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Apr 3, 2019

Murder Stats & More for First Quarter of 2019

The number of murders in the first quarter of the year has gone down by a significant percentage. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams provided the breakdown today in Belmopan. So far, there have been more than thirty homicides between January and March, the majority of which have not been gang-related but due to alcohol consumption. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

There is a general reduction in major crimes across the country for the first quarter of 2019 when compared to last year. While rape is up from five to thirteen and unlawful sexual intercourse went up by two to seventeen cases in the past three months, murders are significantly down, by fourteen homicides. Burglaries and thefts are also down by forty-one and ten respectively when compared to 2018. It is a huge achievement for Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, who took over the reins of the department in January.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“When we look at the overall murder count so far for this year we are at thirty-one compared to forty-six for the same period last year. That’s a reduction of fifteen and when you compare it to the year 2017; we are also down by nine. And when compared to the year 2016, we are down by four. So our record so far this year is quite well, but I do believe that it could have been better.”


In 2018, a large amount of the murders were as a result of domestic violence issues. But according to ComPol Williams those statistics have changed to show that alcohol consumption has surpassed gang-related homicides and domestic killings.


Chester Williams

“Our 2019/2020 crime fighting strategy entails. And it is built on three pillars—gang violence, alcohol consumption and domestic violence. Since the year began, we have been going at those three pillars and I have been harping to my people of the importance of focusing on those pillars. And we have done well in dealing with the murders that are gang related as well as those that are of a domestic nature. But the elephant in the room is the murders that emanates from alcohol consumption. And of the thirty-one murders we have so far this year, thirteen are as a result of alcohol consumption.”


So what steps will be taken to minimize these types of murders? Williams says that the department will adopt a more aggressive approach with establishments with liquor licensing permits and will shut down those who are in violation.


Chester Williams

“We must enforce the law. There are many establishments that operate under certain categories of liquor licensing and those establishments don’t meet the legal criteria for those license. And I am saying again to my commanders that they need to collaborate more with the local liquor licensing board and see how they can work together in reducing these types of establishments within their respective area of operation. Yes, the Liquor Licensing Board is the licensing authority, but the police are the enforcers of the law. So if they issue a license that goes against the legal requirements then we are going to step in and close them down. If it is that the proprietors are dissatisfied over that, then they can take us to court.”


While it is not a criminal matter, ComPol Williams also commented on the increasing number of deaths as a result of traffic accidents; in the past week, there were as many as eight a three-day period—most due to motorcycle collisions.


Chester Williams

“That’s a serious concern for us. We have began our nationwide operations and our nationwide motorcycle safety campaign. Since then, we have seen a reduction, but there is still more to be done. There’s only so much the police can do. Riders of those motorcycles as well as drivers of vehicles need to understand that they too have a role to play.”


In 2018, April and May recorded the highest number of murders for the year. ComPol Williams says that they are dead set on winning those two months in an effort to see an overall reduction for 2019. 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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