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Dec 19, 2018

The Number of Murders is Slightly Up So Far this Year

In twelve days, 2018 will come to a close. Today, we went through the archives to see how the country has fared off as it relates to the crippling issue of crime. The stats of the Belize Crime Observatory show that in comparison to the same period in 2017, the murder count has edged up slightly with the Belize District being the most violent in the first part of the year. News Five’s Duane Moody crunches the numbers in the following story. 

 

Allen Whylie, ComPol

“The statisticians are still looking at the numbers and definitely by year end we’ll know exactly where we are.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Have Belizeans lost a sense of security with the increasing number of major crimes across the country? A look at the monthly records, published by the Belize Crime Observatory, indicate that there have been one hundred and forty murders so far for 2018; this is three more than the count last year up to December nineteenth. The Observatory was established back in 2016 by the Ministry of National Security as an information management system that aims to strengthen analysis of crime and violence data in order to improve public security in the region.  It also notes that the national murder count for 2017 was one hundred and forty-two with a homicide rate of approximately thirty-seven per one hundred thousand. Of the 2018 murder count, eight-six of those homicides occurred in the Belize District.  So with twelve days and two weekends left in the month, is the overall number going to increase well pass last year’s figures.

 

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.”

 

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers. According to our records, January, March, April, May and August all show an increase in the number of homicides when compared to 2017. There were six more in January bringing that figure to fifteen. March shows the highest number of murders at twenty-one for 2018 with April and August reflecting sixteen murders each for this year. May shows seven more killings when compared to 2017 which recorded ten. While the official stats are still pending for all major crimes from across the country, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie confirmed in an interview on Tuesday that there has been a spike in criminal activities for 2018, specifically as it relates to San Pedro, which shows that there were ten murders in that island town for this year, which increased from seven in 2017.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie

“We know 2018 has been a challenging year; there was a spike in terms of criminal activity earlier on and we’ve been grappling and battling and as the leader, I have to be out here and let my officers know that despite the various challenges, I think that they have been successful in term of trying to keep the peace.”

 

There was a significant drop in the number of homicides in the last quarter of the year; starting in September when there were only seven murders. October shows nine, while November and December to date record eight murders each. That’s drastically down from eleven and seventeen for September and October 2017.

Aside from murders, there has been a spike in the number of armed robberies of stores across the country and it is expected that the official statistics will reflect this.

 

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

“We are looking at what can be done to be able to address these types of crime. Those are what we call economic crimes because most of the time the suspects are looking for valuables that they can turn over and make an easy money. And so one of the best way that we can address those types of crimes is to ensure that we gather the right information on who the persons are that are perpetrating these types of activities and we must aggressively target these persons.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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