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May 28, 2012

Police get equipment to destroy weapons

Last August, the Ministry of Police was gifted with a firearm marking machine as a part of the OAS program ‘Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean’. That machine was expected to reduce crimes being committed with weapons and the firearm trade in the region, but it hasn’t deterred the criminals. Today, Belize was gifted with another piece of equipment to reduce the number of weapons on the streets. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was there and files this report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize Police Department was the recipient of a Hydraulic Shear, a piece of equipment to be used for the destruction of surplus firearms in the police stockpiles; those confiscated on the streets or obsolete weapons. The donation was gifted by the United Regional Centre for Peace Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean:

 

Melanie Regimbal

Melanie Regimbal, Director, UN LiREC

“Today, we are here to oversee the handing over and training of the use of the Hydraulic Shears that will leave the government of Belize with permanent and effective capacity to destroy, confiscated, surplus and obsolete weapons. The materials can be recycled and disposed of properly. This action together with the delivery of forty international standard padlocks for enhancing security of strategic stockpile facilities will contribute to preventing theft, loss and diversion of firearms to illicit actors and will free up of important space to allow for better management of weapons used by government forces.”

 

The hydraulic shear, of which the destruction method is cutting, seeks to ensure that the weapons can never be used to fire again and that ammunition and explosives are rendered completely inoperable; whilst it presents no threat to the operator or the environment. The equipment can be used for the destruction of thousands of weapons in one day and is powered by electricity. The materials to be destroyed are carefully placed about four to eight inches under the metal blade. The operator places his fingers on the outer part; the weapon is cut after the foot operated pedal is pressed down. The pieces of the weapons then fall into a drum that is stationed under the blade. But the destruction of these illegal weapons must be backed up by other factors:

 

Lt. Col-Ret. George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security

George Lovell

“While we welcome and appreciate these recent initiatives, there is still a lot that needs to be done; the whole matter of protective security of stockpiles of arms and ammunition needs closer attention. Weapon storage facilities and the way they are managed have a lot to be desired especially with the growing threat now stems from organized gangs and their illicit linkages.”

 

To assist with the increasing crimes being perpetrated by gangs, the Ministry today handed over thirty bicycles to the Belize Police Department:

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Assistant Commissioner of Police

“The bicycle will simply be used for our foot patrols to give a little bit more mobility in specific areas. I believe low tech will give us the opportunity to be not too fast and not too slow within certain areas and it is going in between the foot patrols and the mobile patrols and I think that it will give us a little bit more edge on the streets.”

 

The value of the donation of hydraulic shear, transformer and padlocks values a little over forty-four thousand Belize dollars. But Regimbal says the equipment’s true value is priceless:

 

Melanie Regimbal

“As many of you know all too well, our region has the dubious honor of having the highest homicide and arm violence rates in the world. Nearly eighty percent of all homicides are committed with firearm, either trafficked illegally across our borders or stolen from private and government facilities. The value will really be in the use and to permanently remove a weapon out of circulation to me is one life saved and a weapon that will no longer threaten the life of a citizen and that is invaluable.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

 

The donation of the hydraulic shear is just the beginning, Regimbal says, of what they expect to be a long and fruitful collaboration with Belize. Over the course of the year, the U.S Government is expected to offer additional support including training for security officials.

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4 Responses for “Police get equipment to destroy weapons”

  1. Rod says:

    I wonder how long this will last until They are all stolen corruption is so thick in Belize they even aw thief you draze . And like how there is a surely no leadership in the country things have spiraled completely out of control.

  2. Islander says:

    The Problem is our low conviction rate not sending demented murderers to jail for life. It angers me when people keep insisting that the problem is caused by guns and not the murderers themselves.

    I have an idea lets put a blanket gun ban like Mexico , yea exactly ! Lol

  3. Lady X says:

    I would like the UN to help us with some equipment to keep the guns from getting into our country. Does anybody question why it is easier for a young black man to buy or borrow a gun that for him to find a job? or go to school? or do anything productive? We need to go to the source… where are these guns coming from?…certainly we do not have a gun factory somewhere in Southside?!

  4. I stone popcaan says:

    Cuz I can’t get an education fi a bag ah weed fry yiy. Gun dah like bread find one pon every corner.

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