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Jun 2, 2010

Restore Belize; Government’s plan to combat crime and social malaise

dean barrow

A detailed and bureaucratic plan layered with numerous committees and subcommittees was unveiled this morning as Restore Belize, the government’s strategy to address violence and social ills plaguing the country. It is to be chaired by the prime minister, financed by the financial institutions and will involve a wide gamut of organizations, schools, churches, and even the Belize City Council which in April unveiled its own crime strategy. According to the prime minister, a program coordination unit has been set up and he will draw the expertise of a retired Belizean American formerly attached to the Boston Police Department. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was at the Biltmore Plaza and has this report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced his plan to diminish the growing concern that violent crime has gripped the country.  Barrow said that the recent cabinet changes are integral to the operation dubbed Restore Belize.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There will be the Restore Belize Council that I will chair. That council will be comprised of members of the political directorate, in particular, the Minister of the Police and Public Safety, the Minister of Defense, Minister of Education and Youth, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Human Development, the Minster of Labour and the Minister of Sports. We had set up an inter-ministerial committee earlier; naturally, the Restore Belize Council at the top will replace that inter-ministerial committee on crime. The plan will be operationally, in an immediate way, be supervised by a steering committee and that steering committee will be constituted of all the chief executive officers of the ministries that I just mentioned together with the chair of the Crimes Control Council—I believe that’s Michael Young, as well as representatives and this is what is most important from the business community, the Non- Governmental Organizations and the community based organizations. All will have a seat on the program steering committee.”

Under the pyramid structure, the program steering committee will guide several sub committees which will concentrate their efforts on specialized areas of concern.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“This steering committee will then direct the work of six operational subcommittees. Those subcommittees are one on police department reform; two, municipal government infrastructure aesthetics; third subcommittee, human development; fourth, a safe zones subcommittee; fifth, one on legislative reform and sixth, one on communications because throughout it will be critical to engage on a continual the public.”

In addition to NGO’s, the church, and a program coordination unit for all the committees, Barrow intends to reign in a Belizean American Cop with a distinguished background.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Perhaps the showpiece of what is to happen will be the implementation of what we call a community safe zone project. And this is to rehabilitate neighborhoods that are highly impacted by crime. I will get into the details of how that safe zone project will work just a little bit later. That’s perhaps job one in terms of what the plan envisages. It will as well be looking in terms of its overview on the implementation of police department reform based primarily on the recommendations in the Crooks Report. Implementation of those recommendations, a number of which have already passed muster, a number of which it is agreed are very good recommendations must be sped up. We will also try to bring in additional, international expertise and manpower to fill gaps that have been identified in the police department. There is one Belizean who has been away from this country for a long time and who retired as a commander of the Boston Police Department. I think he was in the military first and then he was at a very senior level in the Boston Police Department dealing with administrative reform but also dealing at one juncture with their anti-gang unit. He is coming in at the end of this month in early July to help us with the whole question of police department reform including how to get more bang for the buck in terms of the gang suppression unit in terms of the core policing efforts.”

A dedicated court for violent crime and a public education campaign to promote love for Belize is also in the Restore Belize plan.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The program will launch the “I Am Belize” public education campaign and this will include public service announcements to be developed and aired on radio and TV; to promote the specific social violence that I talked about; a schedule of motivational speeches and summer camps; inviting individual citizens, athletes, media personalities, successful professionals, grassroots organizers, rehabilitated gang members, artists, including no doubt I hope the musical good will ambassador. If I wah tek heat ih betta look like produce and these speakers will engage the students naturally to discuss and promote issues of national identity, character values and so on. Today we take the first step in a journey that we hope over time will lead to an effective solution to this problem. We naturally cannot expect a complete resolution anytime soon but we do expect that you, the public, will be able to see measurable results very soon indeed.”

No doubt the measuring stick for the program includes a decrease in shootings, as well as the public perception about safety.  Implementation of Restore Belize is expected to commence by the beginning of August.  Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The Biltmore Plaza was overflowing with the rest of Cabinet, other public officers and the diplomatic community.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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28 Responses for “Restore Belize; Government’s plan to combat crime and social malaise”

  1. Real Analyzer says:

    Government can never be successful without its people for the simple fact that the people are [should-in Belize] the government.

