Police to work with City on quality of life crimes
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Since last September the Police Department, at the order of Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, has been enforcing and insisting on tackling what they call “quality of life crimes” – the minor offences that police usually ignore in order to focus on major crimes. But with crime in general ever on the rise, it appears there is a change in that policy – once all the ducks are in a row.
During his re-introduction to the press at a briefing on Monday, the new regional commander for Eastern Division (South), Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, said that while the laws are there to be enforced, for example loitering or riding a bicycle without a bell, there must be a more efficient way of doing so – one that does not take the police officer from his natural habitat in the streets and transplants him to a desk doing paperwork.
He revealed that the Department, once it has received permission from the Commissioner, will team up with the Belize City Council to produce such a system – tickets for the fines that would ordinarily be paid in court under the City’s by-laws.
According to Williams it is not productive for an officer to make these kinds of arrests as the ultimate punishment is puny in relation to the severity of the crime, like murder and rape.
And Williams says he does not intend to promote any alleged system of officers making certain numbers of arrests, because it is about being more effective with their limited time and resources.
Most of the minor regulations are contained in the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, which dates back many years and contains much archaic language about vagrants and the like.
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