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Oct 10, 2017

Chinese make accord with Police Department

On October first, the Belize Chinese Association had orchestrated a shutdown of all its affiliated businesses countrywide. This was in solidarity for a funeral for one of their own – Vernon Street shopkeeper Bainan Wu, who was gunned down inside his store on September twenty-fifth. But before that, the association had scheduled a meeting with the Belize Police Department and Ministry of Home Affairs. The meeting was announced by the department on Friday to include Chief Executive Officer in that Ministry, George Lovell, along with Minister of Home Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, and Minister of State Elodio Aragon, Junior, but the latter two did not make it. That left Commissioner Allen Whylie and some of his senior officers to face the group, discussing general security issues. The news tonight, as Aaron Humes reports, is that the economically powerful grouping plan to pool resources to assist the department in its crime fighting strategy.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

 

For close to three hours on Sunday afternoon, during a holiday weekend, the high command of the Belize Police Department met with over one hundred members of the Belize Chinese Association at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City.  The Chinese shared concerns about communication difficulties with the Department as well as plans for further securing their lucrative businesses, as explained by Chinese Association President Edmund Quan.

 

 

Edmund Quan, President, Belize Chinese Association

Edmund Quan

“The Chinese community mainly has the number one concern as security – safeguarding property and life. We had a very nice amount of suggestions and stuff like that, we’re going to make changes for easy communication – language barriers and other things that they would contact the Association immediately for us to relay the message, and different things that can assist with future problems.”

 

Aaron Humes

“Was the meeting connected in any way with the recent situation with your community, where one of your members was killed and several others were injured in various incidents?”

 

Edmund Quan

“More than likely it arises from that. We have security concerns and we just want to voice our opinion and hear what the Police Department has to say. And the Police Department has requested the assistance of the business community for cameras and things like that which on a whole will benefit the City security overall, because these cameras will be installed in locations that the police seems right that criminal activity is constant or hangouts and something like that.”

 

 

Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie spoke on the Department’s behalf after the meeting.

 

 

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

Allen Whylie

“We listened to their concerns and we looked at ways forward in how we can improve cooperation between the Belize Police Department and the Ministry and the Chinese Association and their business community. Obviously there will be the need for follow-up meetings and discussions with myself and the senior leadership and the Chinese Association, but we are encouraged, because they are committed to work with the Belize Police Department.”

 

Reporter

“What is the commitment of the Police Department, given the concerns that were raised today?”

 

Allen Whylie

“The Police Department’s primary function is safety and security; and so the issues raised – they are businesspeople, and of course being business people they are targeted by the criminal element. So we looked in terms of some of the things we will assist [with] in terms of the patrols, stepping up patrols, and we made some suggestions in terms of greater use of technology by the Chinese business community – we believe those things will act as a deterrent, as well as help us in making cases when crimes do occur at their establishments.”

 

Quan says that contrary to popular perception, the community wishes to do right by all Belizeans, especially those that shop at their ubiquitous stores and supermarkets.

 

Edmund Quan

“It’s a Belize thing; we are not here just mainly because of our concerns. But we want a safer Belize, for everybody, and because majority of business out there are Chinese, we are on the foreline. We’re willing to push all out, we’re always willing to push all out once it’s for the benefit of the business community, we are here to support it. Depending on the outcome, I don’t know how much the general members will contribute but we will try to do our best.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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