    Any programme, project, plan, or policy need to be include the people that will implement the plan and also the person being affected. The public policy process is dynamic and very complex; requiring of people with knowledge and expertise on how it functions in the Diagnosis/defining the problem; Establishing alternatives-selecting the optimal alternatives; Designing the plan to be implemented- coordination; Actual implementation by the different actors involved; Controlling the actors; and Evaluation of the plan….During all this process, there should be constant feedback so that there is modifications for unforeseen circumstances.

    THIS plan did not included the grassroots Belizeans that have a better idea on the real issue of crime…

    so my recommendation for GOB is to have a section available in the government web portal whereby Belizeans can post issues and we the people, discuss some possible alternatives…moreover, this virtual forum will certainly generate great ideas that GOB can turn into reality

    GOB needs to give voice back to the Belizean..GOB should open this virtual forum to look like this one http://www.americaspeakingout.com/

    anyone willing to develop or host a website like this?? any student from UB??

  2. NEWARK says:

    Dean Barrow you look bad why should it take this for you to realize that not even you is safe and all the people of Belize. I love Belize and had always hope to one day move back there but this will not happen now for me because I feel much safer living here than there. Wake up and smell the rose Mr. Barrow , we have seen enough.

  3. Student says:

    I like it. I like it.

  4. Maddyvandijk says:

    Newark, if you are out of Belize stay out, that is your safest bet yet.
    came to the same conclusion, sad but true.

  5. Transplant says:

    The Honorable Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize.

    The real issues that face this beautiful country will not be solved by committees, or any other government actions without one defining step. YOU must take the lead in stopping the corruption issues that are rampant within the Belize Police Department, Judiciary, and Customs agencies of this country. Nothing will effect this country more than allowing the current level of corruption to continue. Corruption is the root cause of the problems facing your government.

    Without honest and forthright action any attempt to control the crime issues are irrelevant. Corruption will defeat all attempts to control and prosecute the crime issue when Judiciary officials and Police can be bribed or intimidated.

    You must take the lead in keeping ministers, politicians, and all others from interfering with the Police and undermining the actions of your newly appointed individuals. These people must have complete control to make decisions and take actions without any outside interference. All law enforcement officers who are found to be corrupt must be terminated from their positions and criminally prosecuted with no exceptions. Investigations must be completed in a timely manner, must be documented correctly, and must stand up in court as complete and correct to ensure the proper legal outcome. An independent investigate agency needs to be established to handle nothing but corruption issues within the government. This agency must be independent and should be modeled after an Inspector General agency used in many countries to root out corruption and ethics issues within those governments.

    Investments and financial incentives to improve the lives of the people of Belize are all defeated when corruption is allowed to flourish as it has and does. Ordinary people must take a stand against corruption and must have a venue to report it when they see it without the fear of retribution of any kind. This currently does not exist in Belize do to the level of corruption within the Belize Police Department and Judiciary.

    There are many people within Belize, both transplants and locals who would assist with this effort given the opportunity, myself included, however given the current conditions most all just ignore it as they know that there is nothing that can or will be done.

    You have an opportunity at this junction in time to actually make a difference in the lives of the people by taking on these issues and fighting against those that want the “Status Quo” to continue. Belize could be a paradise on earth with the people prosperous and unafraid to walk the streets of their towns and villages and nothing is more important than that

    Belize can no longer afford to allow the current problems to continue. This is a country of around 300,000 residents depending on what source you use for population data. The opportunity is waiting for you and the government to make this a real paradise for the people of this beautiful country. Please do not miss this chance.

  6. Lisa Lisa says:

    Mr Barrow, you keep doing what you think is right. You can’t please everybody. You are doing something, which is more than I can say for the folks writing disapproval messages on this board. If you don’t want to live in Belize, Belize doesn’t want you. Stay where you are. And WHEN Belize crime stops (since crime in the US is zero) do not come back still. Stay in crime free America where you belong. You people disapproving are never satisfied, and to suggest that this detailed plan they came up with, was thought up in 2 days is ridiculous. Barrow and his associates have been putting together this before his friend got shot.

    Corruption does need to be dealt with, but some things can’t be spoken in public people, use your head. They can’t advertise everything.

