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Murder numbers in Belize lowest in the 3 years since I became Commissioner, says Chester Williams

Posted: Friday, May 6, 2022. 8:29 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The statistics don’t lie, according to the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, who has had to defend his management of crime and particularly the metric of murders amid public complaints from the Opposition United Democratic Party.

At its Wednesday press conference, former Minister of National Security and Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, now shadowing that portfolio, cited that there had been 11 more major crimes and 13 more murders to date than in 2021, and added that while the Commissioner has been doing his best, it’s not been good enough.

But in his appearance on Thursday on LOVE FM’s Morning Show, the Commissioner sought to draw comparisons with annual murder numbers dating back to 2015. The Police Department’s numbers for yearly murder statistics are as follows: 2015, 119; 2016, 138; 2017, 142; 2018, 143; 2019, 134, 2020, 102 (misread as 200 by the Commissioner, a height thankfully never reached in Belize’s annals); 2021, 125.

“I became Commissioner [in] 2019; the three years since I have been Commissioner, are the three lowest years for murder in Belize,” Williams said, going on to question ex-Minister of National Security Michael Peyrefitte’s measurement of crime going out of control and how he did not have such harsh criticism for his predecessors.

The numbers for the first quarter in each year since 2015 as read out by the Commissioner are 46, 49, 47, 61, 38, 41, 30, and 39 so far in 2022.

But the Commissioner says that while he is not justifying anything, he accuses the Opposition of seeking “political mileage” when, according to him, “they know better – that is the part that I have an issue with.”

He concluded that while it may not be personal, it’s certainly political, and he cannot allow the deaths of Belizeans on the streets to be used for political gain. Furthermore, he said, it is insulting to the men and women he leads who have put in the hard work and whom he has been tough on – but there is no one tougher than him on himself.

 

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