The Belize Police Department has released the official crime statistics for 2017. Figures show that while major crimes experienced a decrease of 6.8% countrywide, there was an increase in homicides. Overall, 1,992 crimes were reported to the police department across the country. San Pedro Town recorded a total of 100 major crimes, with a decrease of 38%, compared to 2016.
2017 registered 142 homicides total, four more than in 2016. The official report also showed a decrease in arrests made for murder crimes, with only 54 arrests reported countrywide, nine arrests less than in the previous year. San Pedro reported eight fatalities in 2017, the same as 2016 and 2015.
San Pedro’s 2017 statistics show eight murders, three rapes, nine robberies, 56 burglaries, 21 thefts, and three cases of unlawful sexual intercourse. These figures show a 38% decrease in major crimes on the island for 2017.
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Despite increase in murders, police crime statistics reveal a drop in major crimes
With the exception of murders, the crime statistics released by the Belize Police Department yesterday, Thursday, point to an overall decrease in major crimes. During the first three weeks of this month, there have been 12 murders in Belize, which represents an increase over the murder tally for January 2017, which closed out with 9 murders.
Even though the murder rate spiked last year, in 2017, the number of arrests that police made declined from 61 to 54.
The police department’s murder statistics indicate that 142 murders were committed in 2017 – 4 murders more than the 138 killings that occurred the year before.
Another major crime, rape, was down by one. In 2016, there were 23 rapes committed, while 2017 saw 22 rapes.
The number of robberies for 2017 was 258, which constituted an increase of 11.2% over the 232 recorded in 2016.
On the other hand, in 2017, there were 43 less burglaries committed – with 757 burglaries being reported, in contrast to the 800 burglaries which were recorded in 2016.
Also, 758 robberies were reported last year, compared to 857 for the previous year, representing a 5.4% decline.
Another major crime which decreased a bit in frequency in 2017 was unlawful sexual intercourse. There were 57 reported cases last year, representing a drop of 36.8% from the previous year, 2016, in which there were 87 reported cases. Unlawful sexual intercourse is defined as a sexual act committed against, or with, a victim who is less than 16-years old.
Overall, police made 525 arrests for major crimes last year, and in 2016 that number was 429.
The total number of shooting incidents rose from 235 to 257. In the case of reports of firearms stolen, that saw a decline to 29 from 38 the previous year.
There were more persons arrested for possession of firearms last year – with 101 arrests being made for that crime, compared to 77 the previous year. Also, more persons were arrested for ammunition possession: a total of 52, compared to 20 the year before.
Police seized more ammunition last year, 2,951 compared to 1,806 in 2016.
Notable seizures last year included the discovery and seizure of 1.8 grams of valium on San Pedro in July 2017; the recovery of an RJ 73 hand grenade in Belize City in September, and also in September, the recovery of a 2.2-lb detonator-type explosive in Belize City.