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Mar 23, 2010

Police commissioner discusses crime statistics

Crispin Jeffries

Crispin Jeffries

The crime situation in Belize has many residents constantly looking over their shoulders in fear that their lives would be washed away in the indiscriminate wave of bloodshed that now runs through the streets. Commissioner of Police, Crispin Jeffries a few days ago made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Belize addressing the effects of the spate of crimes to the victims, society and the offenders. Jeffries also released the statistics for the start of the year, which continues to paint a different picture than what is felt in the streets. News Five’s Delahnie Bain analyzed the ComPol’s presentation and the latest stats.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

ComPol Crispin Jeffries explained in his presentation that apart from the immediate impact, such as physical pain and psychological harm, being a victim of crime also has financial effects from medical or legal expenses as well as lifestyle changes. But in the bigger picture, according to Jeffries, the frequency of felonies also affects the society on a whole. Economically, it is a deterrent for investors and requires funding for crime prevention initiatives or taking care of inmates in prison; that’s money that could otherwise be used for health, education and other public services. Violent crimes also affect the perpetrators themselves because it could lead to poor living conditions for them and their families or even worse they end up in behind bars or in the morgue. When it comes to their finances, convicts are not necessarily the ideal prospects for job opportunities. And if they were already employed, it is very likely that they will be terminated.

The ComPol also outlined the department’s efforts, challenges and the way forward. According to Jeffries, their approach includes community police, mediation and intervention for at risk youths through the CYDP, officers patrolling in vehicle, on bicycles and on foot, the cameras installed around the city and providing proper training and equipment for officers. But it has obviously not been smooth sailing and Jeffries feels a collective effort needs to be made to strengthen the institutions that respond to crime. Among the challenges the department faces, Jeffries listed the shortage of resources to maintain operations, delays in prosecution in the courts, witness intimidation and abundance of illegal firearms in the streets.

But effects and challenges aside, crime remains a growing problem although the statistics seem to indicate differently. There were thirteen murders in the first two months of this year. That figure, however, reflects a decrease in the statistics provided by the police when compared to the same period in 2009 when there were seventeen homicides. The downward trend is seen in other categories; for January and February 2010 six rapes were reported while there were eight in those months for 2009. The figures were the same for carnal knowledge cases. Robberies, burglaries and thefts show a combined figure of three hundred and ninety-eight; that’s a hundred and fifty-nine less incidents than last year which saw a total of five hundred and fifty-seven.

Up to the twenty-second of March there have been eight murders for the month while at that same period in 2009, there were only four

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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7 Responses for “Police commissioner discusses crime statistics”

  1. albert says:

    I love the way in which we sit and create our stats. it is great if at the same time we take into consideration that a life is a life and it affects in most cases a community. I personally believe that the Minister of home land security and the Com pol are not the right people for the job. The minister has no back ground in the field and the Compol and a lot of older officers owe too many favors. this creates a conflict of interest and the only ones that suffers are the Belizeans who don’t have the money to relocate. We are loosing our country to an internal war that could be stopped if for once the politicians would start to do what is MORALLY correct for the people they are representing.

  2. Bulba Martinez says:

    Man, our country is very small and one violent death is one too many for such a small country. Albert, you are so right my brother, our government should have invested in traning our Law Enforcement Officials by sending them to study and get their credential in criminology, Forensic Science, DNA Fingerprinting, and make sure that our Judicial System does their job properly. This would have allowed our Judges and Attorneys to educate themselves in these areas as well to fairly argue the scientific forensic evidences presented to them in the courts of law, instead of the usual outbursts by most of our defence attorneys in court, “This person is not qualified to make such a statement your honor”. Some of us know in our heart that they themselves are not qualified in some instances, but they get away with it and sometimes allow the innocent to be found guilty and the guilty to walk away. This has been the trend for a very long time because of hiring people that are not qualified, incompetent “Want to be’s” without any concern for lives of our Belizean citizens or foreigners. They get confused when all hell break lose, run like a chicken with it’s head cut off, and come up with these idiotic statistics that are of no comfort to those that are/have lost their loved ones to these heinous crimes. “Yoh could fool some ah di people some ah di time, but yoh cant fool all ah di people all ah di time, now di proof is eena di pudding”. Belizeans, it is so sad when we elect our Ministers Hoping that they will/can turn things around for the better of our country, but for me in hindsight, “Six ah wan, half a dozen ah di adda”. I’t's all a political Circus,same bull-s–t and more violent crimes, damn fu dehn statistic, hope to GOD ih noh hit dehn home before dehn do someting constructive fi tek care ah business di right way.

  3. bredda says:

    why blame di department? blame di family; if crime di get outta hand da because we di focus pan di politician, and we di forget that education should start at home. Lets analyze where we came from, remember di old days that you have to work fi eat, you have to be at bed before nine, you no allowed to go pan street with unkown friends.

  4. cg says:

    thank you bredda, good manners begins at home. so sad that most homes have kids raising kids and nobody issuing out the discipline…so sad

  5. betterbelize says:




  6. darcilona says:

    police commissioner need to go and be replace who dont know him he is the leader and ganster of all times sorry but if crime need to be stop in belize this is the only way

  7. Christine says:

    Nicely said “betterbelize”…too often we criticize instead of offering alternatives to the situation..Whey happen to the preventative detention???…..How about mothers taking responsibilty for their children……I am sick and tired of seeing mothers on tv crying about how their sons have changed……….whey happen to BEFORE they changed…how many lives did they take….how many shops they robbed……how many times dey come home wid gold chain, fancy phone and at NO TIME were questioned about “how” they obtained the items when they KNOW full well their child no have no job!!!????

    Whey happen to home training and educating our daughters to respect themselves…why are som many young girls turning into mothers…..who will feed those babies??? who will raise them?? The cylcle continues…………

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