Crime statistics released by the Belize Police Department today continue to demonstrate an increase in the number of carnal knowledge cases reported to police – along with a concomitant increase in the number of arrests for such cases.
For the first three quarters of 2013, there have been 57 cases reported—a sharp 58% rise over the total for January to September 2012. Meanwhile, related arrests have also increased by 58%, according to the police data.
Overall, major crimes are down by roughly 11%, with murder, rape, robbery and theft down by double-digit figures.
More specifically, murders are down by 24% over the same period last year, with 25 fewer murders recorded between January to September 2013, versus the same period in 2012. Up to the end of September, police recorded 81 murders, contrasting with 106 up to last September. Over 40% of those murders were recorded in Belize City.
Whereas the Belize District area—and particularly the Belize City area—continued to be the murder hotspot for much of 2012, there has been a notable downward shift in that zone during the latter months.
On the other hand, though, the western zone showed a significant rise in murders for the last quarter, due to a spike of 6 murders in the Belmopan area in September 2013.
Of note is that while the Eastern Zone (the Belize District area) recorded 5 murders during the last quarter—a substantial cooling off when compared with the other months, Cayo reported 9 murders.
In fact, Belize City reported no murders in August.
Whereas the Belize District area accounted for over 6 in 10 murders for the reporting period, only 23% of murders recorded for the last quarter occurred in the Belize District area, showing a reversal in the trend.
Apart from carnal knowledge, the only other major crime which demonstrated an increase was theft – an increase of 8%, bringing the January to September total to 761 cases.
Most of the incidences of major crimes are economic crimes: robberies, burglaries and thefts.
In reporting on the monthly statistics, the Ministry of National Security, which issues monthly awards as motivation for officers to improve performance, said that the Southern Zone, headed by Senior Superintendent of Police Robert Mariano, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of September, with the Placencia Sub-formation performing the best in that region.
For that effort, Senior Superintendent Mariano received a $1,000 cheque for the performance of his zone, as well as a Certificate of Recognition.