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Murder rate in 2023 shows downward trend despite December spike, police say

Posted: Saturday, December 30, 2023. 7:07 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: The murder count for 2023 in Belize, standing at around 86 so far, is set to mark a significant decline from previous years, despite a surge in homicides during December, according to the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams.

With only two days left in the year, the police department had hoped the count would stay below 90. The recent increase in murders over the Christmas weekend, however, did not drastically alter the year’s overall downward trend in violent crime.

“The closing of the year looking at our crime outlook, I was a bit more optimistic that the figure would have been less than it currently is,” Williams said in a media interview. “Nonetheless, the decrease that we’re seeing this year is still far more significant than we have seen in other years.”

The year’s total is expected to stay under the 100 mark, a figure that Williams describes as a significant achievement for Belize. This represents a continuation of a trend of declining murder rates, reflecting potential improvements in law enforcement strategies and community engagement.

However, Williams also highlighted the human cost behind these statistics. “We are still saddened at the loss of lives, all those persons who died in 2023,” he remarked, underlining the impact of each murder on families and communities.

As the year concludes, the Police Department remains committed to further reducing violent crimes. Williams emphasized the role of partner agencies and the importance of collaborative efforts in tackling this societal issue.

This year’s murder count, despite its tragic aspects, indicates a potential turning point in Belize’s fight against violent crime, offering a glimmer of hope for a more peaceful future.


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