Since September 2015 the Crime Analysis Unit at the Belize Police Department has been operational. The unit, which is operated by three police officers, was created by Senior Superintendent Chester Williams with the goal to collect data, analyze it and establish crime patterns. Today the media got a firsthand look and how it works as explained by Corporal Jane Usher.
“It involves systematically analyzing and identifying crime patterns and trends so that is what we are trying to do. We are by no means experts at what we are doing. We are learning as we are going and we are trying to do what it is we can do to study the information and give it back to the police officers so they can put it into effect. These are just things that crime analysts do that is taken from the International Association of Crime Analysts. So they try to look at the statistics and find series or trends in the data and identify the hot spots. They do this by reviewing the police reports and compiling the data and then mapping it and try to see where these patterns are that we can target or more effectively put our resources. We then look at the reports and try to find out the basic information, who, what, when, where, how and why these crimes are occurring. We then seek to be the source of information back to the officers on the ground. It helps us to solve crime, to develop strategies, to identify and apprehend the suspects and to deploy our resources more effectively. It also helps us to try and educate the public on what the crime and disorder offences are that are affecting them in their area. So we look at it by area and we will try and put out the information back out there so people can be more informed on what is actually affecting them.”
The US Embassy in Belize through its CARSIE program donated some of the equipment that the unit uses.