  7. Youth Voice says:

    I must say that finally some step has been taken to think long term in this country. We have always think day to day – we have always have leaders with no vision (well we still have) but we need to groom leaders that have long term vision, critical thinking and put the best interest of the people as the center of any plan. Planning for the people without the people, will not move any effort forward.

    While I applaud the effort of thinking long term – I must say as a young person I see no involvement of young people – no consultation with them, or no effort to find strong, dedicated young leaders to be apart of this process – who will create the intergeneration transitions in the plan. I was appaul to see that they made changes in the Youth Ministry, but have no involvement of young in the initial phase of the plan.

    Investment in young people is the key !!!! preparing young people to lead this country is the key – preparing leaders from birth – we need to think development across the life cycle. From Early Childhood Development to Adolescent to Youth to Adults – it has been proven across the world – participation of young people in decision-making process only lend to uplifting the process.
    Believe in your citizens Mr. Barrow – we are the keys, the gateways and the sustainability to your efforts.

  8. Charlotte Yearwood Martin says:

    Finally something is being done to address the crime and other social issues facing Belize. I will stay clear of cynicism. Let’s get behind the leadership and make this work. Otherwise what’s the alternative?

    I will only say that I would like to see more fairness in Belize’s society.

    Those in authority to “Restore Belize” should start with a focus on egalitarianism, equity and equality.

  9. John Boy/Carson, California says:

    Kudos to the PM. To combat any problem you first need a plan.I hear a lot of people saying bring back hanging. That is not a plan.We need a plan that includes : education ; employment ; youth development; drug and alcohol rehab.

    A lot of our young people are ignorant.They look at Black Entertainment Television(BET) and they think that is how it is in America. I lived in America since 1974 who act , talk , and dress like the fools on some of these shows.They have to learn to seperate entertainment from real life. You take for example college kids in America when you see them on spring break in Can Cun or other parts of the world that is not how they act daily.Some of them go back to Ivy Leauge schools and become doctors , lawyers , etc.

    Our people have to first value themself , because if you do not value yourself you will not value no one.

  10. Deane tillett says:

    why does it take Dean Barrow friend to get shot for the government of Belize to realized we have a serious problem, this is hypocrisy at its highest point…. i am shame to call my self belizean

  11. NEWARK says:

    No one say America is crime free but we all know that the crime situation has gotten out of hand, I love the country where I was born, left when I was 16 but cannot understand why the powers that be just want to form more committees to do what so that Mr. Barrow friends and now have jobs he had promise. Please the corruption will never stop untill the people who were elected to service be happy with money they are making. they always want more to above both PUP and UDP. Please lets pray for our beautiful country. Lisa you are just crazy you must be a Barrow friend.

  12. Student says:

    Deane Tillet, clearly you haven’t been following the news. Restore Belize has been in the planning phases and this conference was scheduled prior to Mr. William’s shooting incident.

    In other words, the P.M. had been taking crime seriously before his friend got shot.

    Hope this helps in some small way with your struggles to call yourself Belize.

  13. I can’t believe things like this still happen.

  14. Funny where bing leads you, and how I am now even more confused about
    Restore Belize; Government’s plan to combat crime and social malaise | Channel5Belize.com

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  23. Prophet Jorge Ernesto Babb says:

    read it all on face book prophet jorge ernesto babb; or barack obama author face book; or go to wwwcreolesalvationforbelize.com! FOR WE BELIZEANS NEED TO UNDERSTAND WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS 1960-2018; AND THE ONLY RESTORATION BELIZE NEED IS FOR ALL BELIZEANS TO REPENT AND OBEY THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; ESPECIALLY THE ELECTED LEADERS AND PUBLIC OFFICERS OF THE GOVERMENT AND PEOPLE OF BELIZE! FOR WHAT THEY SOWN AS THE WOE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL LEADERS AND THEIR ALMIGHTY ANGELS; TODAY BELIZE AND BELIZEANS ARE REAPING IN REALITY AND TRUTH AS THE FULFILLMENT OF OUR HOLY BIBLE PROPHECY AS IN MATHEW 24:1-50! BUT WE COULD TAKE THEM TO THE WELL BUT CANNOT MAKE THEM DRINK! THANK YOU ALWAYS; NO DISRESPECT UNTO ANYONE; BUT AS GOD JESUS SOWN LOVE; HONOUR; RESPECT; UNITE WITH ONE ANOTHER AND THY BLESSED TEMPLES OF CREATION; YOUR NEIGHBOURS/THE BODY/ONLY CHURCH/TEMPLE OF GOD JESUS SALVATION; 2007-3000 SMILE! TECH TOO HIGH OR DEEP; GOD JESUS SLOW BUT SURE; AS THE ONLY CURE AND RESTORATION FOR BELIZE AND THE WORLD; AS GOD JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD SPIRITUAL SALVATION OF WISDOM; UNDERSTANDING; TRUE LOVE AND PEACE; IT IS ALSO ALL POSTED ON **BARACK OBAMA AUTHOR FACE BOOK! ONE LOVE ALWAYS SMILE!

