Despite the challenges brought by the current COVID-19 pandemic, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye is closing 2020 with a reduction in crime, highlighted by the fact that for the first time in many years, the island registered one of its lowest murder rates. The only murder for 2020 as of press time was reported on October 12th, a significant reduction compare to other years when the number of homicides reached double digits. The San Pedro Police Formation reported that the overall crime rate on the island went down drastically this year, despite the pandemic’s effect on the local economy, causing the loss of thousands of jobs.
It is perhaps decades since San Pedro saw only one homicide for the year. According to Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit (Ambergris Caye and Caulker), Superintendent Christopher Noble, the island at one point in time registered 17 murders in one year. Noble took the reins of the San Pedro Police Formation in June 2019. In January 2020, Noble was recognized with the Crime Fighter Award and commended by the Belize Police Department for an extraordinary job on the islands. Noble told The San Pedro Sun that part of their strategy is basic policing. “That involves foot, bike, vehicle patrols and operations,” said Noble. He noted people complaining about the many recent check points on the island. According to him, that is also part of the strategy to keep people safer. The Officer in Charge indicated that the work on the island so far should not be only credited to him, but his entire team. “It is the men and women of the San Pedro Police Formation. Everybody has put in their fair share. We are a team working for one cause,” said Noble. He added that 2020 saw a significant drop in other crimes like theft, burglaries and aggravated burglaries. He attributes these reductions to the team work between the police and the community.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun