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Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020. 11:32 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Commissioner of Police Chester Williams distinguished events over the Commonwealth Day weekend amid fears of a resurgence in violent crime during the ongoing state of emergency.

The murder of 30-year-old Abner Novelo off the Yo Creek Road, gruesome as it was, was “an isolated issue” according to the Commissioner, and likely drug-related, adding that police believe those involved “knew each other and had some fall out over drugs.”

The brawl in Hattieville, Belize District reported on Monday stems from an apparent feud between two groups in the village. A night of socializing led to an argument and fight and at least two persons were injured.

The Commissioner emphasized that his officers have been “loose” in enforcing aspects of the State of Emergency Regulations, pursuing those not wearing masks or not out on the streets reasonably instead of public drinking, and today he has issued a memo advising that officers can use their discretion in these matters.

Williams said police are ready for a post-State of Emergency situation, insisting that police were not using the curfew to curb crime. He pointed out that most crimes actually take place before 8 p.m. and with shops and other targets re-opening, the potential for crimes like robbery, burglary and so on is greater. It is the Department’s crime-fighting strategy, he claimed, that is keeping crime down and will continue to so do.

It thus remains a delicate balance between maintaining law and order and enforcing the State of Emergency Regulations.

 

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