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Tiffany Swift of Rentals In Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Blackman Eddy, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate against expats here in the Cayo district is very minimal. There is racial harmony here in Cayo. If something happens to an expat, it's probably because they offended a worker or something like that but that doesn’t happen a lot. You don't really hear about it much. The crime rate is the same for both expats and locals.
 
(The Mayans tried to escape detection from the Spaniards in Blackman Eddy, Cayo District, Belize, pictured.)
+(501) 227-1144This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.About Belize Touris...
John M. Burgos of Belize Tourism Industry Association – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
hotel in center of San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate in Cayo against Americans and other expats is very, very low. I am proud to say that over the last couple of years there’s only been a couple of robberies, and there haven’t been any fatalities. There’s a lot of police presence in Cayo and people there are very helpful a
s well, so the crime rate is not what it sounds like on the news.
 
The main reason why the crime rate for Belize has ranked so high is based on the country’s low population. We only have 250,000 citizens so when you have a murder a month and you compare it to the full population it would seem to be a very high rate. We don’t have a cowboy environment here. We don’t have people walking around with guns; they’re prohibited. Only licensed firearms are allowed and you’re not allowed to carry them outside or easily visible.
 
The crime in Belize is normally centered in Belize City in one specific area called the south side Belize City, which is far away from Cayo.  Most of the expats in the Cayo area live out in the open, as opposed to behind guard gates. The only expats who would have a fence are the ones who have pets. They don’t want their pets to be roaming around, so they build a fence, but the fence is very friendly and still open because it is not too high; not made of bricks or blocks.  The fence would normally be chain-linked and it’s very transparent.
 
Some people in Cayo have burglar bars, if they have a lot of valuables in their home. One of the other reasons for burglar bars is if you’re in a secluded area.  However, in town, we don’t see burglar bars that often.  It’s not necessary because Cayo is a low crime area, and not a place where there are a lot of robberies or home invasions.
 
I was just in Cayo last Thursday. I spent a wonderful overnight and I came back Friday afternoon.  I have no concerns when I go to Cayo.  It’s very peaceful there, very quiet and the people are very friendly. Everybody knows everybody so you’re pretty safe. And people are very open to meeting new people. I can tell you because I made some friends last Thursday and Friday.
 
(Hotel in the center of San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize, pictured.)
Virginia Krohn of Villa Cayo Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The Villa Cayo on a hilltop with private driveway, Cayo, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingNot to trivialize anyone's death but there has been very few murders of expats and tourists over the last four years.  There was a murder in 2013 of Lynn Nichiporovich, living in a remote area of Belize and in 2015 Canadian film maker Matthiew Klinck who was living in Belize and had just received funds to purchase a home here.  In 2015 there were also two American men murdered during a suspected drug related armed robbery.  Then In 2016, Anne Swaney, a tourist and an executive producer for ABC7 Chicago was murdered.
 
We have a high murder rate but it is not against visitors to Belize or tourists; it is within the local Belizean people and usually the gangs in Belize City or the immigrants escaping from dangerous Central American countries. The Belizean government established the "tourism police" in addition to it's regular force, which is tasked with patrolling and overseeing specific locations and attractions.  But as with anywhere you travel you must "protect yourself at all times."  Visitors should stay with their guides or in downtown public areas and should travel in groups, preferably during daylight hours.  Avoid wearing jewelry and carrying valuable items or flashing money.   Major crime levels remain low in tourist- driven areas.  
 
For myself, I feel totally safe here in Belize.  We made sure we did not purchase our home within the towns nor did we move out too remote.  We live on a twelve-acre hilltop, a mile and a half from San Ignacio with a gate on our driveway to prevent the drive to observers.  Most of the robbery in Belize is done by "the opportunist thief."  They do not want to put out too much effort or take too much of a chance of getting caught, so they just watch your home and when you leave they go in.  If you are on a hilltop or behind a walled compound they don't know who is there or how much they are risking, so they just don't even try.  
 
When I lived in a small town near San Antonio Texas in the US I was the victim of an attempted purse snatching right at the door of HEB (a big grocery store chain) at 5PM in broad daylight.  Here in San Ignacio I have never had anyone try to take my purse nor get in the car with me, and I feel totally safe.  We've never had a home invasion and I always wonder why people think they are so much safer in the States.     
 
We do encourage newcomers in Belize to stay away from places that are remote and closer to the border. There are cheap homes in those areas but they might not be as safe. Where I live, we don’t have bars on our windows and we sleep with the windows open at night. We have dogs, which I definitely recommend just so they can wake you up in case something is going on.  Do we have guns? Yes, but I have never had to use one nor have I ever felt the need to use one.   
 
(Pictured: The Villa Cayo on a hilltop with private driveway, Cayo, Belize.)
Franklin Syrowatka of Better Homes Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Wedding at Vanilla Hills Lodge, Cayo, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn general, the crime rate in Cayo is low.
 
The crime rate in the country of Belize is statistically very high but this mainly comes from drug-related crime that happens in Belize City, where gang members kill each other. Cayo, on the other hand, is a peaceful place. As an expat, you will feel very safe here. I personally do not have burglar bars on my windows. We own a lodge here and nothing was every stolen from us. We have dogs that bark but overall, in the five years that I’ve been in Belize, never have I felt threatened or unsafe anywhere here in Cayo or Belize.  My wife can walk outside by herself and she never felt unsafe, either.
 
We live between the town of San Ignacio and a village called Bullet Tree Falls, only 7 minutes away from the town center. We are immersed in nature so I don’t see anybody around here although we are so close to town. There are some expats who live up in the mountains, about an hour and a half away from town. It may be beautiful up there but it’s isolated and you can’t reach anybody in case there is a problem or safety issue.
 
(Wedding at Vanilla Hills Lodge, Cayo, Belize, pictured.)
Penny James – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Cayo, Belize one bedroom home – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe crime rate is relatively low in the Cayo area / San Ignacio, Belize.
 
The same set of “heads-up” rules apply here as they do anywhere else in the world. Don’t flash money or bling in public as that may attract the attention of unsavory elements. A good rule of thumb if you are going to leave your property for extended periods of time is to hire a caretaker. Caretakers are affordable in Belize and a presence on your property during extended absences is a good deterrent against theft.  
 
(Pictured: one bedroom home in Cayo District, Belize.)

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