Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2022. 12:00 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: After a rash of murders near the end of May, things have gone a bit quiet, which is only good news for the Belize Police Department and citizenry.
But Commissioner of Police Chester Williams is not sitting back just yet. He told reporters in an after-action press conference in Belmopan, “We’re not going to celebrate as yet. There’s still a lot of work to be done. There are still many ongoing tensions with different groups in the city that we try to deal with. But what we try to do as best we can is to utilize the LIU in conducting interventions. As we hear of some issues between two different parties or a group, then we would normally send LIU to bring them to the table, see what the issues are, and try to resolve them.”
Utilizing the multi-sectoral approach to fighting crime involves multiple organizations, governmental and non-governmental, and different angles, including sports, conflict resolution, education, and social ills.
The Commissioner listed a few examples: “We also have the ongoing basketball tournaments for the different groups in Belize City, and the Belize District, by extension. And we believe that the efforts of everybody on the ground, including the police officers who are policing the different areas, are bearing fruits. That along with the basketball tournament, which is a form of intervention through sports, is helping. We have the efforts being done by the Department of Youth Services and even the Ministry of Education in terms of looking at providing educational opportunities for those youths of Southside Belize City is helping. In the near future, we’re looking at taking some of these guys to Punta Gorda Town for somewhat of a retreat. And then, we’re also going to sign very shortly the MOU [memorandum of understanding] between the police and a private citizen with respect to twenty-five acres of land by the Rhaburn Ridge Area, that will be used for farming by these young men again. And then we have the activity we were planning for Mountain Pine Ridge with them.”
The Commissioner reiterated that he is willing to work with those willing to work with him: “I’ve always said that we’re going to work with those who show interest that they want to change and for those who do not want the change, we’ll come down hard on them. And I maintain my position.”
We’ll have an update later on with regard to major crimes reported through the month of May.
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