Screen_shot_2012-10-25_at_8.02.51_PMLast night a community meeting was held between the Orange Walk Police Department and residents of Orange Walk at the Banquitas House of Culture. The meeting symbolizes one of the many steps the Belize Police Department is undertaking in order to sensitize the general public on several sensitive issues that continue to plague our nation. Forming part of the meeting's agenda was the crime statistics for the Orange Walk District which was presented by Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvett. Believe it or not Superintendent Myvett reported that crime in Orange Walk has seen a decrease in the past 5 years. In 2007, 1612 crimes were reported. In 2008, the number of reported cases reduced by 349 with a total of 1263. Over the years the numbers kept decreasing and so far, for 2012, the number of reported crimes stands at 579.

Joseph Myvett, OC O/W Police Station

"We are very much on par with last year except for minor increases especially in minor crimes.  As a result of our traffic enforcement from January to September there were five traffic fatalities on our highways and equally five traffic fatalities on our highways this year.  There was an increase in minor traffic offences and we believe that it is very essential that we improve our driver education as well as our traffic enforcement and by doing these things we believe that we will be able to further reduce our traffic accidents."

Kevin Bernard, Mayor

"Just for some clarity ask the officer in charged based on those twelve murders that have occurred and I could point out on two that have really touched the town; that of Mr Perrera and the businessman, the Hindu that was killed at Guadalupe Street.  How many people have been arrested and how many have been charged in relation to these murders and how many convictions.

Joseph Myvett, OC O/W Police Station

"Ten murders and not twelve, and in respect to the case relating to Mr Perrera one person has been arrested in conspiracy to commit murder, five other persons were detained and this investigation still continues but because we are trying to gather more evidence we have not been able to arrest the others as yet.  We have followed up to several leads in respect to the murder of the other businessman but so far we have not made an arrest but these cases are not closed."

When it comes to murders, few have been the resolved cases. Upon going on trial the main suspects are usually set free due to inconsistency in police reports and lack of evidence. That issue was raised in yesterday's meeting.

Antonette Young, Resident

"What can we do to improve these police officers to give consistent reports and specifically more evidence?  I don't understand what more evidence we could have given when the foot print of the murderer match the footprint that was taken by the picture that was taken in the blood scene and tonight we have a murderer on the loose and he is out there and how can we create a safe community when we have murderers literally murderers walking in our community."

David Henderson, Commissioner of Police

"The matter of DNA, the process have started I know it will take some time but we are starting sending a few cases out of the Caribbean prior to be analyzed so that process has started.  We will be recruiting file readers; we will be looking for ex-police officers who have worked in the prosecution area and people with legal background to assist the police I perusing their client to ensure that each and every file has adequate evidence in order to really go before the court."

The Orange Walk Police Department has identified a number of hot spots within town where crime has been escalating, including the Louisiana Area.

Ian Cal, Orange Walk Town Councillor

"As a resident of the Orange Walk there is a concern on what is actually happening on the Orange Walk East Area, we are seeing a lot of activity over that area and the last time we spoke you stated to me a little bit of what the police is doing to concentrate on that area and I believe it would be good to inform the people here tonight on what are the steps taken, especially on the Orang Walk East Area with the recent shooting that happened in front of the club and the step taken that you guys would address  those issues."

Joseph Myvett, OC O/W Police Station

"We have put stationary our static foot patrols in these areas as well as these are followed up by mobile patrols and we have gone directly at targeting these persons involved, however, it is urgent in getting the support of the public in providing information that could lead in the arrests of these persons.  These persons were detained but because of in sufficient evidence they had had to be released but the case has not stopped there we are continuing with our investigation."

Concern Resident

"I think we are faced with a lot of criminal activity that goes on that area and I for one been living very far areas close to the Palmar School and I have been a victim of burglary for three times, unfortunately my neighbor were the ones committing the burglary and on one occasion the police was there to take finger prints and I just want to know what is the follow up, what is the purpose of the finger prints."

Joseph Myvett, OC O/W Police Station

"Certainly, whenever the police response to burglary scene that is followed up by the scenes of crime, people who would go ahead and take prints in order to compare those prints with the prints that already in the data base of the police in respect to criminal who have come in the custody of the police."


"Our arrest rate is highly concentrated in the Louisiana area that is because we do recognize that there is problem in the Louisiana area and most of the people that are in jail right now are from the Louisiana area, we try to concentrate on the gang activity and we have a lot of shooting recently in that area counter to that though, we have arrested some people with firearms and ammunition and we continue to do not only in the Louisiana area but in the entire town."

Of note is that in Orange Walk there are 4 active neighborhood watch groups. During last night's meeting it was also announced that a National Neighborhood Watch logo will soon be under construction. Person's interest in submitting their logo can do so at any of the respective police stations countrywide. The winner of the competition will receive $500 and second place will receive $250.