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Belize reports lowest mid-year murder rate since 2012, according to Police Commissioner Chester Williams

Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2023. 2:21 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio: In a recent statement, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams revealed the mid-year statistics for murders in Belize from 2012 to present, highlighting that the first half of 2023 has seen the lowest rate of homicides in over a decade. The commissioner denounced those who claim that crime rates are surging, calling such remarks an “insult” to the efforts of law enforcement agencies working to maintain public safety.

According to the figures, the number of murders in Belize from January to June of each year are as follows:

  • 2012: 73
  • 2013: 55
  • 2014: 48
  • 2015: 68
  • 2016: 68
  • 2017: 67
  • 2018: 80
  • 2019: 57
  • 2020: 50
  • 2021: 51
  • 2022: 54
  • 2023: 41

While the data indicate fluctuations over the years, 2023 stands out as a year with notably lower murder rates compared to previous years.

Compol Williams said, “For one to use the freedom of independence to spew lies to the Belizean people that murders are more frequent now than ever should not be countenanced and I see it as an insult to the hard-working men and women of the Belize Police Department and the other agencies working with us in trying to keep this country safe.”

Acknowledging that there’s room for improvement, Compol Williams said, “Yes, we all can admit that we are not where we want to be because one murder is one murder too much. But we are certainly making strides in making Belize safer for all of us.”

In his statement, the Commissioner reiterated that while the police force and its partners are working diligently to ensure public safety, there is no “antidote” to completely stop crime. He emphasized that community cooperation is crucial in this endeavor.

“I’ve said before and I’ll say it again there is no antidote out there that we can use to stop crime. It is going to take the effort of all of us as Belizeans to do our part to rid our country of the scourge of crime,” Compol Williams said.

While the lower murder rate is an encouraging sign of progress, officials are cautiously optimistic, recognizing that ongoing, collaborative efforts are essential for sustainable improvement in public safety across Belize.

 

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