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Jul 19, 2019

From Chester Williams Sings New Anti-gang Sankey

In April 2017, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams was instrumental in bringing together a number of feuding groups in Belize City to call a ceasefire.  Along with Dianne Finnegan and Brother Nuri Muhammad, he helped in forging an armistice at a time when gang violence had spiraled out of control in the Old Capital.  In calling for a truce, Williams championed the notion of a second chance being afforded to reformed gangsters.  However, since ascending to the head of the Belize Police Department the top cop has taken a hard line stance against gangs and organized crime, as well as the players who perpetrate these senseless acts of violence.  At a press conference held on Thursday evening, ComPol Williams sang a different tune where gang members are concerned.  In fact, he is demanding that it be enshrined in the constitution that gang members should be put away for life.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I would want to see the public have that same energy in saying to gang members enough is enough.  We cannot continue to have gang members live freely and comfortable among us and they only live free and comfortable among us because we allow them to.  So we have to take a hard line when it comes to dealing with them.  I would want to see we make it, or we put it in our constitution, that it is wrong and illegal to be a gang and once you are a gang [member] you must be locked up for life.  Put it in the constitution.  Gang members must feel that they are not welcome among us.  If it is that they are not seeing the benefit to be a gang member then they will stop.  But right now there is only so much that we can do and I really and truly would want to see us do more, not only the police or government, but collectively as a society.  The only way we can effectively address our crime issue, it must be addressed from a community standpoint.  It will not be done by the police alone.  It will not be done by the government and the police.  It must be inclusive of the public, the entire community must play a role if it is that we truly want to change our crime problem.”


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