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Murders Down 6.3%, Says ComPol

Murders Down 6.3%, Says ComPol
January 04
09:23 2020

Murders Down 6.3%, Says ComPol

The year 2019 may have seemed like a particularly bloody one, with news broadcasts flooded with stories of missing persons found dead, bodies in shallow graves, bodies floating at sea and gruesome multiple murders, but Commissioner of Police Chester Williams stated in his end of year address that contrary to that perception, murders were down in 2019, by nine, or 6.3% from last year’s tally of 142.

“It is important to note that gang-related murders that usually dominate our murder count, was one of the lowest figures this year. Alcohol consumption and domestic situations are the two most dominant causes of homicides this year.

Furthermore, this year’s murder count is down by 4 when compared to 2016, by 8 when compared to 2017 and by 9 when compared to 2018. This was achieved through your (Police Officers) hard work, dedication and commitment,” said Williams in his address released on the Police/Media blog.

Where major crimes in total are concerned, Williams says there was a reduction of 134, which signified a little less than 10%.

At the start of 2019, shortly after replacing former Commissioner Allen Whylie, Williams had committed to a goal of 10% reduction in crime. In his address, he explained that he knew that goal was a lofty one, but they were determined to make significant inroads in crime. And even though the Department fell just short of the goal, Williams states that it is still worthy of mention, especially “considering the changing environment within which we are living.”

As to the plan to address crime in 2020, ComPol Williams made reference to a controversial new protocol, asserting that “the safety on our highways from drunk drivers and criminals will be one of the issues on the forefront of our agenda for 2020. We will be implementing new measures at our vehicular checkpoints, making it difficult for criminals, drunk drivers, human, firearms and drug traffickers to carry out their criminal acts. Officers at these checkpoints will be adequately briefed to ensure that our law-abiding citizens are not inconvenient when using the highways.”

Additionally, Williams noted, through a partnership with Belize Telemedia Limited and the Taiwanese Government, there will be many more cameras with face and license-plate recognition capability installed in hotspots in Belize City, and eventually countrywide.

The highest murder rate in Belize ever recorded was 145 in 2012, and the second highest was last year, with 142.

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