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Oct 28, 2016

What’s Going Right and Wrong for Police in Belize City

Allen Whylie

The Commissioner of Police offered something of a theory for why murders went up countrywide. However, in Belize City the pace has fallen off, if only a little. Minister of State Elodio Aragon also weighed in, stating that in general crime has been trending down in recent years and that eradicating crime entirely will never be easy, but that there are ways to dealing with it.

 

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“The thing about the murders is that it is not only concentrated in Belize City, but we have seen murders increased across the entire country. And so it could be as a result of some displacement because of the various operations we have been doing in Belize City; and so we continue to look at that; I continue to urge the commanders to look at the most prolific criminals in their area, and let us continue to do operations with a view to get evidence against these people, to put them before the courts. I wouldn’t want to say gang warfare. There were some instances when members of rival gangs were involved with different shootings. We were able to solve some of those; some other cases are still pending [and] the investigations remain open. We continue to appeal to witnesses to come forward and the citizenry to continue to support their police officers. In regards to the Belize District – and I speak of the entire District – it shows that we’ve had fifty-seven murders at this point in time compared to fifty-nine murders at the same time last year. And so we are a little below, but the community policing efforts continue across the Belize District and across this entire nation.”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs

“You have to look at statistics. From what I have seen, the statistics from 2009 to now –you will see that we have had a decrease in major crimes, that is the trend right now, it is still ongoing. But out of all the major crimes, the one that stands out is the murder. Those are things that we need to specifically look at, to look at how we can deal with that situation. It’s not an easy situation to have been dealt with; if it had been an easy situation it would have been done a long time ago. But I am confident that by working together and sitting down and looking strategically at what needs to be done and how to deal with the situation, we can find resolutions or find ways and means by which we can reduce these things, and this is the task at hand. And it will always be a continuous task, because every year we have to deal with the issues; every day, the police are on the street dealing with these issues. And remember that most of these issues are from the public, from the community. So it is always a tremendous task, but I am confident that looking at where we are in terms of major crimes, looking at where we are in terms of other offenses, in terms of drunk driving, in terms of the investigation process that needs to be done, there is a lot of work that still has to be done, and those are the places where we want to focus that so in turn we can make more effective Police Department.”

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