Homicide Rate Rises in 2024: Police Face Challenges in Crime Prevention

Homicide Rate Rises in 2024: Police Face Challenges in Crime Prevention

This country has now recorded 41 homicides in 2024. Last year, the country was able to record the lowest homicide rate in over a decade, but this year, the police may not be able to replicate that figure. The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says that homicides are up. Today, Williams explained that while many of the murders are not gang-related, they were next to impossible for the police to prevent. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We are down in major crime overall, but where murders are concerned we are up by seven compared to last year. We continue to do our best to be able to address the murders. One murder is one too much, but we do understand that we cannot stop all from happening but we certainly will continue to do what we can to stop as much as we can and again we continue to appeal to the Belizean people to assist us in whatever way possible to be able to prevent and solve murders when they do occur. I have to commend the police for the good work done over the past week. We made three arrests for murders. One for the murder of Bobo in Belize City. One for a murder that took place in the St. Martins area and then a murder in Belmopan and this week we should be making a arrest for the murder of of Dalla Coin in Dangriga. So the investigators remain extremely busy trying to do what they can to solve these cases. Again, once we solve these murders we get the alleged murderer off the street. That also serves as a way of prevention because that person will be incarcerated and will not be able to commit another murder unless he is released from prison.”

Williams appealed to residents to work with the police in preventing crime. He explained that the police can assist persons who feel their lives are being threatened. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We can’t sit and find excuses. We have to find a way to see what we can do to try and allay the problem. One of the issues is that we try to encourage people, if you have an issue with somebody, please tell the police. If a person threatens you and say, “I will come back later.”, please tell the police. Because if we know about it, then we might be able to step in and do intervention or mediation. But when you don’t, you take it for granted and don’t say nothing to the police, then it comes back at you and you end up being harmed or killed then people may say, man, I should have told the police. It’s too late. So the important thing is for us not to take any threat lightly. And every threat we report to the police and let the police do what needs to be done to see how they can de-escalate whatever may be happening between you and another person.”

The latest homicide was recorded last night in the Cayo District.

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