Major crimes up; arrests down

There are many lists that rate countries around the world and compare them based on a number of factors such as best Tourism Destinations, best and worse cruise Ports, and Economic and Investor confidence indices. There is even a list of the world’s happiest countries that ranks Belize in the Top 5. There is a list that rates Corruption; it was issued earlier this December. Belize is one of only four countries of the world that failed to appear on that Corruption list. And then there is the list that rates dangerous countries; these list rate countries according to the homicide rates published by various statistics keepers including the USA and UN. And it appears that Belize keeps performing poorer each year in the area of crime, listing Belize one of the most dangerous places on planet earth to live.

Last year’s 2013 report from the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security OSAC, stated, ” Due to the extremely high murder rate per capita, Belize is the sixth most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, with an average of over 40 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2012, Belize recorded 145 murders, setting a new record for homicides in the country. The murder rate was nearly 15 percent higher than 2011.”

Late last week, MSN website, in its travel section, posted an article which ranked the world’s 20 Most homicidal Countries. The article is based on the latest statistics released by the United Nations and the World Health Organization from their 2014 Global Status Report on Violence Prevention. The report moves Belize from the sixth most homicidal country in 2013 to now the fourth most homicidal country in the world.

Official statistics released on Tuesday by the Belize Police Department confirmed an increase in major crime in 2014 over 2013. There was a total of 2,548 major crimes which include murders, rapes, carnal knowledge, robbery, burglary and theft for 2014. That is an increase from 2,312 in 2013. Murders in 2013 were at 99 but for this year so far, there have been 121 murders. Rape is up from 26 last year to 42 reported cases this year. And while the crime rate has increased, the arrest rate has decreased. There were 2,395 crimes for 2013 but only 769 arrests. There is no mention of convictions.  Then for this year, though the year is not finished as yet, there has been 2,548 crimes  but with even less arrests at 651;l and again, there convictions were not reported.

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