Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2020. 11:58 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Major crimes and murders were down in 2019 and closer collaboration with the public in 2020 were two of the major themes found in Police Commissioner Chester Williams’s New Year’s message.
Williams noted that for 2019 there was a reduction in reported major crimes by 134 (just under 10 percent) when compared to 2018.
“While we had also promised to reduce murders by 10%, I must say that this goal was not achieved as we were only able to achieve a 6.3% decrease (by 9). Whilst our hopes were for a 10% reduction, the 6.3% is still worthy of mention,” Williams said.”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.”
He emphasized that gang-related murders, which usually dominate the murder count, was one of the lowest figures for 2019, while deaths related to alcohol consumption and domestic situations were two of the most prevalent.
Looking forward, Williams said that highway safety will be a major priority this year. He said that new measures being implemented at vehicle checkpoints will be rolled out to make it difficult for criminals, drunk drivers, human, firearms and drug traffickers to carry out their criminal acts. The measures will be rolled out in tandem with the re-implementation of composite highway patrols which will include members of the Belize Defense Force. There will also be teams looking out for drug plane landings.
Within Belize City, Williams says the department has partnered up with Belize Telemedia Limited and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for a project which will see the installation of an additional 100 cameras that have facial and vehicle license plate recognition, throughout city crime “hotspots.”
Police will also be establishing Citizens Advisory Committees (CAC)s within each district, as well as a national CAC, which will work side by side with the local police detachment and will advise the police on measures that can assist in the fight against crime.
Williams closed his message by wishing all Belizeans a happy and prosperous 2020.
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