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Jan 6, 2017

Belmopan Police Report Lesser Crime in 2016

Howell Gillett

Earlier this week we shared with you a wrap-up of the year in terms of crime statistics from the western-most part of Belize, Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. While that area is mostly quiet, about fifty miles east, the capital, Belmopan, sits at the center of one of the largest police jurisdictions countrywide, covering at least twenty villages. Belmopan, as the center of political and economic power, not to mention the headquarters of the Police Department was especially busy in 2016, with as many as six demonstrations/protests in the span of a month, taxing an already thin police force. However, the commanding officer for the Formation, Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett, can report modest decreases in all major crime categories except for burglary, which the Department is presently addressing. He gave us a reflection of 2016 on Thursday.

 

Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C., Belmopan Police Formation

“We are happy to report to the public – unofficially, because it hasn’t been released by the Department’s official statisticians, which is the J.I.C.C., but we were doing our own statistics, and we have gone down in every major area of major crimes and that is murder, robberies, burglaries, rape and the like. We are also one of the only jurisdiction within Belize in terms of policing that did not record a robbery or an armed robbery for the month of December. So we are very happy for that. But we pre-empted things, you know; it wasn’t any easy work or any easy feat. Our officers were stretched very thinly; they had long hours to do patrols and different operational activities that I can’t discuss publicly, but we were able to ward off any serious criminal activity throughout the month of December.”

 

Gillett issued kudos to his officers and the business community, which came through for the Police in a big way in two instances. First, businesses in the capital contributed entirely generously to the purchase of a new Wingle pick-up for the Formation. Second, a donation will be made for video cameras to capture witness statements and confessions, to minimize charges of police brutality that have long been a cause of cases being thrown out of court. The Rotary Club previously donated a one-way mirror for the Formation a few months ago.

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