Police Department beefs up security measures for the holidays

Crimes of theft, including robbery and burglary, are usually rampant during this time of year. The crime statistics released show a huge increase in burglaries since the beginning of the year. The Christmas season has become synonymous with an unabated increase in jackings and break-ins. On Tuesday night around seven-thirty, Sergio Ceballos, a Belize City student, was walking along Central American Boulevard when he was accosted by two men who robbed him at gunpoint. The thieves escaped with a gold chain and a matching bracelet both valued at a thousand, six hundred dollars. Despite an increase in officers on foot and mobile patrols throughout the streets of the Old Capital, crime remains prevalent. According to Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, the department has beefed up security in an effort to make Belize City safer during the shopping season.

Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer

“From our background you can see that a lot of people are out doing their last minute shopping, I wouldn’t say last minute, but because of this it’s a tradition for the police department that we have our anti-crime patrol. This is an increase in numbers [and] we have more bodies on the street, more uniformed police and of course we are relying a lot on the intelligence led policing during this time. Proactive policing is the way that we must go. At the same time we have our detectives who will be more reactive in the event that we have any crimes committed but we want to discourage criminals [from the thought] that if you believe you will get away then you mustn’t come out here and try to commit any crime against the law abiding citizens. We at the police department are very serious about public safety, we are very serious about the law abiding citizens’ safety and we know it is a right by constitution for you to move freely in your country as you have a will to shop. And at that same time we will increase our police presence to keep you safe during this festive season.”

Isani Cayetano

“We all know as well that this is the time of year that robberies and burglaries are on the increase. What measures are being put in place outside of the routine patrols, or the amped up patrols at that, to try to curb these acts of crimes?”

Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood

“Well Isani we have also activated our plan. We have our plans for our detectives and like I said we are trying our best with the intelligence led policing but at the same time you the public out there must do your part. If somebody comes to you to sell you something that you know is not the value of that item by store, if the person does not have a legitimate receipt where proof of purchase was given then you the public shouldn’t encourage that person to go and steel from anybody else and encourage what we call handling stolen goods. In this situation we want you to know that the penalty for handling stolen goods is as good as the person that actually steals the item.”

A police investigation into the robbery of Sergio Ceballos remains ongoing.

Channel 5