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Dec 21, 2017

2017 murder count surpasses 2016; what will police do about it?

This newscast has been dominated by coverage of crime throughout the year. Tonight, we can confirm that statistics for homicides committed so far in 2017, closely rival figures that were released by the Belize Police Department a year ago. The murder count to date stands at roughly one hundred and thirty-eight, with less than a week and a half before the end of the year. A majority of those incidents were recorded in Belize City which holds the record for the most murders committed by municipality. It’s a critical situation that has unfolded over a number of years, dating back to a time when a young Elodio Aragon Junior enlisted to become a law enforcement officer. Now that he has risen in rank within the department and has also ascended to political leadership of the agency, he is still faced with addressing the ever-growing problem.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Police

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Dealing with murders, especially in Belize City, is not an easy thing.  We all know the situation here.  What is important to note is that the Belize Police Department has not sat idly by.  We initiated the Operation ACT to deal with that situation, to reduce the incidents of gun violence and murders, which to a large extent since we’ve initiated this operation we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of shooting incidents and murders in Belize City.  We have had other incidents in other districts that have actually not helped us, but at the end of the day I feel that policing is not a test that you sit and take and you study for.  This is a, dealing with the crime situation, especially murders, is a very tough business, but I’m confident that the institutional and capacity building that we have been doing throughout this year will see the kind of dividends and the decreases in murders  for next year.  It takes time, I am confident that we will deal with that situation.  This situation, in terms of the murders, did not come about overnight.  It didn’t happen last year.  It happened over a period of time where we saw the increases of murder year after year, we’re talking fifteen years ago, since I joined the police department eighteen years ago, we’ve been seeing that steady increase.  It is about time we look to address this seriously, and to deal with these problems we have to ensure that the police department is fully capable to deal with the situation from the detection of crime to the prosecution of crime.”

 

Murders so far in 2017 is equivalent last year’s, notwithstanding an extended holiday weekend to go before ushering in a new year. A complete breakdown of other crimes will be provided at the start of the year.

 

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