Cops say crime still down

| 14/07/2011

(CNS): Figures released on the morning following a second shooting of an innocent victim in two weeks in the course of an armed robbery reveal that overall crime is still down on last year.  There were almost 100 fewer serious crimes in the first six months of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 and some 222 less crimes overall.  However, robbery has increased by close to 35%, with 39 incidents in the first six months of this year compared to 29 in 2010, which was also significantly up on the year before. Despite perceptions within the community, the commissioner still said the fall in crime was good news for Cayman, before admitting that there was more work to do.

With no murders during the first half of 2011 compared to five in the first half of 2010, the percent rate for serious crime is down by almost 22%, but alongside robbery, which has increased, the possession of unlicensed firearms is also up by over 133%. 

The police pointed to their success in addressing burglary, which is down almost 27% and noted that there were only six attempted murders this year so far compared to 14 in 2010. Overall crime was down by more than 12.5% in the first six months of this year when compared to the first half of 2010.

"This time last year our resources were severely stretched dealing with murders and attempted murders, most of which were gang related shootings," Police Commissioner David Baines said Thursday as the figures were released. “I'm pleased to once again recognise the hard work of our staff in bringing that situation under control and putting a number of people before the courts for those crimes.  This year the crime landscape is somewhat different. The increase in robberies is very concerning and has posed some challenges.  These remain the focus for prevention, investigation and detection efforts by the RCIPS.”

The commissioner said robbery teams were working hard pursuing every avenue to find the evidence needed to get those responsible off the streets and to help businesses with the crime prevention they need to target-harden their premises.

Giving some indication that the police know who the robbers are, Baines said, "It will come as no surprise that when certain individuals are in our custody for other matters the robberies stop. The challenge we in the RCIPS have is obtaining enough hard evidence to link those people to those crimes to get them off the streets long term and put them before the courts.”

He said proactive weapons operations had led to an increase in the figures recorded for possession of unlicensed firearms.

“Every hour of every day our officers are gathering information and evidence to target those who possess illegal guns. We will not let up on that — even during this gun amnesty period. If you have an illegal gun and you don't hand it in we are coming after you. Let me assure you that our operations have not been put on hold for the month of July — so if you have a gun, or know someone who has, now is the time to give it up,” Baines added.

Importantly, the top cop pointed to an improvement in the community’s confidence in the RCIPS when he said more and more people were coming forward with information.

“It is only a matter of time before we come for you,” he warned local criminals. “This week saw a 9 year sentence handed down by the courts for illegal possession of a shotgun.  I hope that when it comes time to release the figures for the next six months that we will still be talking about major reductions in crime. But to give us the best possible chance to do that we need to work together, increase our police and community collaboration. That's the only way we will cut crime in Cayman and continue to keep you, our communities and Cayman safe," the commissioner added.

At a recent police meeting in West Bay one member of the public told Marlon Bodden that it was the first time they had attended such a gathering where the police had not tried to say crime was down. The member of the public had pointed out that while the police say the figures are declining, local people are scared and perceive that crime is continuing to get worse because of the way it now affects their lives.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well….Well….Well… I am off island at the moment, but we still have ties to the island, and I have been keeping up to date with whats going on in Cayman and it's frightening!

    If the Police think crime is down, then they are not living in the real world!  Right now I'm living in a fairly large city and not once have I heard gun shots, or heard about stabbings since I've been back yet, every day I log onto CNS, and the headlines are "shootings"! Robbing a gas station for $100?  I can't imagine the mental scarring it's left on the shop attendants has done!  It's them I feel sorry for!  Same with the security guards.  They don't make enough money to put their life on the line for guarding.

    Sounds a bit like dictatorship with Bush.  CNS does great work….they tell it like it is……the truth!  CFP are so up the Governemnts *ss it's scary!

    I wish there was a solution to this crime spree, but I think it's too late.



