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Tiffany Swift of Rentals In Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
wood house in San Ignacio, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI'm not sure what the crime rate is, but yes, Cayo is very safe. I've never had a problem here and I've been living here all my life. I could go out and walk the streets at night and not have anybody mess with me. I feel very safe walking around and just living here. Even as a young woman, I’m not concerned walking by myself at night. 
 
Houses here in Cayo have bars on the windows and doors. It is also very common to have dogs and outdoor lights just as an added form of security. Sometimes it's not only for security, it's just a Central American thing. They don't just have a regular burglar bars, but they would have those fancy ones so it's not only for security. Instead, they want to be just fancy because everybody has it. I don't have any burglar bars on my house and I have glass windows. I don't have any fence and I still feel safe. 
 
Even expats here in Cayo do not necessarily live in gated and guarded communities. There are a couple of gated communities, but many of expats living in Belize live amongst locals. Some of them do have security cameras but not many of them. Most of the expats who live in the Cayo district want to live as locals. They try to fit in.
 
(Wooden house on acre of land near San Ignacio, Belize, pictured.)
Hannah Weber – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Burns Avenue, Cayo, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you look at the figures and the crime rate here in Belize, it seems to be dangerous here. But if you look at the crime rate by region, there is definitely much, much more crime in Belize City than in Cayo.
 
Last year, there were two expats murdered in Cayo. One was a Canadian film director who got killed and there was another woman from Chicago. They said that the Canadian man was killed by someone who knew him well and that the victim kept a lot of cash at his home. The woman from Chicago was a tourist who was attacked and killed but I think that it was just a bad coincidence and such crime could also happen anywhere in the world. It doesn’t necessarily mean that expats or tourists are a target of crime here in Belize.
 
Based on personal experience, I don’t feel unsafe here at all. I was never a victim of crime in Belize. I never got robbed. Sometimes, when I go shopping or when I do my groceries, I park my car on Burns Avenue, which is the main road in San Ignacio, the central area of Cayo. I leave it there unattended for an hour and when I come back, everything is still there; there is nothing missing from the car. I never feel unsafe and I am not scared here at all. 
 
Yes, there is crime here in Belize but most of it is drug-related or the result of a personal issue, such as when some guy is messing around with the wrong woman and the husband gets jealous. In general, if you behave properly and don’t mess with people and if you don’t go to a bar and play the big guy and show off all your money and valuables, then you should be safe. I could go out at night on my own here in Cayo but I wouldn’t walk around alone at around 2 AM in a dark street, just as I wouldn’t if I was in Austria or in the US, or anywhere else.
 
Of course we lock our doors just as everybody else does. But we don’t have burglar bars on our windows. I am not in prison so I don’t want to live behind bars. We do have dogs that bark if somebody comes. 
 
Comparing the type of crime here with e.g. Austria, where I am from, they’re totally different. Here in Belize, the violent crimes involve family or personal issues. Belizeans are much more emotional. If you embarrass somebody or if you treat Belizeans very badly, they might take revenge, and these emotional crimes don’t happen as much in Austria because our culture is different.   
 
(Burns Avenue, Cayo, Belize, pictured.)
Roberto Harrison of Chaa Creek – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Tree top suite at Chaa Creek resort, Cayo, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI wouldn't be able to tell you the exact statistics for crime rate in the Cayo area, however I can assure you that San Ignacio, Belmopan, and even the wider Cayo District is home to some of the safest towns in Belize. We have community police and we also have neighborhood watches in town, in the rural areas, and in the expat communities. 
 
The Cayo District is very safe compared to Belize City, which has a reputation of being an unsafe place. In Belize City, you have to be wary of where you go, who you talk to, and what you carry along with you. You don’t have to feel that way when you are in Cayo. You will not worry about being mugged or harassed here. Having lived in San Ignacio for 24 years, my family has been a target of a robbery but that was an inside job. I never experienced being attacked, robbed, or harassed while I was out or while I was socializing. I feel safe walking in San Ignacio even at night and by myself. Of course everywhere you go, there are certain areas where you will heighten your awareness of the environment, but generally, I feel safe in San Ignacio.  
 
Some of the expats in San Ignacio choose to have burglar bars on their windows. Most expats choose to live outside of town and in the rural areas such as Santa Familia and Bullet Tree, which are connected villages. We have a very high population of expats in that area. There are some expats there who even have treetop houses without any burglar bars. We rarely hear about any unfortunate incidents. We rarely hear about any violent crime. They may be some crimes of opportunity, where you also want to be careful about how you carry yourself in order to avoid being a target but this is not isolated to Belize as it could happen anywhere in the world.  
 
