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Jul 7, 2015

Chester Williams on Quality of Life Crimes

Chester Williams

On Monday’s newscast we told you about the changes to the organization structure and the ranks at the Eastern Division in Belize City. Former Officer Commanding the Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner Dezerie Phillips, is now Divisional North Regional Commander of north side Belize City and the cayes. Her deputy, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster is now the Divisional Rural Regional Commander for the Belize District, while Senior Superintendent Chester Williams is taking on the hotspot, south side Belize City. The media pressed Williams about the Quality of Life Crimes and the initiative implemented to arrest and charge citizens caught committing these rather petty crimes. Well, Williams says that policing is not measured by the number of arrests made, but the effectiveness of policing the streets. The new commander for south side intends to revisit the quality of life crimes initiative and look at how the department can work with the city council to create a ticketing system.

 

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, Divisional South Regional Commander, Police Dept.

“The Quality of Life Crimes are in the books and they are there to enforce. But, like you rightly said, I do not believe that we are to arrest everybody for each and every minor infraction in law. So what I intend to do is write to the Commissioner of Police and propose to the Commissioner to propose to the mayor to probably do some kind of by-law where we can now address quality of life crimes through a ticketing system. So just like how you give a ticket for a traffic violation; those like riding bicycle without bell. We do have it, the city council can issue it, but we want the power to be given to the police as well. Because when the police have to leave his area of patrol to come to the police station to process a man for riding a bicycle up one way street or without a bell, it takes about two hours from his patrol time at the station, when he could be out there being very productive. Issuing a ticket on the spit would only take him about five minutes and the ticket can be for twenty-five, fifty or hundred dollars which is the same that the court would charge. So if we go to court, we are wasting time because the officer has to go and testify if the person pleads not guilty; we are wasting resources because of the papers that you have to do charge sheet and finger printing, etc. And most importantly, we are wasting time that police could be out there on the street ensuring that the public is safe. It is not my intention to make criminals of good citizens because at times people do mistakenly commit infractions of these minor offenses. So would that occur, I think police should be reasonable, use their discretion and see how best they can work with people and if we do that, we find that more people would be on our side than behind us.”

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2 Responses for “Chester Williams on Quality of Life Crimes”

  1. Hatari says:

    Isn’t this amazing! They have finally learned what a ticket is! Why does it take forever for the police department to catch up with the rest of the law enforcement world? The simplest of procedures seem to be so difficult down here. Now lets see if they can work on issuing traffic tickets. Have you ever seen our new Highway Patrol even stopping a traffic offender? I haven’t.

  2. Timber says:

    This is going to be interesting because neither of the two of you like each other even though you were once partners in crime.

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