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Feb 6, 2018

How Police Will Fight Crime in 2018

2017 ended as one of the most murderous years with one hundred and forty-four homicides. This January, there have been as many as fourteen murders, topping the statistics for the same month last year. This morning, the Ministry of Home Affairs launched a two-year anti-crime strategy.  First and foremost, police want to reduce the murder rate and gang violence across the country. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A comprehensive approach to tackling the perennial issue of crime and violence in Belize, that’s what the Ministry of Home Affairs unveiled in grand fashion this morning.  The National Crime Fighting Strategy 2018-2020 which has been in the making for some time was introduced earlier today before a congregation of senior police officers.  The line of attack, according to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, is to confront the issue from multiple angles.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“There are four salient goals: reduction of murders and gang violence in Belize City and across the country.  Prevention, interdiction and successful prosecution of criminals and the restoration of public confidence.  And our priorities will be achieved through the following: to reduce gun-related crimes, target and dismantle criminal gangs through legislative reforms, through the strengthening of the Professional Standards Branch and the implementation of the systematic video surveillance program for Belize City.”

 

To achieve this end, the Belize Police Department has to first put together an Anti-gang Taskforce.

 

Allen Whylie

“The department will establish an anti-gang taskforce that will be charged with the investigation of specific gang-related crimes with a view to have these cases brought before the court.  The Belize Police Department will aggressively investigate and prosecute suspected gang leaders and their financiers for financial and other crimes, using all available laws at its disposal.  The Belize Police Department will aggressively seek to eliminate the proliferation of illegal guns and ammunition countrywide through the collection and analysis of intelligence.  The Belize Police Department will ensure that all guns upon being presented for renewal of license are test fired and the results entered in the Integrated Ballistics Information System.”

 

The objective of the crime fighting strategy is ultimately for prosecutors to be able to successfully convict suspects in criminal activity.

 

Allen Whylie

“The taskforce, as we said, will be experienced investigators.  We will be seeking some additional support and training for those officers because it’s a new venture, but we are also working with our CIB, we are looking at the structure, we are looking at the personnel who are there and if we need to tweak and do changes, we will do change.  We’re looking at different levels of training locally, as well as seeking assistance regionally and internationally.  There’s a number of things but the department always tries to put its best foot forward in terms of investigation.  There are a number of factors that we have no control over when it comes to the court and the conviction, because I can tell you that we’ve had some excellent cases, it’s excellent that the DPP has moved forward with the prosecution of those cases because if the evidence is not there then the DPP would not direct the charge or would not proceed, a magistrate court would not conduct a preliminary inquiry and send it forward to the Supreme Court if there was not evidence.”

 

Minister of State Elodio Aragon Jr. reiterated the position of the Ministry of Home Affairs where it concerns a crackdown on criminal activities involving gangs and guns.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Police

“These four main areas that will be focused upon, each with their specific goals and objectives, speaks to the kind of work that the police department needs to engage itself if we are to make an impact on crime in this country. When we look at the reduction of gun-related and gang-related crime, there are a number of key areas that we will be focusing on. First and foremost, the establishment of the Anti-Gang Taskforce; that in itself is a big step towards addressing the crime situation; focusing on those people who we know in our communities that are actively engaged in criminal activities and gang-related gun violence. We need to go after these people.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “How Police Will Fight Crime in 2018”

  1. Mike Green says:

    Hope it works this time around.

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