Crime Rates Down Across Belize, Thanks to Effective Policing

Crime Rates Down Across Belize, Thanks to Effective Policing

In other news from the Police Commissioner, statistics are showing that crime across the country is down.  This morning, the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, gathered police commanders to discuss crime statistics. The bi-annual meeting allows the police to assess whether its crime-fighting strategies have been effective by examining data in the police’s Computer Statistics (COMPSTAT). The data looked at trends in crime and the occurrences of both major and petty crimes and compared them to previous years. According to Williams, this year saw a decrease across the board, which he attributed to good policing and an uptick in the force’s morale.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well I can say that the current statistics as we have presented this morning is showing that murders are down 22% overall and overall major crime is down by 2%. So I am proud to report to the nation that when it comes to the overall criminal outlook for the country crime is down. We did put together our plan to police the September Celebrations not just the events that were part of the September Celebrations but we put an overall plan to police the September going into October and that pan did work thanks to the commanders in the different parts of the country as well as the officers who work with them daily to ensure that our operational plans are achieved. Without their support and the work that they did we would not have achieved what we did so kudos to those officers. Well if we were to look at the criminal outlook particulary when it comes to murders 2012 to present the three least deadliest years we have had was 2013 when we had 99 murders, 2020 when we had 103 and 2022 when we had 113 and when we look at our figures so far for 2023 we are down at this time compared to those three years where we had had great success. So I can say that the numbers are looking good but it is not time for us to sing kumbaya and celebrate. The year still has three more months to go and we must as I said to my commanders that they must ensure that they keep up the work that they have been doing pressing officers to work while keeping them motivated. If we have our officers motivated certainly we’re going to get more from them. I can also say that we’ve, through the ministry and the government, have been pumping a lot of resources into the different parts of the country to ensure that the officers have the tools to work. So that again is contributing to the success that we’re having as well as to keep our officers motivated.”

Williams went on to explain that while Belize City saw the most murders this year, there was a decrease when compared to previous years. The ComPol says the reduction was the result of numerous mediation efforts that he was personally involved in. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “When it comes to murders the western region would be second and then the northern region would be third and the southern region would be the least murder activity. When it comes to major crime we’ll see the Belize district is leading followed closely by the west and then the south. What is plaguing the south is the issue of burglaries, there are a lo of burglaries coming out of the Independence are particularly Independence and Bella Vista. From what I’m told by the officers there is one particular individual who is committing these burglaries but every time he’s arrested and charged he goes to court he’s granted bail, if he’s guilty he’s given a fine and as he comes out he goes and burglarizes again. So we need to find a way to get that person to prison out of circulation.”

Reporter: So the north is pretty quiet.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Yes when it comes to burglaries the north is down but when it comes to murders the northern region is number three. The southern region is the least. Even when we had the SOE in place we had conducted a number of intervention sessions with the guys who are part of the SOE before they came out of prison and when we had the murder of Orell Leslie again we sprang into action, we brought in the different factions we had intervention with them, we spoke to them and let them understand that going out there and retaliating is not going to bring back Orell it’s going to make matters worse. And I believe that the conversation that we have been having with them is working. It is not to say that we still don’t anticipate that there may be retaliation down the road but we try as best as we can to keep in communication with them. Even as I traveled out of the country during the month of September I kept in communication with them via phone. Brother Nuri and Brother Footie Gongora also did the same. We are in constant communication with them and we’re seeing now that whenever the different factions would see that something is about to happen or there is some tense rivalry developing between them they would contact one of us and we bring them together and we try to quell the issue before it escalates to a point where people get killed.”

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