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Mar 27, 2017

ComPol Plans Media Meeting – Standoff over Access Persists

The impasse between the media and the Belize Police Department persists, despite a press briefing being called this morning in the wake of an exceptionally bloody weekend.  While the media has lodged a formal complaint to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, we took the opportunity of the gathering earlier today to field a number of questions relating to the boycott.  According to the ComPol, a meeting will be set for sometime later this week but he clearly fumbled when asked to give further details about a time and place.  So, is the top cop taking the standoff seriously?

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“As far as I am aware the press office has been sending out the information, I have seen it on the news and it is being used.  I think the portion the media has concerned with is the fact that they no longer have the easy access where they are able to access officers and have press briefings but the information is still being provided.  The media is still utilizing the information.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, that is not true.  That is not true.”

 

Allen Whylie

“So the media has not been receiving the information.”

 

Reporter

“We have are not using anything from the police department because the reports come what, two three days after the incident.  So we have been on the ground.  These murders have started from the wee hours of Saturday morning.  I worked the newsroom in Love FM and a report didn’t come from the police until after ten or eleven last night.”

 

Allen Whylie

“Well we’ll have that discussion as I said.  I will meet with the media people from our end because if they are not doing what they are supposed to do then we’ll have to address that. As I said, we’ll have a media meeting this week we’ll sit down and air these things.  I will meet with my people and see where the issues are and then we’ll meet.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Can we get you on record sir, setting a date and a time for the media meeting this week?”

 

Allen Whylie

“Uhm. I will set a date, as I said, I need to.  I will set a date this week, but I do have other commitments and meetings so I need to, when I get in Belmopan I’ll check my calendar and definitely this week we will meet.”

 

The media has decided to boycott all police events as a result of a breakdown in communication with the police press office which has not been honoring its end of an agreement struck in January.  That agreement ensured that officers attached to the Media Relations Unit would have made themselves available for comment, aside from the timely release of police reports.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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