Crime — 23 August 2013 — by Kareem Clarke
Murders are down, but theft is up

Police have released crime statistics for the first 7 months of the year

There’s been a noticeable reduction in the amount of murders across the country in recent months, and today the police provided the latest statistics for this year via press release.

According to the information in the release, the first seven months of this year recorded 67 murders compared to the same period last year, which saw 88 murders from January to July. That is a considerable drop – 23.8 percent to be exact. The year’s welcomed decline in murders actually follows an inauspicious January, in which there were 13 murders, as compared to 4 in January of last year. As a matter of fact, in the first three months of this year, there were 30 murders as opposed to 23 in the first quarter of 2012.

It is in the last three months that a significant decrease in the murder rate has occurred, with only 26 murders having been reported in the months of May, June and July. There were 44 murders in the same period last year.

Although we have yet to see if the figures will hold up for the rest of the year, many Belizeans, especially those in Belize City, where the highest number of murders are usually recorded, appreciate that the murder rate has been consistently going down in the Belize District over the last few months. According to the release, the total amount of murders decreased from 7 for each of the months of May and June, to 2 in the month of July in the Belize District.

Robbery, however, has more than doubled in the Belize District from 9 in May and June, to 20 reported in July. Of note, though, is that burglary went down from a high of 36 in June to 25 in July, also in the Belize District. In general, however, major crimes such as murder, rape, burglary and robbery have all decreased – robbery by as much as 43%.

While violent crimes like murder are not making the news much lately, the bad news is that incidences of theft have gone up sharply in each of the last three months – 34 in the month of May, to 44 and 64 respectively in the months of June and July.

In related news, the police press release also mentioned that the Coastal Sub-Formation, which includes Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, and falls under the Eastern Zone, has recorded the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of July. Due to this achievement, they won the Police Minister’s Monthly Award for the Greatest Reduction in Major Crimes in July 2013.

Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, today presented a cheque for $1,000 to Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura who heads the Eastern Zone. The release states that he also presented a Certificate of Recognition to Superintendent Luis Castellanos, who heads the Coastal Sub-Formation.

According to the release, the announcement and presentation of the cheque took place at the start of the Minister’s monthly meeting with zone and branch commanders held at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The meeting was chaired by Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie.

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