(CMR) There was a concerning increase in the number of offenses involving firearms in 2021, the annual crime and traffic statistical report has indicated.
According to the report, gang-related shootings and firearms-enabled robberies targeting those involved in illegal gambling contributed to this increase.
The RCIPS said it responded quickly by making several significant arrests and disrupting and dismantling the groups involved in organized criminal activity, primarily in the George Town and West Bay districts, through proactive patrols and intelligence-led policing.
In 2021, the Firearms Response Unit (FRU) deployed to 220 incidents that specifically required firearm officer support and were involved in 80 planned operations or investigations as well as executing warrants, making arrests, and firearm recovery. This led to the seizure of six illegal firearms.
According to the report, 66% of weapon-related incidents responded to by the FRU involved a bladed weapon and 22% involved a firearm. Officers also recovered over 1,590kg of ganja and 25.25kg of cocaine, with an estimated combined street value of CI$4 million.
Meantime, there was a slight increase of 3.9% (140 crimes) in total recorded crime in the 2021 year compared to 2020, while the volumes of crime recorded in 2021 remained below the levels of 2019 – before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The police reported that burglaries have continued to reduce annually with year-on-year reductions over the last five years.
Commissioner of Police, Derek Byrne, said, “In 2021 the RCIPS had ongoing success in reducing the most serious criminal offenses, bringing offenders to justice and ensuring that the Cayman Islands remain a safe place to live, to work, to visit and to do business. In 2021, levels of recorded crime remained controlled and stable, and overall we found that we are returning to a consistently more normal state of policing and security operations.”
The Traffic and Roads Policing Unit (TRPU) issued 9,097 tickets for traffic offenses. This is an increase of 1,446 tickets or 19% compared to 2020. There were 312 summons for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses, an increase of 84 or 37% compared to 2020.
Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA) attended by the TRPU increased by 466 or 22% compared to 2020, whereas 2021 saw a total of 9 road fatalities, the same number as 2020.