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Apr 10, 2006

Police, Port, and Traffic beef up security for Easter

Over the next few days more Belizeans will take to the cayes, rivers and roadways than at any other time of the year. Most will be conscious of the need for safety and security while a small minority will simply be out to make trouble. Today the Police Department and Belize Port Authority held a joint press
conference to remind the boating, motoring and general public to stay safe and obey the law, because the authorities will be watching. A special effort will be made to crack down on unsafe transport and drunk drivers, both on land and in the water.

Gilbert Swaso, Operations Mgr., Belize Port Authority
?Part of our effort will certainly be to ensure that even before some of these vessels leave their destination from Belize is to ensure they are not overloaded. Each vessel should have a seagoing certificate to specify how many passengers that vessel should carry.?

?There is a mandate by law that if we suspect a vessel to be unsafe, and the law specifies what unsafe means, that vessel can be prevented from going to sea.?

Edwardo Wade, Traffic Department
?Every vehicle that is licensed in Belize has a capacity that it can carry, specifically as it relates to passengers. Persons carrying in excess of what the license requires will be stopped. Those persons may be asked to disembark that vehicle and that person will be summoned or arrested during this period.?

?In the case of pickups it is an offence … I believe that most people carry their people in a vehicle and you?re properly seated, that might be overlooked, but those standing and so on, we won?t tolerate that.?

Crispin Jeffries, Commanding Officer, Eastern Division
?I am certain that the police assets at this time will not decrease in any way. In fact, while most people will be enjoying their holidays for the Easter, just about every police officer will be engaged doing police duties. Be it maritime duties, be it anti-crime or any social events that require police presence, there will be a police presence across the country.?

Jeffries reminds Belizeans to be good neighbours and report any suspicious activities, especially if the homeowner is away for the weekend. All mariners are reminded to carry cell phones or other communications equipment and to leave details of your intended destination with friends in case a search party must be launched. The number for maritime emergencies is 9-9-9, but if you need to report overloaded water taxis or other infractions, please call the National Maritime Communications Center at 223-2292.

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