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Where is the real plan to fight crime, the Opposition asks?

Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2023. 5:07 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The much-touted “multisectoral approach” to fighting crime has had ‘zero impact’ on major crime thus far, per Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow.

The Budget does not go into detail about the approaches to stopping murders, home invasions and other serious crimes, except for seeming to cut spending, he claimed.

“We have bodies being found with missing limbs, head cut off, arm cut off; police officers being gunned down, in Dangriga Officer [Lorray] Arzu; we have police officers executing innocent civilians,” Barrow said, referring to the triple murder and shooting in Belmopan on New Year’s Eve and mentioning other major incidents in suggesting that the Government is actually doing worse with citizen security than the previous administration and it’s hardly the time to cut spending.

“The Opposition is not part of the multi-sectoral [approach] because I have the audacity to be a paragon of democracy, and advocate on behalf of the people which means criticizing constructively,” Barrow added, addressing Home Affairs Minister Kareem Musa.

Barrow suggests that crime-fighting should start from the inside, with a unit dedicated to rooting out “rogue cops” and “bad apples,” who are outnumbered but remain influential. Blaming the past administration is not enough – solutions are needed, he insisted, to tackle corruption as a root cause of crime.

As for recruiting new officers, there are complaints that more qualified applicants are being rejected in favour of political favourites and that the Minister should “take politics out of the recruitment process,” stating that it is a fact that a letter of recommendation from a Minister is still apparently needed to apply to join the Police Department, perhaps under the Minister’s nose.

And while he is at it, Barrow said, police officers need to be paid more and provided more benefits in order to withstand the urge of corruption that tempts them to illegal activity.


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