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Police advise that “false” reports should not deter reporting of crime following kidnapping “excitement” – warn of potential charges

Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2022. 3:31 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In the wake of two separate Police investigations of attempted kidnapping in the past few days concluding that the accusers had fabricated their reports, the Belize Police Department said today it would send out reminders that such investigations are taken seriously and that giving false information can result in prosecution.

The Department, according to deputy head of National Crimes Investigation Branch (NCIB), Superintendent of Police Gerald Jones, also wants “to assure the general public to continue [reporting] whatever situations that may occur from time to time with our children. Police [when] we receive this information, take it very seriously and we conduct investigations into the matter. We ask that parents, wardens, and guardians continue to be alert because we don’t want to drop our guard, we want to stay alert and if any situation like this or similar incident occurs, we ask that people come forward and report these situations to us.” He added that there was not even a trace of any black van as described in the reports.

In both cases – one in Orange Walk Town and the other in Belize City, Superintendent Jones said, police would be visiting the families of the would-be victims, and charges could be laid: “We will be visiting their parents and we will be talking to them about the situation because this information is very serious that we take, and if you make any false report to the police, you can face penalties for that.” He told us that if charges should be levied, it would most likely be against the parents, as neither child is over the age of 18 – one was six and the other twelve. He did clarify that at least at the time of the Orange Walk incident, the mother of the alleged victim did not knowingly make false statements to the officers investigating that incident.

Both reports were spread by social media, adding to the fear and uncertainty, and Superintendent Jones appealed to the traditional media houses to encourage persons with such reports to go to the Police directly rather than acting on their own. To reinforce the point, community policing officers will be reaching out to schools to teach students to trust the police to report these incidents.

 

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