In our discussion with the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, we also asked him to comment on this year’s murder rate, which is on course to exceed last year’s. According to the Belize Crime Observatory, there have been 60 murders in the first six months of 2022 which is seven murders more compared to the same time last year. And, this month, so far, there have been 8 murders, which is only one digit higher than the homicides recorded in July last year. But despite the upward trajectory, ComPol Williams says he is hoping that this year’s murder rate will be lower than last year’s.
Chester Williams, Belize Police Department: “I really don’t like to speak too much about murders publicly. But, I can tell you that while our numbers are up compared to last year and 2020, if we were to compare our number this year to 2019, 2018, 2017 and even perhaps 2016, our numbers are down compared to those years and you’d know that 2020 was the year when we had one of the lowest murder rates with 104 and then 2021 last year, we had 125. I still believe that we can beat last year’s number and we’re going to work diligently to do that but, again, we have to understand that many of these crimes that are occurring, these murders, are not murders that can be prevented by the police. We have some very stupid murders. You try your arduous best to prevent the gang murders and then we see the domestic ones popping up here, there, and everywhere and those are the ones that oftentimes really hurt because, you know you’re doing you best to stop those that are somewhat preventable and then the unpreventable just pops up on you and so it’s frustrating at times.”