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Jun 5, 2018

Opposition Calls Out Government on Crime Dialogue

John Briceño

A total of seventy-nine murders have been reported, unofficially, across Belize to date, putting the country on course for another triple-digit year of killings. Other types of major crime reports, including burglary, robbery and theft have also been getting attention. Despite the change in command in Belize City and elsewhere and the plethora of plans put in place, there has been little change in what is reported on the news nightly and what Belizeans see on a daily basis. Briceño once again called on the government to include the Opposition in the planned consultations announced by Minister of National Security John Saldivar in March. He also re-floated his idea of making South Side, or Region One, in Belize City, a special development zone.

 

John Briceño, Leader, P.U.P.

“During the Budget Debate, Police Minister John Saldivar said that he will be holding consultations with civil society, the social partners and other stakeholders to look at a comprehensive plan to address the crime situation. He stated that he would call on the Opposition as well. To date, he has not invited any of us in the Opposition to a single meeting; neither has he reached out to anyone in our party to ask us to be part of his efforts. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Minister of National Security and the leadership of the Belize Police Department, has lost the confidence of our people when it comes to preventing, detecting and solving crime. As well, they have lost our confidence in arresting and convicting criminals. Once again I say, we are prepared to do our part and engage with anyone to find workable solutions to stem the crime and violence. We remain convinced however, that this problem will not be solved with guns and more B.D.F. on the streets. We cannot brutalize our youths into submission – this will not work. As I said in my last press briefing, we need to revitalize the South Side of Belize City to make it a zone of opportunity. Our communities will be safer if we police better, keep our children in school, improve relations between the police and the community and improve our conviction rates. And we all have to be better parents; we need to treat our children with love, care and understanding, and yes, discipline. We need a plan that will see a police department equipped to serve our citizens and communities.”

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