[Linked Image]

Major crimes are down across the board by a whopping thirty-percent in 2020. The Belize Crime Observatory has analyzed data compiled by the Belize Police Department and other agencies – and the numbers are looking better than 2019. In the major crimes category, for example, murders have decreased by over twenty-percent. Today, Technical Coordinator Adele Ramos of the Belize Crime Observatory shares more about the numbers and what their analysis shows on the shift in crimes recorded in Belize this year:

Adele Ramos, Technical Coordinator, Belize Crime Observatory


“These are five categories of crimes – burglary, robbery, murder, theft, unlawful sexual intercourse and rape. We see where, for all five categories, there has been a decline for the period January to December 2020 relative to the same period last year. So, overall, major crimes are down thirty percent. In terms of where we were last year, we also saw a decline in major crimes last year for the similar period however the decline that we have seen this year is far more substantial. So, last year’s decline is eight percent and this year’s decline is thirty-percent. A lot of that has to do with of course what has changed on the ground. We have had a lot of heavy policing on the ground, particularly in the context of enforcing COVID-19 measures but also targeted interventions by the Police Department to address gang violence, gang crimes and this is in advance of us even recording our first case of COVID-19 in Belize and that has been sustained over much of the period. So, those interventions actually account for this major decline in major crimes and particularly where we saw murders down by twenty-one percent for that period. So, the biggest decline of course is in the Belize District area but we see where, for example, in the cases of Corozal and Stann Creek there has been an increase; in Toledo it is on par of where it was for the same period last year. And when we look at the sex dimension male-females, about nine in ten of murder victims continue to be males.”

Belize’s 2020 murder rate at 25 per 100,000 – lowest since 2013

[Linked Image]

The Belize Crime Observatory says that the data show that the murder rate for 2020 will be the lowest in seven years. Interestingly, the B.C.O. says that across the Central American countries recorded declines in homicides.

Adele Ramos, Technical Coordinator, Belize Crime Observatory


“Now, given where we are with the numbers, we are projecting that the murder rate of Belize will be at around twenty-five per a hundred thousand and this would be the lowest rate we’ve seen since 2013, but if we look at the regional picture, it is not just Belize that is seeing a decline. So, the InfoSegura countries, for example, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador – they have all so been seeing a decline and the biggest percentage of decline has been recorded in El Salvador, followed by Guatemala, then Belize, then Honduras and Costa Rica. For quite a long time, homicides have ranked among the top ten killers in Belize and if we look for example, where we were in 2010 versus where we were in 2019, you see assault/homicides; it is ranked more or less like fifth among the leading causes of death. Heart disease is still the leading killer in Belize but homicides rank way up there and I put COVID-19 there because I think we are well over two hundred COVID-19 related deaths right now. This information is compiled really early in the year and so we wouldn’t have figures for 2020 yet, but based on the way things are going, we could very well see COVID-19 listed there among the leading causes of deaths.”

Channel 5