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Jul 10, 2012

SOCTA, Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessment workshop

A regional workshop on Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessments began on Monday in Belmopan. It has the participation of sixteen persons from Police, the Belize Defence Force, Immigration and Customs Departments as well as invited participants from Trinidad and Tobago. The training, which is being provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, is the first in the Caribbean and the objective is to strengthen regional cooperation and exchange best practices in criminal intelligence and strategic analysis. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.


Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Belizean law enforcement officers are learning best practices on assessing criminal threats in a four-day regional workshop at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The training was made possible by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), which also provided the facilitators. One of the trainers, Stephen Thurlow, says the focus is organized crime.


Stephen Thurlow, UNDOC Trainer

Stephen Thurlow

“The focus is to take police and other law enforcement analysts from the region and to give them some basic methodology on how to conduct threat assessments. Those threat assessments, we call them SOCTA, it’s the Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment and it looks at the threats to Belize, to Trinidad and Tobago and to the region for organized crime. And it looks a platform for action, for the leaders of the law enforcement agencies, for the politicians to be able to base their decision making on, on what their priorities are, where they are going to spend their valuable resources and what they can do to counter the threats that have been identified by the analysis.”


Police and other law officers from Trinidad were also invited to participate so that the workshop can also include information sharing based on experience.


Stephen Thurlow

“We’re working with a variety of them from Trinidad and Tobago and Belize. We have representatives from the police service, from the Customs services and from all different arms of law enforcement. So that whole idea is that these different organizations come together, they pool their information, they share their methodology and it also has an extra benefit in that it gets them talking to each other across regions and that’s why we like to involve more than one country in these trainings.”


Delahnie Bain

“So the Trinidad representatives are here in Belize?”


Stephen Thurlow

“They’ve been invited, they sent seven or eight people and with colleagues that they’ll obviously meet during the course of this training, they’ll share a common understanding of how to investigate the threats and it also builds up these informal networks, which are so useful when they need to exchange information across boundaries.”


According to Thurlow, the UN worked with Interpol to ensure that the practices they teach are the best of the best.


Stephen Thurlow

“Yeah, we recently did one in this region in Panama for students from Panama and Costa Rica. This was the first one in this region but it’s a methodology that’s being put together by the United Nations and Interpol to examine the best practices from around the world in international cooperation, the methodology for strategic analysis and to make it something that’s not something that one country says is their best practice, but it brings together the best practices from a lot of well established countries.”


Delahnie Bain for News Five.


The training with culminate with a high level meeting with government ministers on July thirteenth.

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2 Responses for “SOCTA, Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessment workshop”

  1. Storm says:

    I hope GOB will participate in more international programs to improve security here and in the region. Security is one of the few legitimate functions of the national government. BDF is small, so, man for man, it must be excellent. I’d like to see BDF filled with 2,000 well-paid modern-day ninja warriors.

  2. Rod says:

    People we need to demand that barrow stop taking back all these gang members from the us. This is what he has been doing for 4 years now over 200 gang members have been sent to Belize from the us and barrow has been paid for taking back each one judas is getting his pieces of silver so 80 percent of all murders in Belize has been caused by this practice people we need to demand that this stops immediately no more criminals from the us in exchange they hang ballons on a few vehicles and act like they are doing something to help combat crime when they are the cause of crime out barrow out judas resign resign the blood of all these belizeans are on your hands and on the hands of all who support this gov. And pm.

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