So, in the first 25 days of 2018 there have been 24 shootings and 12 murders - which is up from last year January when there were 9 murders.
So while 2018 has a violent start - Police Headquarters in Belmopan finally released the official crime statistics for 2017 - and it shows that major crime is down - despite the murder total being up.
As we were expecting, the police murder total is 142 - which - according to our count - is off by at least three murders - our total is 145. But, going with their numbers - that total of 142 homicides, is four more than the previous year - an increase of 2.9%.
In other major crimes, there was one less rape reported, 26 more robberies, 43 fewer burglaries, 99 fewer thefts, and 32 fewer cases of unlawful sexual intercourse. Again, all these figures are what was reported - we know that many major crimes - except murder - go unreported.
But, with those figures, police can say that, overall, major crime was down 6.8% for 2017 - even if the sense of public safety was lower - the numbers say otherwise. We note thought that the most violent crimes against the person - murder and robbery - were the only areas that increased.
And the number of criminals on the loose have also increased, since the clearance, or arrest rate was also down. Only 54 arrests were made for those 142 murders, that’s a 40% clearance rate - which is considered poor. And it is fewer than the 61 arrests for 138 murders in the previous year - which is also a poor clearance rate, but not quite as bad.
Arrests for robberies, burglaries and thefts were all up.