(Treetop suite at Chaa Creek resort, Cayo, Belize, pictured.)
Wilana Oldham of Hot Mama's Belize Limited – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Fenced yard in Cayo District, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingRelative to safety, just like anywhere else you go, you need to be aware, and the same applies here in the Cayo District.
 
I live half way between Belmopan and San Ignacio but in the Cayo District. I have been here for about 21 years and we have not had any bad situations personally or around us.  We have never had any break-ins.
 
What mainly exists here are petty crimes such as stealing. People see that you bring things out and they think that you don’t need as much, so they help themselves to a few of what you have. Definitely, you don’t want to leave your vehicle unlocked when you are out and about. Do not leave your items out where people can see them. It’s just being conscious of the situation.
 
The property where we live is fenced in and we have dogs. We have found that to be one of the best means of being protected.  We do not have burglar bars on our windows and doors at home. You just have to be aware and not foolishly think that everybody around you is just wonderful and nothing bad could happen so that you don’t expose yourself to potential danger. Basically, if you go anywhere, especially in the US, you can’t leave your vehicles unlocked any more and you can’t leave your things loose anymore either because bad things could happen; even if you are in a nice neighborhood. Being aware is very important and taking proper precautions is good.
 
I do not live in a secured development. We live in between two villages so I don’t have too many neighbors around me but my neighbors are all very nice and quiet. They are friendly and we don’t have any issues with our neighbors but we are not in a village or town so sometimes people think that that makes us more vulnerable.  I happen to like it because it is very quiet and peaceful.
 
( Fenced yard in Cayo District, Belize, pictured.)
John Acott of RE/MAX Belize Property Center – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
glass house Cayo District – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe Cayo district is safe.
 
I’m on the police committee. Earlier this week we had a general meeting, open air downtown, with the new police chief, the mayor and the western district commissioner of police and few more dignitaries and a lot of people turned up to it. Everyone said they can’t be more pleased because the crime gone down so much.
 
I’ve been living here for almost 30 years and I don’t carry a gun. I’ve never been robbed, never been mugged, hassled, threatened; anything. About 3 years ago, we had a bad couple of months where there were a lot of robberies and a couple murders but that’s unusual. Yes, we have crime in Cayo.  Of course, we have robberies occasionally, but it’s safe.
 
I have two dogs in my garden but my garden isn’t closed and people come and wander in. I don’t have burglar bars. Most houses in Central America, South America, and Mexico are built with burglar bars, but I don’t have them on my house. 
I live in Santa Elena, which they say the bad side of town compared to San Ignacio, but I never had any problems.  People are very nice; my neighbors are very nice. We have neighborhood watch, which is fairly active. 
 
Anywhere in Santa Elena, San Ignacio or Belmopan you go for a walk at any time of the day or night, by yourself, with no problem. I had some Rotarians here last year for a conference and they couldn’t believe that we can walk around at night here. They say they can’t do it in their own country, but here, in Cayo, you can.  
 
(Pine trees and glass house Cayo District, Belize. pictured.)
Jonathan Lohr of Ceiba Realty Ltd. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Home in Cahal Pech, San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize. – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSan Ignacio in the Cayo District in Belize is a pretty safe place. The most common crime that we have here would be petty theft. Someone might try to walk up to your house and get your garden hose but when you go around San Ignacio, the likelihood of getting robbed is almost nil. Getting robbed with someone holding you at gunpoint is extremely rare here in the Cayo District. We don’t normally have that kind of problem here.
 
If you listen to the news, you would sometimes hear of some home invasions but that is usually when someone has their own employees or they have their own set of people too close to them and it turned out to be a bad situation. They always say that usually a crime is perpetrated by someone very close to you. It’s not like you are going to sleep at night and there are going to be complete strangers doing a home invasion. That may happen but it is not a common occurrence. 
 
In Belize, it is common to have bars on the windows. It is almost traditional and people keep their doors locked. It’s always been like that. I have lived here all my life and I have never been robbed or had a home invasion here in San Ignacio. The only problem I’ve seen here is petty theft, when I had something stolen out of my yard. 
 
(Pictured: home in Cahal Pech, San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize.) 

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