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Feb 28, 2003

CITCO finances research on crime

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Five thousand dollars changed hands today, not a particularly dramatic amount in this free spending election season, but what made this morning’s donation different was that didn’t go for zinc, plywood or a load of sand.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

As the country’s largest municipality and commercial hub, it’s no surprise that Belize City is also home to the lion’s share of the nation’s crime. Recent, efforts to curb crime have included beefing up police patrols and making the judicial system more efficient. But attempts to research the root causes of crime have been limited…Enter the University of Belize.

Dr. Roy Young, Director of Research, U.B.

“The areas that we are looking at are the patterns and trends of crime, causes and prevention of crime, the impact of crime on our society.”

According to U.B.’s Director of Research, Dr. Roy Young, the university’s Project CRIME, will come up with practical methods to ease this bane of society. CRIME is an acronym for Crime Research and Intervention Multi-Disciplinary Effort.

Dr. Roy Young

“We are going to target our project for five years, but within the first year we would have a better understanding of some of the causes, the patterns, and so on of crime and also to change the data collection processes that are used by different agencies like the police, the prison and so on so that that information could feed into a system so that we could better understand the issue. So after the first year or year and a half at the very most, we will come back to the people and say well this is where we are going, this is what we have achieved and this is what we know about crime.”

And to help them get there, this morning the Belize City Council donated five thousand dollars to Young and Project CRIME.

David Fonseca, Mayor of Belize

“The research will help us to make the necessary changes that needs to come about for us to cut down on the amount of crime that takes place in Belize City. Also, it will help us to see if the programs that are in place to rehabilitate the criminal element is working and if it is not working, then we need to improve. And based on the recommendations that will come forward, we will take those and put them in place if they are not already in place for the change to happen.”

According to Dr. Young, research material for the project will come from various governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as the public. The monies handed over to U.B. today were part of the Belize City Council’s civic and social contribution budget.

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