Belize Police Department Highlights Decrease in Homicides at COMPSTAT Meeting

Belize Police Department Highlights Decrease in Homicides at COMPSTAT Meeting

Today, the Belize Police Department held its first Computer Performance Statistics (COMPSTAT) meeting of the year at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Police commanders from the various regions, divisions, and formations gathered to discuss the country’s crime statistics from last year. According to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, last year’s record dip in homicides reflects the department’s efforts to prevent crime and violence through its multi-sectoral approach to crime. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “While when we look at the overall comprehensive figure for 2023 and 2022 they were dead even in terms of major crime reported to the police. When we look at the major crimes where court action were reported as opposed to report for court action not requested we have a slight increase compared to 2022. But the most important thing or the most important achievement for 2023 was reduction in murder where our figure for 23 was 87 as opposed to 113 for 2022 so we had a decrease of something around 24 thereabout or just around 23% reduction in murders when you compare it to 2022. So while we do celebrate our achievement for 2023 we still do believe that there is a lot that needs to be done and today we will be looking at our strategy to see what we can do better moving forward to make sure that – we know 2024 is going to be difficult for us because the figures for 23 is so good and when you have a good figure for the year prior it’s always difficult to beat. But we will do our best to see what we can do to make sure that we continue to keep the figures going down. The year started off well I must say. We do have one murder so far in Independence, one which I think should not have occurred, but the police continue to remain vigilant out on the streets. We continue to collaborate with our partners the LIU and other agencies to see what we can do to be able to stem the issue of crime particularly in Belize City where we have the programs running through LIU and the all of government approach.”

Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa also weighed in on the crime statistics and said that while murders were down, other major crimes remained an issue for the police. He says that the force is now looking at how their policing efforts can be improved. 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “In addition to receiving the statistics of the previous year we have an all officers conference that entails an engagement of all our senior officers across the country and receiving the type of statistics that we get a COMPSTAT is not just a good measurement tool it’s also an accountability too for each precinct and each formation but most importantly it is a tool to form our strategies for the coming year. Like you rightly mentioned I think we had a very successful year at least when it came to the reduction in murders, certainly it’s a huge achievement for our Commissioner of Police and for all police officers across this country and I take this opportunity to thank them as well as all our partners like LIU, like the business community all of those partners that are truly engaged with us in our fight against crime.”

Reporter: Sir despite the record setting year what are some areas that you believe the police department can improve in ? 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “I think what we are learning from the statistics this year is that property crimes in particular burglaries and robberies are areas that we need to focus on. And I think that this is where each and every one of us plays a pivotal role in the fight against crime because as neighborhood watch groups are now growing in popularity that is where we see a lot of the success because police officers cannot be everywhere all at once we know that and so we need the law abiding citizens which makes up three hundred and ninety something thousand of us that can come together and form  neighborhood watch groups within our area to report on any suspicious activity to the police officers. I know that in my particular constituency we have seen great success with the Kings Park Nights and the Kings Park Neighborhood Watch Group on a whole but very successful because you see the relationship building between community and officers and the police have a responsibility to look at those blogs and to respond because if you do not respond that is where that relationship breaks down and so we need to work hand in hand police and community and I can promise you that those property crimes would go down if we have greater participation of members of the public.”

Last year’s murder count was 88.

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