get a work permit. The stupidity!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Its bound to be up over July and August.
    School holidays.

  7. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. says:

    Personally, I would be very happy to see these two hard working Senior Officers left alone to get on with a job that they know how to do. Keep up the great work Anthony Ennis and Kurt Walton we wish you all the best.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Duh, sumer time and all the children visiting their parent/s getting ready to apply for residence after they finish private schooling

  9. REALITY CHECK says:

    This reality will only come as a surprise to Governor Kilpatrick, the RCIPS Gold Command the Premier and all the other MLA’s who are all in denial. Kilpatrick is asleep at the wheel and failing the Cayman Islands. Too bad we cannot blame Baines any longer.

    Their focus is reelection not real life issues like rising crime, Caymanian unemployment and a sub-standard public education system that is producing a majority of Caymanian kids not ready for the real world

    • Annie says:

      WELL SAID. @ 7:26pm

    • whatever says:

      Sorry to disagree, but the public education system is not sub-standard… Granted, it may be far from perfect, but that’s not what ails the Cayman Islands. What ails the Cayman Islands are spoiled, lazy, entitled, neglected, wild, self-raised, etc. (sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s a combination) kids who are sometimes either unable and/or unwilling (in other words, couldn’t give a sh1t) to take advantage of the educational opportunities presented. This all boils down to parenting, lack of parenting, neglect, drug abuse, etc. as well as the Education Department’s unwillingness to support its teachers. If students came to school ready to learn, they would have every opportunity to do so. Schools, public schools in particular, are no longer educational institutions but rather all-day daycare services.

      • Anonymous says:

        Substandard was the wrong word. Crap may be more appropriate when you compare it to the education systems in Europe, Asia, and North America, where most of the competition for Caymanian jobs is coming from.

      • Anonymous says:

        So the youth are the problem… you have things mixed up. The school system been failing the youth of the future for a long time. Then they graduate and there is no jobs available. What else u expect?

    • anonymous says:

      Overall Cayman students graduate with higher passes than their UK counter part. What is missing is opportunity for Caymanian children. Google Uk results .

  10. Allar says:

    Now the true figures will come out because it is a Caymanian acting and no one wants to protect him and he haven’t put a gag order in place to say anything to the contrary. The truth is the crime hasn’t changed since last year it just wasn’t reported correctly and truthful. Baines was just protecting himself and not the country. Well done Mr. Ennis for being truthful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely as second in command during Baines’ tenure, Ennis had some influence?!!!! Why are we praising a man who was part of the management of the RCIPS during this time. He is just as responsible as Baines. But hey, in typical Cayman style, “not me it was him”!!! The contradictions and naivety astound me every day in this little land. Deal with your home grown issues and make life better!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank God lying to immigration by fraudulently completing immigration forms, and stealing employee pensions is not considered a crime by the police. If it was the numbers would be through the roof!

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