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May 7, 2018

Police Say Gang Rivalry Shifted from Lake to Port

Chester Williams

The question everybody is asking now is, what’s driving all these violent crimes, and what can police in Belize City do to contain it? A few weeks ago, the headlines concentrated on the rivalry between Mayflower Street “Ghost Town” and the ‘Back-A-Town’/P.I.V. gangs in Lake Independence. That area has now calmed down some, but further south in Port Loyola area passions have flared, particularly following the wanton attack on four persons on Fabers Road and the subsequent murder of Jason Sutherland last week. Deputy Commissioner Chester Williams told reporters that police do have an idea why all these recent murders and shootings are happening, and they will re-adjust and deploy as necessary.

 

Chester Williams, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“We have seen a spike in shooting incidents in the Port Loyola area, particularly in that area of Fabers Road between Jane Usher. And we believe that that spike is a result of the shooting on Thursday night at the Chinese establishment where the four individuals were shot; subsequent to that we had the murder of Mr. Sutherland. Now with all those incidents occurring in that area, what we have done is ramped up our police presence in that area. If you go on Caesar Ridge, you will see that the G.S.U. bus is on Caesar Ridge; we have also inserted a police-B.D.F. patrol within that area, and we have also put in place a police patrol on the Boulevard in the immediate vicinity as well as one on Unity Street. So we have put in place a buffer between the two factions with a view to see how we can defuse the tension between these rival groups. But we understand that the mere police presence alone will not be sufficient. And so what we are also doing is to see how we can get the groups together and we had done that over the weekend, when we had a very good intervention session with the groups concerned; and they have all pledged that they will work with the police to see how they can settle their differences. But we are not going to take nothing for granted, and think that because they are saying that all is fine, that we must then step back or we must minimize our presence in the area. We will continue to be vigilant; we will continue to maintain our presence, and we will continue to go after those persons that we need to go after.”

 

The Deputy Commissioner also pointed out that police have made arrests in most of the recent murders and have made much use of the recently passed Witness Anonymity and Protection Act.

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