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  25. Prophet Jorge Ernesto Babb says:

    Prophet Jorge Ernesto Babb says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    September 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm Nevertheless, there is a very striking statement in the Bible. It is recorded in Ecclesiastes 8:5. There God declares:
    Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s
    heart discerneth [better translation: will know] both time and judgment.
    In the Bible a wise man is a true believer, to whom God has given a profound trust in the authority of the Bible. we Belizeans all Seeking all Kind of *OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING*; when 2013 years ago AS TODAY 2007-2018 IS THE SAME; **SPIRITUAL OF SALVATION CYCLE AND REVELATION FULFILLING ITSELF AS THE PROPHECIES OF OUR HOLY BIBLE!
    For our innocent Belizean Children as a Mixed Culture are Lost; Confused; Ignorant and Evil; today during the last Days 2007-2018! For the realities and truth *who could change the prophecies of our Holy Bible *SOWN BY GOD JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD? Where the *SPIRITUAL FOOLS AS BELIZEAN FLESH AS POLITICIANS AND WOE RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND THEIR ALMIGHTY ANGELS AS PUBLIC OFFICERS ARE LOST; CONFUSED; EVIL AND IGNORANT AS THE SAME FLESH OF 2013 YEARS AGO; SOWING THEIR SAME TRADITION AND CULTURES SMILE! SO CLOSING DOWN THE CITY WILL NOT CHANGE THE LOST; CONFUSED; IGNORANT AND EVIL BELIZEAN FLESH AND THESE REFUGEES AS DRUGLORDS ETC! SO THE ONLY SOLUTION TO THIS *PLAQUE OF VIOLENCE AND CRIME IN BELIZE; IS FOR ALL BELIZEAN TO REPENT AND OBEY THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; AS TO LOVE; HONOUR; RESPECT AND UNITE WITH ONE ANOTHER AND THEIR NEIGHBORS *THE FLESH/BODIES; AS THE ONLY BLESSED TEMPLES OF GOD JESUS SPIRITUAL SALVATION! PLEASE CHECK MY WEBSITE:wwwcreolesalvationforbelize.com; and face book prophetjorgeernestobabb! THANK YOU AND LETS JUST PRAY; AND UNDERSTANDING GOD JESUS CAME LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT **13TH JANUARY 2007-2018-3000! For our children need to understand that the body/the flesh may dies but me and you never dies! But we are not thought why me and you never Dies today 2007-3000; So why keep on Killing the Blessed; Innocent Temples of God Jesus Salvation all in Vain! see you later!

  26. Brother Joseph says:

    Is it true no one has posted to this site since September?

  27. facebook likes says:

    Nice post about Restore Belize; Government’s plan to combat crime and social malaise | Channel5Belize.com. I am very impressed with the time and effort you have put into writing this story. I will give you a link on my social media blog. All the best!

  28. mrs d daley says:

    i am a canadian/jamaican citizen. after 10 years in jamaica i decided to come back to canada because of the crime, violence, lack of morality and family values and discrimination and envy. i am retired, a good citizen and asked for nothing from that island, in fact infusing 1.5 million ja dollars annually. i have been looking at belize info for 6 months per year residence and the info i have garnered is surprisingly bad news. i will not live behind bars on my doors and windows and it seems like you are a country of red tape. your country and people need me and those like me if you ever expect to prosper and it seems to me that your rules, crime etc are a detriment to us retired canadians who would bring in fresh dollars and take no jobs from the locals.

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