ABOUT THE SEX OFFENDERS REGISTRY
The National Sex Offenders Registry is the primary source of information on persons convicted of sexual offenses in Belize. The purpose is to provide data on the identity and location of sexual offenders, as well as the nature of their convictions. The registry aims to promote awareness to key agencies and ministries on the potential threat that sex offenders pose to the wider community.
This system allows the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Initiatives (formerly the Ministry of National Security) to keep track of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences.
Sexual offences for which reporting is required include:
- Attempted Rape
- Marital Rape
- Indecent Assault
- Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
In 2014, the National Assembly passed amendments to Belize’s Criminal Code (Chapter 101 of the Laws of Belize), paving the way for the establishment of the National Sex Offenders Database.
The law mandates convicted sex offenders to notify the police (either in person or in writing) of his/her name and any aliases, address and any subsequent change of address, date of birth and other particulars(such as occupation and place of work), as well as criminal convictions and corresponding sentences. Failure of a sex offender to notify the authorities, without a reasonable excuse, can result upon conviction in a fine of up to BZ$10,000, a 5-year prison sentence or both.
Sex offender details must be kept in the database for a period of 10 years, or longer if specified by the Minister of National Security or the Commissioner of Police. The database is to be updated whenever new information is received.
The Superintendent of Prisons is required to notify the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Human Services as soon as a sex offender is released from prison, after serving any sentence for a sexual offence.
Who can access the database
Access to the database is granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Initiatives (formerly the Ministry of National Security) or the Commissioner of Police. Persons who would like to have access to the database must make a written application, stating the reason for seeking access.
Principals, school managers, childcare facilities, and other entities responsible for the care and education of children may have access. This is specified in the law. The Minister for Human Development and any authorized official in the Ministry may also have access.
Support for the design and establishment of the Belize Sex Offenders Registry is provided by USAID through the Evidence-based Information Management on Citizen Security in Central America (InfoSegura Project). The UNDP and the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Initiatives have been partnering to implement the project.
The Ministry had requested that priority be given to the design and establishment of a Sexual Offenders Registry. The administration, update and maintenance of the Sex Offenders Registry is the mandate of the Belize Crime Observatory, within the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Initiatives.
How to access it: Persons with approved access to the database can log in at Belize Sex Offenders Registry (bco.gov.bz)
The site requires users to enter their username and password, as well as the verification code appearing on the log-in screen.
Once you are logged in, you will be able to search the Offender Listing, which will provide biodata on offenders, as well as their location information.
The Belize Sex Offenders Registry was developed under the project titled, Evidence based Information Management on Citizen Security in Central America (InfoSegura). The project is funded by USAID and UNDP and is specifically designed to improve the quality of information on citizen security that is being managed in Central America and the Dominican Republic, and to provide reliable and high-quality data regularly to decision makers. This project was expanded to include Belize in 2015. It has been providing support to the Belize Crime Observatory (BCO), in the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Initiatives.
The BCO is the national depository of data relating to crime. Its primary aim of to foster the development of public policies that address public safety and national security issues through the collection, analysis and dissemination of quality, timely and multidimensional data on crime and violence trends in the country.