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Aug 19, 2015

Police Stage Intervention in PIV/Supal Street Rivalry

Joel Bishop

On Saturday morning, there was a murder on Newtown Barracks near the MCC Grounds. An Oleander Street resident, twenty-eight-year-old Joel Bishop was brutally beaten by a group of men and then ran over by a vehicle; he died hours later at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Now, Oleander Street is part of the PIV gang’s territory and it is believed that the murder was as a result of ongoing rivalry between PIV and the Supal Street gang.  But for some time now, it has been relatively quiet and there have been no incidents between the gangs; that is until Saturday morning when Bishop was murdered. While the incident occurred under the jurisdiction of Acting Commissioner of Police Dezerie Phillips, it is within the precinct of Senior Superintendent Chester Williams that these feuding gangs coexist. So the Eastern Division South Commander and his team had a sit-down on Monday with key members of both gangs to address the issue.

 

Chester Williams

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“As much as people may want to look at us and say that on south side we are doing social policing, that may be true. But separate and apart from social policing, we are also enforcing the law. The operation teams and other police officers are out there on a daily basis conducting stop and search. I will tell you, last week alone, we took five guns off the street of Belize City on south side.  So that goes to show you that the police officers on south side are not just only doing social work but we are also doing policing. As I have said as well, we will work with persons who want to make that change and those who refuse to make that change, then we will relentlessly pursue them and ensure that we catch them doing their criminal act and send them where they want to be. Now in as it relates to the incident on north side, these are not two new groups. The PIV and the Supal Street gangs have been in existence for many years but for some reason or the other, they were not having that feud among themselves, but now a feud has developed within them. So what I did this week, with the assistance of Miss Finnegan and Mister Douglas Hyde again, we had an intervention with them. We brought in both groups including a third group, the Back-A-Dan group; those from Lacroix Boulevard, a group of young people who again are causing problems in the St. Martins areas and they have rivalry with PIV gang. So we brought in the three groups them and we had mediation with them. All the key players were involved and just as we have done with the other groups; we let them know what our position is. Either you work with us to keep the violence down or if you continue to perpetrate criminal acts, we will pursue you. And the meeting was successful.”

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