Belize Police Department Launches National Crime Fighting Strategy 2018-2020 Gun owners need to register their expended shells Print
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Thursday, 08 February 2018 00:00

A very important conference was held at the Raccoon Street Police Station Conference Room on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. There, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of Home Affairs; as well as COMPOL, Allen Whylie; George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of Home Affairs; senior police officers, and other high ranking officials met to introduce the 2018-2020 Belize Police Department’s National Crime Fighting Strategy. The strategy was launched under the Ministry of Home Affairs with an effort to reduce crime across the country.

Given the rise in murders and armed robberies, a total of 142 murders for 2017, the police department presented an extensive and detailed action plan to combat these areas as well as the other major crimes which have, granted, seen a decrease over the years. The first tasks the department will attempt to go about achieving include, according to COMPOL Whylie, is the reduction of murders and gang violence as well as prevention, interdiction, and the successful prosecution of criminals in an effort to restore public confidence.

These salient goals will be achieved through the reduction of gun-related crimes, targeting and dismantling criminal groups through legislation. Strengthening the Professional Standards Branch, and implementing the video surveillance program. All this would still prove insufficient and according to COMPOL, a very vital part of reducing crime is to develop an anti-gang task force. “The department will establish an anti-gang taskforce that will be charged with the investigation of specific gang-related crimes with a view to have these cases brought before the court. The Belize Police Department will aggressively investigate and prosecute suspected gang leaders and their financiers for financial and other crimes, using all available laws at its disposal.”

Minister Aragon shared the same thoughts saying “When we look at the reduction of gun-related and gang-related crime, there are a number of key areas that we will be focusing on. First and foremost, the establishment of the Anti-Gang Taskforce; that in itself is a big step towards addressing the crime situation; focusing on those people who we know in our communities that are actively engaged in criminal activities and gang-related gun violence. We need to go after these people.” Lovell considers the initiative a timely one and stresses that while there cannot be one set timeline with which to achieve the goals, the public can look out for some processes being rolled out in the next few months.

The department will also focus on seeking the elimination of illegal guns and ammunition countrywide through the collection and analysis of intelligence as well as the Integrated Ballistics Information System (IBIS). Under the new strategy, gun owners will be required to submit samples of their expended shells and slugs to be integrated into the IBIS. There will also be aggressive work to document all expended shells from crime scene into the IBIS for cross referencing.

The National Crime Strategy has been made available to the public on the official website of the Belize Police Department.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 February 2018 13:14