Carnal knowledge cases skyrocket
Early this morning, Belize District police reported on another apparent murder after discovering a body around Mile 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway, in the Vista del Mar area. The victim, police said, had what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
This Belize District murder reflects a continuing statistical trend – that is, the Belize District reports more murders than the rest of the country combined. Almost 8 in 10 murders that occurred in the country during the first half of this year happened within this district that makes up the Eastern Zone, one of four policing zones.
Of note is that the Belize City area, in particular, reported the majority of murders – 31 of the 59 logged for the first half of the year, or just above half of all murders reportedly nationally.
The rest of the country—Orange Walk, Corozal, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo—reported 13 murders combined.
These latest data issued from the Police Department, which reflect statistics from January to June 2013, furthermore indicate that the murder rate has dropped by about 20%; but we note that there was no such reprieve in the Belize District, which saw one more dead body for the period in question.
The Police report indicates that 46 murders were reported for the Belize District in the first half of 2013 compared to 45 for the first half of 2012. No other district saw an increase in the number of murders for the reporting period.
Orange Walk, which reported 8 murders for the first half of 2012, reported nil for the first half of 2013. Toledo reported 1 murder, just as it did for January to June of last year.
There are more trends to note: for example, economically motivated crimes – burglaries, thefts and robberies –continue to make up the vast majority of all major crimes reported, and all six districts have been plagued by them. The public reaction to the weekend’s killing of two alleged robbers in San Ignacio, Aaron Hoil, 25, and Isvi Samuel Hoil, 20, demonstrates the community’s frustration with criminals who commit these crimes. Our calculations indicate that roughly 9 in 10 major crimes fall within these categories.
The rest of the major crimes are rape and carnal knowledge, which make up another 5% of the reported cases.
We observed, however, that the cases of carnal knowledge have skyrocketed since last year’s report. The data indicate that the cases have almost doubled from 22 cases reported in the first half of 2012, to 41 cases reported in the first half of 2013.
There was some good news for the rest of the country, as the Northern Zone, in particular, saw a major reduction — 73% — in major crimes for the month of June when compared with June 2012, contrasting with a sharp 22% increase for the eastern zone or the Belize District area.
Cayo also noted a significant drop in major crimes of 43%, while the Southern Zone – which includes the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts, saw a 6% spike over last June.
The Ministry of National Security has recognized officers of the Western and Northern Zones for achieving the greatest crime reduction for the first half of the year, and for the month of June, respectively.
A press release issued by the ministry said, “For the third consecutive month, the Northern Zone and the Orange Walk Formation of the Police Department have registered the greatest reduction in major crimes, as confirmed by the comparative crime statistics for the month of June.”
It added that, “…the Western Zone has recorded the best overall performance throughout the first half of 2013 (January to June).”
The Northern formation received a $1,000 cheque and a Certificate of Recognition, while the Western formation received a new Mahindra “in order to further step up its efforts to reduce crime in that zone.”