  2. Anonymous says:

    Crime down my left back foot and right N-T!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The words in the headlines must have gotten transposed.  The headline should read, "Cops Still Say Crime Down,"

  4. Anonymous says:

    When the police become involved with a criminal, they are 18 to 22 years too late. The road to criminality starts early in a criminal's life, before birth (when prenatal abuse occurs) and in the formative years of 0 to 5 (neglect and abuse).

    Preventing crime in a culture requires responsible procreation and responsible child rearing. It takes an entire community to raise a child properly.

    Crime in Cayman is not a policing problem. It is a cultural problem.

  5. Ubelievedat says:

    Thank God crime is down!!

    However its an observation that its not because the of results of the Governor's, nor the UDP Govt, nor the Commmissioner's efforts.

    I didn't mention the RCIPS officers as they are the 'servants' to those 3 parties mentioned above. 

    The RCIPS Officers can make their cry/demands for better leadership, for better defensive technology, or to be able to exercise the criminal laws to their full extent but it continues to FALL ON DEAF EARS.

    I can only arrive at the conclusion that the 3 parties mentioned above DO NOT CARE.

    Its a continual pointing of the finger to shift blame and dodge responsibility.


  6. Anonymous says:

    "Gimme Back My Bullets" – Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    I turned in legal firearms which belonged to a deceased family member. Stupid me.

  7. PaperCaymanian says:

    A 300 dollar ladder was stolen from my yard last week.I did not call the police .Ten years ago it would have been on page 2 police report in the Compass. Why should I lose the ladder and half a days work dealing with the police bureaucracy.I will keep my eyes open for the ladder.When I look at the size of our police force vs size and population of the island I just don't get it. Could some one please explain.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Caymanian family members plus (especially) girlfriends know who these guys are that have the guns and are doing all this stuff in our island. But they wont say a thing. Cover-up is the name of the game here and has been for a long long time. Until this changes, we will see no improvement. I can't count the number of mothers who have said to me that the "only problem" with their son is "the bad company he keep". Not my son. It's someone elses, the bad company. Ah so it go.

    • Anonymous says:

      We don't know that they have Caymanian family members.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes we do. Don't you take in the media reports and note the names?

        • Anonymous says:

          You seem to be missing the point that most crimes are unsolved. The perpretators are not named because we don't know who they are. If on the other hand, you do know then you should be reporting them to the police.

          There are a number of names that are mentioned in media reports which do not appear to be Caymanian, but of course particularly since 2003 just about any name could be 'Caymanian'.    

  9. Recent US Visitor says:

    Before I visited Grand Cayman for the first time a month ago, I was assured by those I knew who had visited previously and the guidebooks about the country that crime was so low it was essentially undetectable.  The week after we left, the shooting of the brewery worker occurred.  Now this shooting at Lorna's Texaco.  And here I read about how crime statistics show crime is down overall.  That may be the case, but it's apparent from recent news that violent crime is becoming a real problem. On such a small island this should be a major concern.  If law enforcement isn't admitting to the public it's a growing problem, they should at least recognize that the more they keep their heads in the sand the more violent criminals will take advantage of that ostrich-like behavior and feel braver and bolder.  It's a fact that once you let a domestic animal taste blood, they more that animal will crave blood and soon become wild.  The same holds true with human nature: allow someone to commit violent crime and get away with it and soon that violent criminal will be back for more.  The more that violent criminal continues to commit violent crime unfettered then the more violent criminals will come out of the woodwork.  Before you know it, Grand Cayman will no longer be the safe vacation spot it used to be and visitors will start to avoid it like they are starting to stay away from Jamaica because of it's crime rate.  Can the Cayman Islands afford to lose those tourist dollars?  I sincerely doubt it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comments albeit the usual 'beat up on the cops" mumbo jumbo. There certainly is an issue with the police as far as confidentiality is concerned. The editorial in the compass earlier this week certainly proves that. That said there are other ways to inform the police as to what is known and who is doing what to whom that doesn't involve direct contact with the police. Some one out their knows who's doing these shootings and robberiies for sure. The silence is deafening. The ante seems to be increasing as time goes by. First it was criminals shooting each other, then it was armed robbery but no one was hurt only threatened. Then it progressed to the gun being fired in the air and now we have an escalation in the violence with the victims being shot and horribly injured. It is ever inceasing sensless violence. Soon someone will be shot dead. It's only a matter of time. How sad, meanwhile silence is maintained. Anyone of us after the happenings of last week could and may be the next victim. Meanwhile not a murmur as to who is responsible. Some one out there knows! The island and the people reap what is sown I am afraid to say.

