The monthly cost to provide private security services to Cayman Islands government schools has increased by more than 150% over the last decade. During that time, the number of guards has increased by about 56% while the number of students has grown 5%.
During the 2010/11 budget year, the government paid about $35,600 per month to deploy 45 private guards to public schools. At the time, public school enrolment was about 4,900 students.
For the time period from July 2019-December 2020, the government paid about $89,700 per month to deploy 65 private guards to public schools. Current public school enrolment is about 5,100 students.
The information on private security guards was released by the Department of Education Services in response to a Freedom of Information request from the Cayman Current, which sought updated information from a 2015 FOI request from the Cayman Compass.
The latest FOI response notes that there were increased services to schools in 2020 due to COVID-19.
From July 2019-December 2020, there was a 36% increase in monthly costs for private guards, compared to the previous 18-month period from January 2018-June 2019.
From January 2018-June 2019, the monthly cost of $66,000 represented an 86% increase from 2010/11.
In 2011, public schools had 45 private guards. From 2015-2018, the number of private guards remained at 52. In 2019, it increased to 55 and then in 2020 to 65.
From November 2015 to December 2020, the monthly cost for those guards rose from $59,000 to $89,700 — an increase of 52%.
The private security contractor for public school is National Security Services Limited.
According to a note accompanying the responses to both the 2021 and 2015 FOI requests: “Increases in costs were due to increases in hours of coverage during the years when the number of guards remained constant.”
***Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 11.30am Monday, 22 Feb., with revised information from DES (adjusting the number of private guards in 2019 and 2020). Here is the revised FOI response. Here is the original FOI response.***