Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020. 1:18 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Major crime is down year over year from 2019, due partially to the ongoing State of Emergency, although murder has seen a slight uptick.
The Belize Crime Observatory reports that April, when the country was under lockdown, was a real outlier as crime rates plummeted. That month registered the lowest murder count for any month since November of 2013 with just three reported. Robberies were down by 90%, and reports of major crime declined by 48%.
But the Commissioner says the work continues despite some popular perception: “Even if it is that we were to end up with under 100 murders this year, there are still those who will want to say what they want to say. There are certain factions of society that no matter what the police do, they will always have something negative to say. I do believe that, for the most part, the Belizean people appreciate the work that the police are doing.”
The Commissioner added that we all have a part to play: “And when there is a high murder rate or crime rate that should not be attributed only to the police or mainly to the police. That should be attributed mainly to the society. Because it isn’t police that raised them, to grow up to be criminals. It is the homes they grew up in, the society that tolerates them. So, why should it be a failure on the police? I have said before, look around us. Even in the SOE, the murder rate in Trinidad, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries is still high. So, we are doing well.”
He concluded that it would be “naïve” to think that just because the State of Emergency exists, there would be no crime.
May has 5 days to go, but it could be another month with record lows for major crime.
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