Dr. Herbert Gayle’s Comprehensive Crime Report released
Since the release of the well known Anthropologist, Dr. Herbert Gayle’s detailed social research into Belize’s ever-present crime situation, there have been mixed reactions about the preliminary findings. The comprehensive report has now been released and the research highlights that the social state of the country is in decay. The four hundred page report of which more than half is presented in summary takes a critical look at the problem of crime and violence within the context of the wider Belizean society. The relevant government and non-government agencies will have to meet to look at recommendations as early as January to chart a way forward beginning with the implementation of an annual or biannual plan to address the problem. Dr. Gayle spoke with News Five today and shared his personal response to the findings.
Herbert Gayle, Anthropologist of Social Violence
“I think what bothered me the most though was the fact that Belize City, I found to be the most dangerous place in the Caribbean to raise a child. Because it is so small, we found that ninety-nine percent of all children we studied were traumatized by violence, compared to fifty-odd percent in Jamaica. And people will say how is this possible given that Belize is ranked tenth most violent country in the world; Jamaica is ranked second. But the point is the space called — area, has one point one million people and it thirty-six miles to drive cross it. Belize City is six square miles. It’s so very tiny, sitting on this very delicate delta and it means therefore that, if something happens over here because many of the people are related, either the child is going to end up seeing the dead body or they will be affected. So we found that small amounts of violence can impact Belize City tremendously.
Homicide rate this year is going to be over a thirty-five. We got a hundred and twenty, we can extrapolate. We can divide that into three hundred and twenty thousand people which is the extrapolated population of Belize right now. That’s gonna run you up to about thirty-six. That’s going to take you down to number seven or eight in the entire world. This is a big jump from ten—you don’t want to get into the top five because when you get into the top five you’re gonna have impacts on tourism, you’re gonna have impacts on everything. Once Europol or Interpol list you as being in the top five, you’re gonna find yourself in a completely different ballgame.”