  11. righteous says:

    We have to resist the urge to blame the Police for everything and start coming forward with information; the only way we are going to bring this crime wave to halt is if the community and Police work together.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I find this offensive.  Save your technicalities, statistic and semantics, we are not that stupid.  Innocent people are being robbed, beaten and shot on a weekly basis and the criminals have no fear of being caught.  Stop trying to tell us everything is OK.  Do your job.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi CNS – I know the Caymn crime is loco, but as you control the topics on this site – would you mind doing an item on the starvation and East Africa drought?

    UNICEF today called the drought and refugee crisis "the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world."

    Cant the local Red Cross raise some funds to help the Somali children, or is this issue not "sexy" enough – as one local official put it recently?

    If we can care for the stray animals (deservingly) cant we also try to save a few black kids??


    • Anonymous says:

      Why don't you ask unicef and all the other charities what they do with donated monies…the cash basically is invested into funds…I'm sure that some reside here.


      The majority of donations for the 2004 tsunami are still sitting in fund accounts and have not yet reached the people that need it…


  14. Karen Hunter says:

    You could have fooled me!  Every day we hear of another shooting or robbery.  I have never felt so unsafe on my Island as I do now.  I wonder how accurate their statistics are? One feels afraid to go into the bank, go out at night to eat at a restaurant or even use the parking lots.  Not to mention the fact that they could be waiting for one when one returns home.  It is very scary and unsettling!

    • Anonymous says:

      The police statement acknowledges that "robbery has increased by close to 35%, with 39 incidents in the first six months of this year compared to 29 in 2010, which was also significantly up on the year before". Presumably it is fear of robbery that would make you feel afraid to go to bank, restaurants and parking lots. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Crime is down…. down in West Bay, down in George Town, it's even down the road where I live now.

  16. Libertarian says:

    "But to give us the best possible chance to do that [fight crime] we need to work together, increase our police and community collaboration. That's the only way we will cut crime in Cayman and continue to keep you, our communities and Cayman safe."

    That is one of the most intelligent statements I have heard from Commissioner Baines in a long time. It doesn't make sense to isolate the Police from the Community and point fingers as to who is to blame for the increase in crime. As population increase, crime will definitely increase, and the onus is on each and every person to check themselves and not cause "craving or clinging" to make them commit harmful acts against members of the community, children, love ones, and family members.

    As economic times become hard and there are temptations out there for an easy life or easy dollar, the Police can only do so much. It takes a communal responsibility. People's children, are your children too – speak to them. People's failures who end up in Northward prison, are your failures too – assist in their rehabilitation. People's social needs, are your needs too – refer them to where they can get help, or just give them a helping hand. The problem with Cayman today, is that everybody is beginning to mind their own business!  I can't tell the last time I walk the street in town and a local would say to me as I passed by, "Good Morning… How are you?" We have to get from this "all me and my blood and nobody else culture." It is selfish and shows that people's minds are elsewhere but not here!

    You this in the family. Mothers are elsewhere. Fathers are elsewhere – but they are not here. They are not present with their children. "How was school today?"  "What did you do in class?"  "How are you feeling, my dear?"  It none of these – but "Go watch TV," "Not now I'm busy!" and "Hon, I need to go out," and not back home until late night. Our very children are starving for attention, and the bonds of relationships are becoming more and more estranged in a society that is all about "work / sleep / think about me, my money, and no one else."    

    Until people begin to care about other people's children, care about those society have rejected, and care about themselves in being more present-minded and stress free, we will always see an increase in crime. There is no "unity of life" whether you call it God, love, or principles of society. It is becoming more and more absent in the Cayman Islands from our policians, ministers, guardians – to the innocent ones we have to depend on for our future. Hopefully, these statistics are reflecting a change that is taking place at the grass roots.

