Police receives Patrol Bikes & Machine to destroy Confiscated Guns Print E-mail
( 0 Votes )
Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 31 May 2012 00:00

Hon. John Saldivar looks at the Hydrolic shears and Makes donation of patrol bikesA brief ceremony was held at the Queen Street Police Station on Monday, May 28, in which the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) handed over a hydraulic shear to the Belize Police Department. The hydraulic shear will be used for the destruction of old, surplus and confiscated weapons.

UNLIREC specializes in disarmament and non-proliferation of firearms in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Melanie Regimbal, Director of UNLIREC, said that the machine will ensure that weapons used in illicit activities are permanently out of circulation. After the machine was handed over, Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, destroyed the first weapon, a pump action shotgun. The process requires little effort by the user of the machine. The user holds the weapon in place and steps on a pedal that causes the machine to crush the object. A gun is destroyed in a few seconds. Before receiving the hydraulic shear, the department destroyed weapons by using a welder to cut them into pieces.

There is an abundance of illegal firearms in Belize. They are being used in shootouts throughout the city. It is up to the Belize Police Department to destroy them. However, in order to destroy the illegal firearms, police must first confiscate them. The Belize Police Department hopes that its new patrol strategy will result in the confiscation of more weapons from off the streets.  Assistant Commissioner of Police and Officer Commanding the Eastern Division, Elodio Aragon, Jr., explained that instead of having six police patrol zones, the Belize Police Department has divided Belize City into eleven police zones. The change will provide more police attention to each zone. It will also require more vehicles for patrolling. Thats why the United States Government is going to hand over ten new vehicles sometime in the next few days. There will be one patrol vehicle per each zone. Each zone will also have a patrol team. Currently, those teams are on foot throughout the city. Because of  the Ministry of National Security handed over more than thirty new beach cruiser bicycles to the department on Monday. In an effort to improve response time, those bicycles will be used by officers that are currently patrolling on foot.

The cost of the bicycles is near $8,000 and the cost of the hydraulic shear is over US$20,000.