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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 00:00

On page 9 of this edition of the Guardian we outlined Section 18 of the Constitution and what it means for our residents. Subsection 4 of said section 18 makes provision for “emergency areas”. The Crime Control and Criminal justice Act Chapter 102 Part IV of the Laws of Belize Revised edition 2000 speaks on the areas.

A “special area” means any area of Belize not exceeding one square mile in which the provisions of this Part have effect by virtue of an Order made under section 12 below.

12.-(1) Where the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that in the interest of public safety or public order, or for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime, it is requisite so to do, he may, by Order published in the Gazette, with the concurrence of the Crime Control Council, declare that the provisions of this Part shall, during the continuance in force of the Order, have effect in relation to any area of Belize not exceeding one square mile specified in the Order.

(2) An Order made under this section shall, subject to revocation or amendment by the Minister, remain in force for a period of thirty days or such longer period as may be sanctioned for the time being by resolution of the House of Representatives.

13.-(1) In a special area, any member of the Security Forces may, without warrant, and using such force (if any) as may be reasonably justified in the circumstances:-

(a) undertake a search of any premises, place, vehicle, person or thing upon reasonable suspicion of being thereon or therein any unlawful drug or any unlicensed or prohibited firearm or ammunition, or any unlawfully obtained article or thing, or any person wanted in connection with a criminal investigation;

(b) seize, take away and detain any vehicle or article which he reasonably suspects is intended to be used, or has been used, for or in connection with the commission of any offence or is or has been unlawfully obtained or possessed;

(c) arrest any person upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or of being about to commit an offence; and

(d) temporarily establish a cordon around the special area or any part thereof for a period not exceeding three hours in any period of twenty-four hours and restrict the freedom of movement of persons and vehicles into or out of any area so cordoned.

(2) No person who is a female shall be searched under paragraph

(a) of subsection (1), except by another female.

(3) Where anything is detained in accordance with paragraph (b) of subsection (1), a receipt therefor shall be given to the person from whose custody it was taken, and any such article or thing shall be kept, by virtue of such detention, for so long only as may be necessary for the purposes of any examination, investigation, trial or enquiry.

(4) The powers conferred upon the Security Forces by this section shall be without prejudice to any other powers conferred upon such Forces by any other law.

14. Where any member of the Security Forces purports to act in the exercise of authority conferred by or under this Part of this Act he shall be presumed to be acting within such authority in the absence of proof to the contrary.

15.-(1) The Minister may make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Part of this Act and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such regulations may make provision in relation to all or any of the following:-

(a) the custody or disposal of anything detained under section 13;

(b) the operation of cordons;

(c) the establishment of auxiliary forces with like functions, powers and immunities as those of the Belize Police Department and under the direction of the Commissioner of Police; and

(d) anything authorized or required by this Part to be prescribed.

(2) Any regulations made under this Part may contain such incidental or supplementary provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of the regulations.

(3) Regulations made under this Part shall be subject to negative resolution of the House of Representatives.

Belize is a peaceful country of Law-abiding citizens and we must all pledge to keep it this way. We must not allow a minority group of miscreants to change our way of life. We must all come together, all stakeholders, and join forces against these reprobates and return Belize to the days of old where everyone was his/her brother’s keeper. We are a resilient peace loving people and together we will make it happen, and by so doing discard the implementation of the above mentioned measures.