    Let us stay positive in the spirit of good ethics. Our financial industry needs it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tell that to Kemar and the lady who was shot last night!!

  18. Anonymous says:


  19. Dred says:

    When the police needs more funding they feed the media criminal incidents to enrage the community. They use this to get more funding.

    Now the community is turning on them for not getting the job done they feed us stats. So what should we believe?

    Let me tell you what to believe.


    No BS about crime down. We know crime is happening. It's in the news every day. What we don't see are RESULTS. We don't see corresponsing articles saying "……arrested for……..".

    What we need is less press briefings pacifying us and more police work showing us RESULTS.

    Mr. Commissioner Sir do you see where this is going? There is a word that keeps POPPING UP. See if you can DETECT what that word is. And no I am not going to give you a hint or tell you when you are getting warm.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The police say gun amnesty, but people are being shot.

    The people of cayman are afraid and soon crime stats will go up desperate times; there are laws against persons protecting themselves their families, homes, and their businesses.  

    the commissioner doesn't get the point people are thinking about self preservation these days not public talks and news politics.


    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      Re: "there are laws against persons protecting themselves their families, homes, and their businesses."


      Section 18(1)(a) of the Cayman Islands Firearm Law (2008 Revision) reads: “No person shall discharge any firearm on or within forty yards of any public road or in any public place except in the lawful protection of his person or property or of the person or property of some other person.”

  21. Anonymous says:

    They are absolutely right Crime is right down on top of us!

  22. Anonymous says:

    There is definitely some good news here:

    •   No murders during the first half of 2011
    •   Serious crime is down by almost 22%
    •   the possession of unlicensed firearms up by over 133%. Although this sounds negative it is actually referring to an increased rate of detection rather than possession and is therefore a good thing.
    • more and more people coming forward with information

    Obviously the robberies are intolerable and two people have now been shot during the course of robbery within the last 2 weeks.  That must have our focus.

  23. Guy Fawkes says:

    There are three kinds of lies.."lies, DAMN lies…and STATISTICS"…author unknown..

  24. Anonymous says:

    If the RCIPS truly believe that crime is down, then they themselves must be on crack.

  25. Dred says:

    “Every hour of every day our officers are gathering information and evidence to target those who possess illegal guns.

    So. dare I say where are all the arrests? If you are working so hard where are the results. One 9 year sentence does not offset 20-50 robberies.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I love this article. Every time the police come out and say “Crime is down” we have a Robbery. Keep your mouths shut RCIPS and get on with the job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Be fair. The police did not say that robberies were down. Be thankful that it is at least down in some areas. Obviously the police are trying to restore confidence in themselves and so it is important that they have these briefings. None of this takes away from the fact that we have a very serious problem with robberies.  

  27. Statistician says:

    "Reported" crime still down.

    Ten years ago there would have been an article in the paper about a bicycle going missing for a few hours. Or a broken window on a house.

    If anyone thinks that "crime still down" they have their head in the sand.

    How would the statistics stack up if every ladder that went missing from a yard, every cell phone picked up from a bar, every car broken into for change was reported. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is so true … so and so's shoes went missing from Public beach this past saturday. The shoes were size 10 and shiny black. If anyone has seen them please inform the police.

      Or hows abouts when you lost your keys you went to blockbuster to collect them!

      Crime is definitely up .. it may be down in some areasbut it is up .. and the public are feeling the literal pain of it .. robberies affect all of us.

      • Anonymous says:

        As a tourist, I used to LOVE listening to the radio about 10 yrs. ago when the news report was that someone stole a watermelon from someone's watermelon patch. I used to come home and tell all my friends how funny the news/crime reports were down there.

        Now they aren't so funny……


  28. Anonymous says:

    Ha.  Crime stats are being skewed.  A number is just a number, it's the story that matters.  And the story on island is that people are being randomly shot for practically nothing.