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Cayman Islands: National Security
Country Study > Chapter 6 > National Security


Neither the Cayman Islands nor the Turks and Caicos Islands had armed forces -- either under local or under British control. Each territory did, however, have a small local police force that was under British control.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (RCIP), with limited resources, was considered one of the best in the Caribbean. The police totaled 170, of whom 161 were stationed on Grand Cayman and the remainder on Cayman Brac. They were supported by volunteer special constables. The RCIP had three main departments: General Duties Department, Criminal Investigation Department, and Traffic Department. The Criminal Investigation Department included the Special Branch, the Commercial Crime Branch, the Drug Squad, and the Crime Intelligence Section. The Maritime Section, with three boats at Grand Cayman and one at Cayman Brac, performed coastal patrol duties. British instructors provided police training. The islands had only one prison, with a maximum capacity of twenty inmates. Major offenders were sometimes transferred to prisons on Jamaica.

The crime rate in the Cayman Islands was low. Efforts against drug trafficking were moderately successful, with 140 drug arrests in 1982. The RCIP Drug Squad received technical assistance from the United States DEA.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force had ninety members under a chief of police. Most were stationed on Grand Turk Island, with other police stations on Providenciales and South Caicos. The police handled coastal patrol duties. Training was provided at a center on Grand Turk Island. Like the RCIP, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force operated under British control.

No insurgencies or related activities were reported in either the Cayman Islands or the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1987.

Literature specific to these two groups of islands is limited. The most useful sources of information are a series of yearbooks and compendium discussions of the Caribbean islands. Richard Green's Latin America and Caribbean Review (published yearly) is an excellent source of information on economic and political events of the past year. Current events can be followed through the monthly British newsletter the Latin American Monitor: Caribbean. Useful business information can be found in Jane Walker's Business Traveller's Handbook. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of November 1987

Last Updated: November 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Cayman Islands was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Cayman Islands Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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