Authorities in the Cayman Islands are reporting that robberies have increased by more than 60 percent while burglaries have dropped by some 34 percent.
Based on crime statistics by Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, serious crime numbers fell by nearly 26 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
However, those numbers confirmed a significant rise in both serious assaults and robberies during the period.
“Most of the robberies involved “muggings,” where people in the street were accosted for their belongings. There had been a few business hold-ups as well,” stated RCIPS Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton stated Thursday (July 14).
“Two stores in West Bay were robbed [earlier this year] by the same individual,” Mr. Walton said. “That individual is now charged and before the court.”
Burglary reports dropped from 322 in the first six months of 2015, to 212 in the first half of this year.
Acting Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis attributed has revealed that here has been a reduction in burglary numbers as 25 suspects were arrested by the RCIPS since the beginning of the year, and many of their cases were also before the courts.
Several arrested suspects were repeat offenders, Mr. Ennis said, including one man who has been arrested five times.
“The kids of many of these individuals I arrested [as a patrol officer in the RCIPS] … are now committing burglaries,” he said. “It’s a generational problem.”
Attempted burglary reports also fell from 48 in 2015 to 33 this year.
There were no homicides in Cayman during the first half of 2016.
RCIPS officers were troubled by a rise in other crimes, such as thefts, property damage, common assaults and threatening violence. So-called “volume crimes” went up by about 25 percent during the period.
Firearms-related offenses nearly tripled during the first six months of this year compared to 2015. Police reported 27 incidents of firearms discharge, imitation firearms possession and firearms possession between January and June. There were just 10 such incidents in the first half of 2015.
Mr. Walton said police were seizing an average of three firearms or imitation firearms per month so far in 2016.
“We weren’t seeing that previously,” he said.
Meanwhile, drugs offenses have decreased in 2016. Police reportedly made 82 drug-related arrests through June 30, 2016, compared to 113 arrests in the same period last year.
The chief superintendent, who will be promoted to deputy commissioner in September, attributed the decrease to a change in policing strategy that targeted drug suppliers and importers rather than “street-level addicts” drug dealing.