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P.M. on crime and violence: “You can’t stop people who want to kill themselves”

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Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2021. 7:37 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Crime and violence were a major plank of the Opposition agenda of the People’s United Party as it decried the heavy epidemic of violent activity nationwide.

Now in charge, Prime Minister John Briceño suggested, on Channel 5’s Open Your Eyes on Monday, that it feels like the gangs in the country and particularly Belize City “have a death wish. They are going after one another and as much as we put the police on the streets and try to monitor them as close as possible, they find ways.”

He also stated, “You can’t stop people who want to kill themselves.”

The Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa, and Commissioner of Police Chester Williams are hard at work on plans to ensure they don’t take others with them: help get guns off the streets, provide more Police resources and training, move toward intelligence-led policing, and address underlying social issues including poverty and unemployment.

The Prime Minister was emphatic that his administration “would not negotiate with gangs, with criminals.”

But there has not been enough time to address programs for reducing poverty and unemployment with COVID, economic recovery and other issues on the plate.

Still, Nuri Muhammad, community mediator, has been assisting to turn partnerships with the private sector into jobs, such as at Stake Bank, the forthcoming cruise ship docking port.

Another piece of the pie is education – ensuring that the younger members of society that have increasingly been targeted by gangs for induction are not tempted by keeping them in school and occupied.

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