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Dec 31, 2018

A Final Tally: Murder Count at 143 for 2018

One hundred and forty-three, that is the murder count tonight for 2018 which trails the 2012 record-breaking figure by two.  The first part of the year was the most violent and despite more boots on the ground and the imposition of a state of emergency in three areas of the City, this year, more persons were murdered in the Belize District and the total count surpassed last year’s statistics.  Tonight, News Five’s Duane Moody revisits the murder count for 2018.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

As 2018 comes to an end, we can confirm that the number of murders is up by one when compared to 2017, bringing the total to one hundred and forty-three homicides. It is two counts less than the most murderous year, 2012, which recorded one hundred and forty-five. A look at the timeline would indicate that following that spike in homicides, interventions by the Police Department saw a decrease by thirty-one percent in murders one year later, down to ninety-nine in 2013. Since then however, there has been a gradual increase in the numbers: one hundred and thirteen in 2014, then a slight dip to one hundred and eight in 2015. But in 2016, there were twenty-nine more homicides recorded; one hundred and thirty-seven to be exact. There were one hundred and forty-two in 2017 and as aforementioned, one hundred and forty-three so far for 2018. But what is the contributing factor to the spiralling cases of murders over this seven-year period? Gang violence and domestic dispute are among the top motives. While the official statistics will be released in the early part of 2019 along with the status of major and petty crimes, earlier this month, Acting ComPol Chester Williams gave an update on the overall major crime statistics.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Acting ComPol [File: December 4th, 2018]

“While I am not going to give you the figures. I will tell you that most of the regions are down. The region that will see the highest increase will be Belize District. And in the past, the increase in Belize District was attributed to south side. But I will tell you that south side is the only division in Eastern Division region that has a significant reduction and that goes to show the effectiveness of our operations on the south side. The rural and San Pedro are attributing to the increase in the Belize District.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

2018 was also a year of historical major crimes when drug planes landings were frequent in the north and south of the country and police officers, both in the senior and lower ranks, were linked to narco-trafficking.

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