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Aug 31, 2007

Area reps voice crime concerns in House

Story PictureThe issue of crime and violence was on everyone’s mind today, including area representatives meeting at the National Assembly in Belmopan. And while numerous suggestions on how to resolve the situation are sure surface in the days to come, as part of his address, Leader of the Opposition Dean Barrow presented a six point proposal. Barrow is calling for a specialized unit to deal with gangs, a new punishment regime for gun related offences and more effective community policing.

While the House Sitting’s main topic was not crime, Leader of the Opposition Dean Barrow did put forth a six-point proposal to deal with the recent spate of murders in Belize City.

Dean Barrow, Leader of Opposition
“There are citizens who are prepared to stand with the police and defend their communities. It will take some working out but nothing is impossible and we’re at a stage now where we have to try but anything. Swear then in as special constables and find some sort of a role for them so that you can boost the resources of the police department, so that you can boost the resources of this dedicated gang and gun violence unit that I am talking about. Those are my suggestions. I would hope that the minister would act on some of them, but if ih noh want act pan none ah them then come up with your own. But for God sakes, let us hear from you what you’re going to do.”

Ralph Fonseca
“We’re all subject to being victims of crime and we need to work together, but more importantly Mr. Speaker, never in the history of Belize have the Belizean people had a better opportunity to access information from the police. Every morning, every midday, every evening, the police make themselves available to explain exactly what is happening. They take questions, even some outrageous and silly ones at times. They explain exactly what they are doing. Never in the history of Belize have we had that. Never in the history have we had so much communication between the police and the community trying to find solutions. And I can list off all the programmes. The Leader of the Opposition has a little six point agenda that he put down that is policing 101. The Commissioner of Police has a ten point agenda, and by the way, we are circulating it again for those that haven’t ready it, cause obviously he hasn’t. Because in those ten points, his six points are embellished in about two, in about two of them. In no place in the world, Mr. Leader of the Opposition, is any police department or force—whatever you want to call it—ever able to stop crime completely.”

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