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Jul 13, 2018

Ministry of National Security Says Major Crimes on Downward Trend

The month of June saw the lowest number of murders; a fact that the Ministry of Police is recognizing in a release. But overall for the first six months of the year, the aggregate number shows that as many as eighty-eight persons were killed and that figure surpasses the 2017 numbers.  The preceding months of March, April and May were particularly bloody. But the ministry says the crime trend is on a decline.  Here is Duane Moody with a look at the stats.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Our archives show that there were a total of five murders for the month of June, which police confirm is the lowest since November of 2013 when three homicides were recorded. But so far for 2018, there have been a staggering eighty-eight homicides; fifteen more than last year’s count for that same period. In the month of May, 2018 there were seventeen murders; April recorded sixteen and the deadliest month in the first half of the year was March, which had a whopping twenty-one murders. While the statistics are staggering, the Ministry of National Security says that crime is not spiraling out of control and that perception is creating a false sense of insecurity among citizens.

On Thursday, a meeting of the high command of law enforcement agencies analyzed the statistics from January to June and the trajectory is that major crimes are on a downward trend. This meeting precedes another with the the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belize Chinese Association, the Indian Association and the Belize National Teachers Union. That meeting was triggered by an increasing number of reported robberies of businesses across Belize City and the country.  While the release does not speak to this, it was of great concern to the Police Department because it was believed that there was a ring of robbers behind the crime.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City [File: June 28th, 2018]

“Well it is a very challenging issue because we notice that they are using police uniforms, security guards and now as students. That’s the advantage that they taking because the public is not aware or does not know them. But somebody has to be really alert to notice their movement because they don’t come alone; they come in twos, threes and you can clearly see when they start to walk in the business. Open up your eyes because when one person is walking around and not grabbing anything to buy, then that is where you have to be alert and they are not up to anything good. This is what you have to be really looking at. And we know that it is the same two groups that we have in Belize City that are going out district that are doing the robberies.  Because of the pressure in Belize City that the police are putting, these persons are looking out districts where they are really not known to the different businesses and even to the police officers patrolling the grounds and this is the advantage they are taking. So we are advising business owners to please be alert and any suspicious movement to please report it or even tell another colleague inside of the business to be alert on these persons in and out of the business establishments.”

 

The ministry, however, maintains that the improvement in reducing major crimes is as a result of the stellar work of law enforcement agencies and there will be a redoubling of crime fighting efforts to maintain this downward trend. Duane Moody for News Five.

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