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Jun 13, 2016

Gunman Was Identified but Witnesses Are Scarce

Chester Williams

The situation facing Police in the Bonner murder is nothing new. In fact, there are many instances in which broad daylight murders have gone unpunished because witnesses are afraid to come forward. ACP Williams says that is the reality, and there’s actually very little they can do about it because at this time anything resembling a witness protection program is not feasible.

 

ACP Chester Williams, Commander, Eastern Division South

“This is our first murder in over a month on south side Belize City and that is a result of the work that we have been doing in conjunction with the different groups across south side Belize City as well as the effort of Miss Finnegan and myself with the interventions and mediations; we continue to do that. Yes, it is difficult because there are some young people out there who have no regards for their lives—imagine the lives of others. And they continue to behave in a thuggish way and those are the persons that we try as best as we can to identify and filter them out of the communities. But again, it is difficult because for us to be able to deal with them, it requires evidence and people for some reason or the other are always reluctant to give statements against them. And that’s the reason why many of the persons who could have been in prison today are not in prison because of reluctance of witnesses to give statements against them. But we will continue to see what we can do to continue to mitigate the gang situation. I think that our effort is paying off; we have been doing well over the past couple of months and we will continue to do what we have been doing to improve the situation.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Sir in terms of the situation with witnesses, which is true—witnesses are afraid to come forward, but perhaps with good reason. Is the police looking at some way—I know we don’t have the resources for a witness protection program—but are the police perhaps exploring some way in which they can provide some protection?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“That is a policy matter and while it is a matter of policy, it is a difficult one. We know that Belize is a very small country and for us to be able to take somebody and send them to Punta Gorda or send them to San Ignacio or send them to the north, it does not mean that we are putting them out of reach from those persons who may want to get to them. So the issue of the size of the country is difficult; we are not like the United States that has so many states far apart from each other where you can take somebody from California and go and hide them in New York or Michigan or somewhere far away. We do not have that luxury because of the size of our country.”

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