By Aaron Humes: For some years now, there have been surveillance cameras, both private and public, located all across Belize City. Their footage has occasionally been used to convict, but more often they are disabled or not pointed in the right place at the right time.
Ex-Minister of National Security John Saldivar wants to change that, calling on social media for a fully integrated surveillance system on the Old Capital, with later expansion to district towns.
Saldivar argues that, “A major contributor to reducing the crime rate is increasing the conviction rate. A major contributor to increasing the conviction rate is improving evidence gathering, investigation, and prosecution. A significant tool in evidence gathering, investigation, and prosecution is a surveillance system.”
He reveals that when he was Minister, such a system was proposed for $30 million but government could not come up with the money.
If we can borrow more than a half billion dollars in just two years due to the pandemic, says Saldivar, then such an investment should be small potatoes as a tool to solve the crime crisis and restore public confidence.
“Crime is a crisis for Belize. I felt then as I feel now that there is no investment too big to provide citizen security. We have even considered a National Security Bond. Funding any public program or project is a matter of priority. This has been proven during this pandemic. Citizen security is a priority. … Conviction is a deterrent to crime,” he concluded.