There was a reduction in major crime in the northern part of the country in 2013.  Arturo Cantún spoke with the officers commanding the Regional Command of the Belize Police Department who explained the strategy that they will implement in order to keep the crime statistics down and build safer communities.

ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING

Over all the northern part of Belize saw close to 30% decrease in major crimes in 2013.  Commander of the Northern Region for the Police Department is Superintendent Joseph Myvette.

SUPERINTENDENT JOSEPH MYVETTE

“2013 was a challenging year but certainly, we did make some serious in-roads in the reduction of major crimes; that could not have been done without the public’s participation and certainly, several crime initiatives had to have been put in place.”

ARTURO CANTUN

“We asked Myvette about these initiatives put into practice.”

SUPERINTENDENT JOSEPH MYVETTE

“One was the increased operations targeting criminals; (2) we adapted a similar strategy as Belize City where it was divided into precincts; we have divided both northern districts into zones whereby Orange Walk District is divided into three zones and Corozal is divided into four zones.  This is able to put the police officers in a more timely response time and it is the certain officers who are placed in charge of those zones are held responsible for those zones.”

ARTURO CANTUN

“Second in command of Corozal Police Inspector Daniel Arzu believes community policing is fundamental in keeping the north as crime free.”

INSPECTOR DANIEL ARZU

“Community policing is the way to go and I believe civil police is the best.  We are embarking on some of our objectives; we will form more neighborhood watch groups, we will have citizens on patrol; we will have the special constable programs, we will deal with the kids in schools.  This is some of the ways forward in 2014; we will see more patrols, foot patrols, bicycle patrols and mobile patrols.  We will also be embarking on the COPS program; next month we will be having training for the COPS program in Belmopan for two weeks and thereafter we will work out everything.”

ARTURO CANTUN

But despite the continuous work by the police department, officers still face challenges.  Superintendent of Police Andrew Ramirez who commands the Corozal Police recognizes that more needs to be done to tackle the problem with illegal drugs as last year Corozal saw an increase in seizure of illegal drug.”

SUPERINTENDENT ANDREW RAMIREZ

“The fight against drugs does continue; we expect that 2014, because this is the north, cannabis will always be one of the prized plants that farmers who do not have any other means will use to resort to plant.”

ARTURO CANTUN

“Inspector Daniel Arzu acknowledged that one of the reasons why the problem with drugs is a major problem for the northern district is their proximity to Mexico, a territory plagued by organized crime.”

INSPECTOR DANIEL ARZU

“At the extreme north, you will know that the border does exists, speaking of transit criminals, you know that they have the Zetas in Mexico and other serious drug operations and so, we need to maintain our composure as a police team in Corozal under the watch of the regional commander to identify the answers, the relative programs and the strategies to minimize that kind of intrusion or activities.  We deem it as something that has great potential and we make reference to the arrest we made with the Mexicans and the amount of firearms in the area of the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and so, we are not closing our eyes; we are vigilant and we have police officers deployed at the end point or the entrance at the border; there is a police booth there and we maintain our effectiveness.”

ARTURO CANTUN

“In 2012, 230 major crimes were committed in the Orange Walk district.  Last year this number dropped by 76 with 2013 recording 154 crimes, a decrease of approximately 33%. 

The Corozal district saw a reduction of approximately 27%, from 259 major crimes in 2012 to 187 in 2013.”

LOVEFM