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Anti-crime measures Print E-mail
( 5 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 March 2018 00:00

This past weekend was one of the most murderous weekends in Belize City’s  recent history. Several persons were fatally shot, leading to an atmosphere of utter helplessness and despair. The city was thrown into a virtual state of emergency. Emergency meetings were called and on Sunday, Prime Minister Honorable Dean barrow held a press conference to map the way forward. One of the major steps taken was to place the Ministry of Home Affairs back under the National Security Ministry. As a result, the Minister of Defense, under which the Belize Defense Force falls, became the Minister of Police. The Prime Minister explained that, “It is necessary, it makes sense for us to reconstitute one umbrella Ministry of National Security, with one National Security Ministry now there can only be one National Security Minister and that Minister will be the Honorable John Saldivar.”

This was done in order to have the BDF, who will now be patrolling alongside the Police, in the same Ministry as the Police. Since then, members of the BDF have been on the city streets as support, adding boots on the ground in an effort to address the current crime situation. At Sunday’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow expounded, “The Belize Defense Force will be asked, was asked last night and will be asked on a continuing basis to assist the Belize police department with the ongoing campaign.” He continued by saying, “This will mean that there will be more boots on the ground and that more effective coverage can be deployed as a way of trying to contain and in fact prevent some of what has been taking place.” As a result the public has seen an increased presence of security forces personnel, both military and police, on our city streets.

Another step which was will be taken according to the Prime Minister is, “We will, under section 18, of the Constitution of Belize ask the Governor General to designate certain clearly demarcated areas on the Southside of Belize City as emergency areas.” “

The purpose and intent of those regulation clearly, will be to assist the security forces, in particular in their ability to remove from the theater of operations as it were, even if only temporarily, players that are known by the police to be leaders of Murder Inc.” In a nutshell, the indulgence of the Governor General will be sought to sign a proclamation which will designate certain areas as Special Areas and give the Police Powers to detain, without a warrant, any person who may be considered gang members for an extended period of time beyond 48 hours without charging them. PM Barrow elaborated on this, “But we believe that we will be able to go beyond just that 48 hours in terms of immobilizing those that we feel need to be taken off the streets at a particular juncture and for a particular period to, in fact, stanch, resist any upsurge in criminal violence and in murder.”

Another of the steps taken was to assign Sr. Superintendent Howell Gillet as the Commander for Eastern Division Southside which is the Precinct that sees the most gang activity in the embattled city. Sr. Supt. Gillet has hit the ground running and through his innovative policing style has gained serious momentum towards curbing the existing crime situation in the city. He has met with key stakeholders in the business community and held meetings with others who will assist in mediation, which he considers an important and critical ingredient in resolving feuds and “beefs”.

On Wednesday March 31, Mr. Gillet secured 16 hand held Motorola Radios valued at $20,000.00 from the Belize Water Services Limited. It is clear that with these initiatives and the right people in the right positions, the unbearable criminal tide that had overtaken our city will be brought under control sooner rather than later.