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Minister Musa Says Crime was Rampant Under the UDP

Minister Kareem Musa has responded to his predecessor, Michael Peyrefitte. This time, however, it is not only with the usual rhetoric; Musa came equipped with the murder figures since 2014. According to Musa, the proof is in the data.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Ministries: “Listening to Mr.Peyrefitte yesterday I’m glad he has found a voice. Obviously he seemed to have been suffering some sort of withdrawals from the media. He’s back now in front of the cameras grandstanding but I want to say this Dwayne – the numbers don’t lie. I have in front of me, and of course I will share this with all the members of the press, the murder rate for 2014-2021 and as you can see – and this goes up to November 1st so this does not of course factor up to the end of the year- up to November 1st:  2014, 91 murders — and by the way going back to 2012 the most murderous year that’s not included in here that’s also UDP’s term. 2014: 91 murders. 2015: 102 murders. 2016:  108 murders. 2017: 104 murders. 2018: 116 murders. 2019: 97 murders and then 2020 which is an anomaly because we had the lockdown for over a month where nobody could move and we also had a state of emergency for three months. So you take out four months out of 2020 and that explains why 2020 was the only year that the murders were less than this year. So Mr.Peyrefitte needs to check his records from 2012 to 2021 and realize that this year is actually less than all of this government’s years in office except for the anomaly 2020. And so I would want to call for his resignation but unfortunately for him he can’t even win a seat or a convention in his own party so I can’t call for his resignation but if I could I would.”

As it relates to the corruption within the Belize Police Department, Minister Musa says there is a mission to purge the department of the bad blood.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Ministries: “Time and  time again especially following the plane landing a lot of people give the police officers a lot of flack. We won’t deny that there is a small portion of the police department that needs rooting out and we are doing so one by one. For this year alone we have already terminated over forty police officers. And so we have to acknowledge the good work of those police officers that are doing their jobs. In terms of the success rate I would want to say that meeting often with the commanders we had a good commanders meeting with the CEO actually he led that meeting three nights ago in Belmopan with all the commanders and it was a marathon meeting it went all the way 7pm at night. It is actually taking the commanders and having them be more accountable in terms of what their officers are doing, where they’re doing it, ensuring that patrols are in the right places and I have to say that in terms of success as well technology has played a great role. The surveillance cameras, having access to cellphone messages from criminals and that sort of thing that has played a significant role and going into the future it will play an even bigger role because at that commanders meeting we learnt that 78% of all crimes that are now being solved are being solved with the assistance of technology and so going into the future as I’ve always said, innovation and technology is where we need to transform, is where we need to pivot the future of the police department. We have a lot of funds coming in from CABEI in the start of the new year for more surveillance cameras as I mentioned in the House of Representatives and so that’s gonna be a huge help. It’s regrettable that we’re doing so in a time of pandemic because you have to wear masks and so that is somewhat of a hinderance in terms of assisting with identification but I could see where once the pandemic is over, once we no longer need to wear masks these surveillance cameras and cameras everywhere are going to be a huge aid to the police department in solving more and more crimes. And so I just want to take that opportunity to thank the good officers who have been putting in their pound.”