In a recent meeting amongst heads of various Neighborhood Watch groups on the island, Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department Superintendent Luis Castellanos, indicated that they have identified teenagers as being the cause of a recent increase of crime on the island. Their conclusions stem form footprints found at crime scenes, modes of entry at home invasions and eye witness accounts.
Teenagers as young as 15 years old (and younger) have been identified by the San Pedro Police Department as being the culprits of a recent increase in crime this past month, January 2014. Castellanos says that they know who some of these teenagers are and the department is working on apprehending them. The heads of the Neighborhood Watches suggested a possible curfew to target teenagers out during the late hours of the evening. A second factor attributing to a slight increase in crime in January, says Castellanos, would be the department's lack of patrol vehicles.
"The police officers have not been able to conduct their regular and scheduled patrols around the island properly due to the lack of vehicles," stated Castellanos. "This hinders the department tremendously in our response time and visible presence around the island. Criminals are aware of this and know when to take advantage of our handicap."
Currently the San Pedro Police Department counts on only two trucks and one golf cart for mobility, one of those trucks just recently being donated anonymously to the department by a local business. Castellanos is sending appeals to various entities requesting assistance to obtain more vehicles for the department and Mayor Daniel Guerrero also mentioned that the San Pedro Town Council is also working on acquiring a vehicle for the police department.
Dilapidated San Pedro Police Truck being disposed of after sitting in ruins for months beyond repairs
Superintendent Castellanos indicated that the major areas of concern with an increase in crime are the DFC Area and Town Core, with a recent spike in North Ambergris Caye; crime is relatively low in the southern part of the island. And on a positive note, four new police officers have been added to department with works continuing on the new police barracks, but more donations and assistance is needed from the community for it to be completed as soon as possible.
Presidents of Neighborhood Watch Group and Police Departmtne meet at the Mayor's office on a monthly basis