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Aug 7, 2020

The Attributing Factors to Decreasing Crime Stats

Chester Williams

On Thursday, the Police Department, in its bi-annual COMSTAT meeting held in Belmopan reviewed the crime statistics for the first half of 2020. As we reported, major crimes decreased by twenty-two point seven percent with murders down by twenty-four point one percent; that’s fifteen murders less in 2020, when compared to the same period last year. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams discussed the factors that have led to the decrease, including the state of emergency in the south side which sent gang members to Hattieville.

 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We see a significant reduction in gang-related offenses and the decrease can be attributed mostly to Belize City where we have seen a significant reduction in the amount of murders and robberies. When we look at some of the other districts like the northern region, murder is up by two; in the southern region, murder is up by three; in the western region, murder is down by two. So we see increases in the north and the south where murder is concerned, but where the other major crimes are concerned, we are down across the country. But at the end of the day, as I have always said to the officers, murders are what count more for me because a murder is a life lost. The more murders we can prevent the better it is for us, because I am sick and tired of seeing grieving mothers crying on TV, grieving girlfriends crying. We need to do our best. But at the end of the day, these young men who are involved in these gang related activities need to also understand that as much as people may see them as being bad, they need to have a family that they need to live for and must try to see how they can change their lifestyle in order for them to be able to live among the society.”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir, some may say while the effort of the police is paying off, there is the issue of the state of emergency and gangs; and that might be an attributing factor. Not only that, the national S.O.E. that spoke to curfew and all of that. Are those also factored into the results we are seeing now?”

 

Chester Williams

“Of course we are not going to shy away from the fact that the gang SOE may have helped to some extent in the reduction of the murder and robberies in Belize City. We can also say that the fact that since the COVID-19, a number of persons are unemployed. That is also a recipe for major crime to go up, particularly robberies, and we are still seeing that robberies are significantly down compared to the same period last year.”

 

This week, the south side state of emergency was extended which means that the gangs will remain behind bars for an additional sixty days.


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