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Aug 12, 2019

Eleven Young Girls Flee from Princess Royal Youth Hostel

On Saturday night, eleven teenage girls absconded from the Princess Royal Youth Hostel and fled to various parts of the country.  It is not clear how they were able to escape from the compound and an investigation is underway to review where the breach of security at the facility occurred.  The Community Rehabilitation Department and the Belize Police Department have been working together to apprehend the minors and so far have been able to capture five of the girls.  This afternoon, News Five spoke with Deputy Director Maureen Williams who says that while it is not the first time an escape has happened, the resources of the CRD are strained.


On the Phone: Maureen Williams, Deputy Director, Community Rehabilitation Department

“I got said call on Saturday night, I think it was, to say that there was an issue at the youth hostel and eleven of the girls had run away.  We spent pretty much the weekend trying to coordinate with police to get them back.  We are only at the point now that we are looking at camera footage and talking to the girls who are still on the compound and talking to staff trying to establish what exactly happened.  So in terms of that piece, what happened and how it happened, I can’t give you a whole lot of details on that because we are still trying to establish that ourselves.  Five of them, five girls have been returned to the facility, they were picked up in different areas yesterday and so the police brought them back yesterday.  We have, it ranges from fourteen I think, to sixteen.”


Isani Cayetano

“Considering that this seems to have been a major incident in terms of either a breach of security or what have you, will there be a review conducted to see how such an incident can be avoided or prevented going forward?”


On the Phone: Maureen Williams

“As you know, I mean this isn’t the first time that something like this has happened and so we are constantly looking at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.  It’s not an easy task because we are dealing with children, we are dealing with human beings, we are dealing with different personalities.  We are dealing with a myriad of issues, the youth hostel was originally designed for children with behavioral issues but as it stands now it is a psychiatric unit, it’s a childcare center, it’s a remand center, it’s a juvenile detention facility.  So we’re dealing with lots of children with different needs and so we are always trying to figure out what else.  What else do we need to do?”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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