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May 2, 2018

Turning Abandoned Lots to Football Fields and Healing Hearts in Mayflower

There were inmates of the Belize Central Prison in the city today, but they were being kept out of trouble. Region One Commander Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett employed them to “bush” overgrown lots on Logwood Street, Moya Street in the Saint Martin’s area, and on Mayflower Street. But Gillett told us that after the city council hauls away the debris, the lots will be kept up as special areas to play sports. He also made note of a gesture of reconciliation with Mayflower residents, who were sore after a Gang Suppression Unit visit, following a funeral for top gang lieutenant Kendis Flowers about a month ago which saw residents beaten up and brutalized. But some off-screen police work has thawed out relations.

 

Howell Gillett

Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett, Regional Commander, Region One, Eastern Division

“We’ve already cleaned a bushy lot that was not taken care of for many years on Logwood Street, and that will make that community safer; then we moved to Moya Street where there is a lot for many years that wasn’t cleaned. But it’s not just cleaning the area; we also want to provide an open space for people to play sports, especially football. We’ve brought down some balls and we are thankful to the F.F.B., the president Mr. [Sergio] Chuc for donating a few footballs to us. As a matter of fact we have already given these to residents of that area, and the kids will now be using that area as a makeshift football field, because there’s lack of space in the area. And you know kids are confined to an area because of the name they have gotten for living in that area, so we want to keep them in that community but we had to provide the enabling environment. The last cleaning for the day will be the Mayflower area and just like the Moya Street area, we will be using the empty lot as a temporary football field for young people after school. The caveat behind it is that they must do their homework before engaging in sports. But we believe that, like other big organizations across the world, through sports much can be achieved in young people. And very salient of what is occurring today is that residents of Mayflower area are doing the cooking for the inmates, and for the prison guards, and the police officers who are taking care of the inmates as they clean the different lots so we are pleased to have the residents [do that.] Like somebody said, just a few weeks ago, they were up in arms against the police but there is a turn-around. And we are happy for that, because we have been engaging them without the cameras present; we have gone back and letting them know that if we are going to win this fight against crime, we have to do it together, and we are very pleased. And today’s activity shows that they are serious about fighting crime along with the police.”

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