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Alcohol played “dominant” role in murders, ComPol makes appeal to liquor licensing boards

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2020. 10:53 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says that alcohol consumption played a major role in the number of murders last year and appealed this week to the Liquor Licensing Boards to help in addressing the problem by adhering to the law.

Williams categorized the role of alcohol consumption in the 2019 murders as “extremely dominant” and stressed that there was a reason it was once illegal. He went on to say that the police department will be cracking down on alcohol-related crimes this year.

“We are not saying it is to be banned; that would be the ideal thing but we cannot tell people how to live. So, the least we can do is to ensure that the liquor licensing board respect the laws that have been put in place to ensure that alcohol is regulated properly…”

Specifically, Williams called on the boards all over the country to ensure that the Laws of Belize are adhered to when liquor licenses are issued or extensions are granted.

Since 2015, when Williams was placed as the head of the then Eastern Division South Police Formation, he has been stressing the point that alcohol consumption plays a key role in murders. Williams noted that at that time many persons who were being gunned down were socializing when they were shot and that alcohol was a factor.

“If you are not on the street loitering or drinking your enemy cannot find you to shoot you. Period,” Williams said at the time.

In April 2019, realizing the problem was not going away, Williams said that the department would be making proposals for legislative changes as well as working in tandem with the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Board in an effort to better control the sale of alcohol.

While no official word was given on those proposed changes, the fact that amending legislation is being considered underscores the severity of the problem and the lengths, the department is willing to go to address it.

 

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