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#211841 - 07/31/05 02:13 PM crime rate = anxiousness
divechick Offline
Hello, my husband and I bought a home on AC in May and are planning to move there in January. We have a 2 year old and a second child on the way in November. We've sold our house here in CA. We've been to San Pedro 5 times before purchasing our new (full-time)home on the island. As a non-resident each time we were there I felt completely comfortable there with regards to safety and crime.

However, with the latest tragedy of the robbery at Fido's resulting in the death of a local man, I am a bit anxious. Is it me or did I miss something happening in front of me with the crime rate? Excuse my naiveness, but I'm wondering since the town is up in arms, how long and how bad has the crime rate been? I am still ready to move, but am growing concerned about what to expect with regards to safety and crime for my family. Can anyone give me some history from a local's point of view and maybe shed some light?
Thanks! smile

#211842 - 07/31/05 08:31 PM Re: crime rate = anxiousness
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I don't know that it's any comfort, but the increases in burglaries (and other crime) is not just in San Pedro. I've been hearing recently from folks in Caye Caulker, Placencia village and Corozal Town complaining about the jump in crime there as well. And of course Belize City's issues with crime are well known.

The police claim, on the other hand, that serious crime in Belize is actually down. Go figger.

Maybe it's the economy, the time of year, who knows?

I think if you go back and search the forum (use the search engine at the top right of this page) you'll find a lot of threads over the years about break-ins, home invasions and other crimes.

But most of the discussion is about property crime, not violent crime, which, despite the recent events, is still relatively rare in San Pedro and indeed in many parts of Belize, outside Belize City ... and excepting drunken choppings and family problems.

Naturally, some business people in any area don't want to let bad news about crime, or anything negative, get out if they can help it, as it can have a negative impact. Now, though, in San Pedro it looks like the situation has reached the "tipping point."

For what it's worth, based on my own experiences in Belize over the past 15 years and in interviewing several hundred expats and retirees for books on living in Belize, the consensus is a) expect to get thiefed or worse at some point, but b) you CAN do something about it -- you have to act protect yourself and your property, with a fence, big dog, security systems, caretaker, good lighting, good communications and other things.

Crime, like garbage on the beach, is one of the tradeoffs most people have to make in living in a developing country, any developing country, where there is a lot of poverty and rising expectations that can't easily be met.

There are great things and bad things about any area, including San Pedro.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#211843 - 07/31/05 10:23 PM Re: crime rate = anxiousness
divechick Offline
Thanks for the brief history and info. True, crime happens everywhere,... it surrounds us here in CA. I guess I'm not so much surprised about the crime, as much as I'm just having to get used to the idea of living in a new place with new people and new problems in the community. Again, since my husband and I have been there several times on dive trips and for finding a home, we've not really had a chance to experience the daily life as a local on the island.

We do plan on protecting ourselves with those things you mentioned, but hey... we have those things at home, so I guess I shouldn't be alarmed that I'll need to do that there. This is the year 2005... and there is good and bad wherever you go.

Is there a big increase of people coming from the mainland to the islands to use as their playground for crime? If so, what is being done to combat this by island officials/Belizean officials in general?

#211844 - 08/01/05 09:12 AM Re: crime rate = anxiousness
Diane Campbell Offline
I think what has changed here and elsewhere can be summed up in one word - "crack".
There is no upside to cocaine.

#211845 - 08/01/05 07:09 PM Re: crime rate = anxiousness
streetchie Offline
as you mentioned, many of our problems are due to non-locals and there has been a spike in illegal activity over the last few months. unfortunately, we've always had problems with smaller crimes. i'm sure that you will meet with very few residents who haven't been victims at least once. most of the loss that i've personally suffered has been of the lawn chair and wind chime variety. don't leave anything unlocked or it will diappear. simple things like shoes and beach towels are easy targets and disappear frequently too.>


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