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Nov 7, 2012

Crime Ridden Areas demarcated in Lake Independence

The Minister of National Security announced last Thursday that with immediate effect, several areas in the Old Capital and elsewhere would be demarcated as Crime Ridden Areas. It is a designation assigned under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act that would expedite the work of security personnel in neighborhoods that criminals call home. The cordoning of areas and searches without warrants would be the norm. But the initiative could not take effect because it needs the approval of the Crime Control Council, which had not met. The council convened today with representatives from the Court, Bar Association, Opposition, Ministry of National Security and the Church. Close to a dozen persons attended the meeting chaired by Attorney Michael Young. As the meeting came to a close, News Five spoke to Young as well as the C.E.O. for the National Security Ministry, George Lovell, and they said that no one voted against the designation of Crime Ridden Areas, and it would be initiated as soon as it can be gazetted.

 

Jose Sanchez

“You’ve had your discussion with the ministry. What has been the discussion; what has been the result of the meeting?”

 

Michael Young, Chairman, Crime Control Council

Michael Young

“The discussion with the ministry was relatively brief. They indicated what their intention was; the initiative that was being undertaken and the declaration of certain areas under the act. It clearly was a matter of emergency and urgency from their point of view and certainly even on society’s point of view on a whole. I quickly convened a meeting as chairman of the crime control council and the result was; there was good attendance from members of the council. There was a very constructive and healthy discussion. We had representatives from the various stakeholders that’s set out in the act and it includes: the D.P.P., Chief Magistrate, the Representative of the Leader of the Opposition, Miss Shoman. And it resulted in terms of the conclusion with the CCC concurring with the ministry’s intended declaration by an overwhelming majority—in fact, there was only one abstention. All other votes were in favor of the concurrence.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Which group represented abstained from the votes?”

 

Michael Young

“The Bar Association representative and to be fair to them, the representative indicated that because the meeting had been summoned so quickly she did not have time to consult properly with the Bar Association.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Gentlemen in some quarters it has been referred to as “draconian measure”; however, at the Business Forum, there was overwhelming applause for the measure. And people on the street who live in those areas are saying oh well we don’t want to be killed—we rather be searched than be killed. Have you named the designated areas as yet?”

 

George Lovell

Ret. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“There are five areas identified that will be gazette; it will be known to the public when we have those areas gazette.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“So that should be within a day?”

 

Ret. Col. George Lovell

“We are hoping to have it done within a day.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Would there be any sort of sensitization at this point, at least with the media, so people that live in the area can understand what will happen. Would they be able to move freely; at least when it comes to the economy of businesses in those areas?”

 

Ret. Col. George Lovell

“There is certainly a need for public education and we will seek to do just that. We will look at the protocols and procedures and what it is that the public can expect when the security forces go into their areas based on these arrangements. And hopefully we will be able to clear that up with them.”

 

Michael Young

“You mentioned draconian; that was the concern of the Crime Control Council itself because there are human rights; there are innocent people. But we are satisfied that that is simply not the intent or the approach. We have areas of this city where for instance we have five murders being committed in a short period of time. I think it is like fifteen attempted murders. So it is a matter of the government in a sense and the state and the people taking back the streets in the community—that is the intent and how is it done. It is done by an operation that goes into that community and seeks to work with the law abiding citizens in that community rather than going in there just with a strong hand and invading the houses of innocent people and so on. That is the approach, the police representatives have indicated that they are seeking to be professional in their approach and to give as much respect to people’s rights as they can given the circumstances.”

 

News Five has spoken with a source that says the majority, if not all five Crime Ridden Areas are located inside Lake Independence. This information has not been confirmed, but Zone One is expected to be north of Garbutt Street, west of Giles Street, south of Camberbatch Street and east of MY Street, north of M and M Street and west of Garbutt Street. Zone two is expected to be the area south of Police Street extension, east of the junction of Linda Vista Street and the Western Highway, and west of Lacroix Boulevard.  Zone three is expected to be south of Holy Emmanuel Street, west of Lacroix Boulevard, north of Police Street extension and east of Emma Street.  Zone four is expected to be south of Lavender Street, east of Jasmine Street, north of Croton Lane, east of Flamboyant Street and West of Oleander Street. Zone five is expected to be north of Poinsetta Street, east of Black Orchid Street, west of Causarina Street and south of Mahogany Street.

 

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13 Responses for “Crime Ridden Areas demarcated in Lake Independence”

  1. dennis middleton says:

    those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither and will rue the day this choice was made

  2. Storm says:

    The start has been a little slow, but once the program gets rolling, I pray it succeeds in finding the worst criminals and taking them off the streets permanently, and that BDF and police do their job as intended. We need security from them.

  3. it's just that simple says:

    Cordoning off the holding cell of Queen Street police station should be at the top of the list.
    If you can’t make that work, what is plan B?

  4. Rod says:

    This man can’t even talk properly and he is minister of national security no wonder our country is in the $%!# hole it’s in useless pm and gov.

  5. Belizean says:

    I think this is good idea. Just show up at the least expected time and search everyone and every house. If you know you are not guilty of anything why will you be bothered by the idea. Cooperate with the security forces to make the streets you and your kids walk a safer one. This should be carried out across the whole country as there are crime hotspots through out. We as Belizeand should applaud this effort by the higher authorities. This is not a matter of Red or Blue, this is a matter of making our streets safe and our lives better.

  6. Storm says:

    @dennis middleton, your comment, of course, if the big worry.

    I support the move and at the same time I am wary of it. I generally trust the BDF. I think this approach is better than vigilantism, which is another option I could support. There is no effective law on the streets of Belize right now.

  7. Southern says:

    Nothing to hide…nothing to worry about. cooperation and respect from both sides will allow things to go smoothly.

  8. ceo says:

    What about the value of peoples property when their area is now labled crime ridden?

    Criminals will just take their operations down the street or to another street then what? At this rate the whole city will be declared crime ridden. Not a good move.

    Control peoples movement in and out the hot spots while crime fighting continues around town.

  9. reat says:

    This is how it start; with the designation of an area as crime ridden. then demarcated. then more crime in the same areas. all of these areas have prime land to be developed. some foreign developers will come in and buy out the land cheap and put up some hotels and apartments in the place of the fire wood houses that is presently there. this is the beginning of the displacement of the Belizeans in those SO CALLED CRIME RIDDEN AREAS.

  10. think wise says:

    our Belize defense force was to secure our country from within and without. go ahead and clean up the streets and lawyers do your job and keep them where they can recover to normal people. have an effective plan in doing so .

  11. think wise says:

    more areas should be listed as crime ridden areas . the security council need to do this in all 6 district and some major villages before things begin to happen elsewhere. this is the only way Belize will return back to the jewel . God will reach out his hand and bless Belize again . if the people clean up their act and change. this change will happen by those in authority and educated to help others. why pay police and B.D.F to just sit around. don’t be afraid to pay people fair.

  12. Seletar says:

    This start has been so slow that the initial push will not find much. Any gangster who is not brain-dead has already got out of Dodge and taken his guns and contraband with him. They will need to be tracked down and searched wherever they have gone.

    I hope the searches will include downloading files off gangster computers, too. There is probably a lot of useful information on some of them.

  13. Hatari says:

    We must declare war on the criminal element that is destroying Belize. We must stop them now or soon it will be too late. We must support our law enforcement agencies. I know that they are not the most professional and they too are not beyond corruption BUT I’ll take a cop any day over a gang banger. More power to them.

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