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Mar 9, 2018

New Bills Tackle Gangs and Protecting Witnesses of Crime

Wilfred Elrington

The Budget was not the only major news coming out of today’s meeting in Belmopan. Three amendments to substantive legislation and a new bill were introduced which had to do with crime issues. The Firearms Act is being amended to, among other things, increase and update fines and fees relating to firearm misuse. The Police Act is being revised to bring it into conformity with the Public Service Regulations and strengthen disciplinary control of holders of security service offices. The Crime Control and Criminal Justice bill tackles outlawing membership in and suppressing activity by criminal gangs; and the new Protection of Witnesses Bill addresses protecting witnesses in criminal proceedings who are to give testimony. Each bill was introduced by Minister of Foreign and Home Affairs, Wilfred Elrington.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Area Representative, Pickstock

“Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill for an Act to amend the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, Chapter 102 of the Substantive Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2011, to make provision of better maintenance of public safety and order through discouraging membership of criminal gangs; and the disruption and suppression of criminal gang activity, and to provide for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto. Mr. Speaker, this Bill has the recommendation of the Cabinet.  I rise to introduce a bill for an Act to provide for the protection of witnesses in criminal proceedings, by enhancing the ability of a witness to give testimony in a judicial proceeding and to cooperate with law enforcement authorities; and to provide for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.”

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