Crime statistics released by the Belize Police Department two weeks ago indicated that the number of murders for January to October 2013 had dropped a substantial 26% from last year's high of 119.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced a further drop in the murder count for the country of Belize, amounting now to a 32% drop over last year's figures. More than that, Barrow announced "a fantastic reduction" in the Belize City figures, for which he praised the security.

"The news continues to be good," said Barrow, adding that Belize City, "which was most out of hand" had reported 37 murders to date, whereas last year the figure was 74.

Countrywide, the figure stands at 89 versus 130 at this time last year, Barrow said.

"That is a huge come-down, but not as significant as the Belize City situation and, of course, in addition to commending the security forces, I make [the] point that Government's infrastructure program, especially with respect to the Civic Center and Chetumal Street/Lake Independence Boulevard, has succeeded in creating huge employment. That's as well responsible for the tremendous progress that we are making on the anti-crime front," Barrow said.