National Security Minister Finally Speaks on Crime

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Updated: July 24, 2015

Up to date there have been more than seventy murders in the first half of 2015. It has become one of the bloodiest years in recent memory. So what is the government doing about it? Today the media asked Minister of National Securituy, John Saldivar, that question and here is how he responded:

JOHN SALDIVAR

“First of all, in terms of the statistics from the first six months we noted the down ward trend in major crimes but noted that we continue to have some challenges with respect to murders. We also noted that those challenges seem to be shifting to more domestic and more personal conflict issues and we’ve looked at strategy towards trying to deal with that new challenge that is facing us. We have gone ahead and broken down the eastern division into three areas. Basically, Eastern Division used to cover the entire Belize District but we found that it was just getting too big for one person to be the officer in charge and so we believe that this is going to be a better fix and have a senior officer being in charge of smaller areas.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“Now, talk to us about that change in strategy to open Cayo South and areas around Dangriga, why was that necessary in the police’s perspective?”

JOHN SALDIVAR

“Though a lot of the focus has been on the crime taking place in Belize City we do have some hot spots across the country, the Cayo South area and especially the Roaring Creek/Camalote area being one of them.  If you will note that in this year alone compared to last year we have had 15 murders already in that area compared to I believe last year where we had five. Then we have had representations from the BTB and the BTIA with respect to rising crime situation in the Hopkins area and so we’ve been thinking about for some time now about forming a sub formation that will cover those four villages that we’ve mentioned which is Hopkins, Silk Grass, Kendall and Sittee River and so we believe again that is a good fix to put a senior officer. An inspector will be put in charge of that sub formation similar to what we did in Placencia a couple years ago to show that we are putting a little more focus on that area especially given the tourism importance.”