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Jul 26, 2001

New publication on citizen security

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Belizeans can take a look at the economic conditions of the country and how it affects citizen security through the publication: Democratic Governance and Citizen Security in Central America: The Case of Belize. The book contains three research papers by locals Minelva Johnson, Dylan Vernon and Shaun Finnetty. Finnetty, SPEAR’s chairperson, says the new release is a joint publication between SPEAR and CRIES.

Shaun Finnetty, Chairman, SPEAR

“Mr. Vernon did political reform, governance, and how that affected citizen security. Mine is a more in depth study in terms of criminality in the country and how that manifests itself in the city and across the country in terms of public perceptions of insecurity, things like that.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“Where did you get the data from for your particular paper?”

Shaun Finnetty

“The data for my paper was actually done through another project, a complimentary project through the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights in Costa Rica, which is also doing a citizen security survey. What it actually did was a random survey based on sample populations in Belmopan and Belize City. The data in there comes out of the various statistics in terms of what people in those two particular municipalities…how they perceive insecurities. You get feedback on what they think of the performance of the police, the judicial system, things like that.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“What are some poignant points you found out about criminality in Belize?”

Shaun Finnetty

“Other than the public perception survey, a lot of it was based also on the…we did some key informant interviews, this is as far back as 1998. It’s interesting, because even though the date is about two years old, it still hasn’t changed. I think there’s also a case of under-reporting. There’s no doubt that is a situation, but also administratively, I think there is problems with maybe the value given to gathering statistics and making sure that those statistics are always there to be used for analysis and for planning.”

Democratic Governance and Citizen Security in Central America: The Case of Belize, can be bought at ten dollars a copy from SPEAR.

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