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Feb 18, 2020

Restoring Citizen Security

RESTORE Belize today unveiled its blue print to deal with crime and violence and restore citizen security. According to the organization, the plan was devised after consultations with the relevant stakeholders. The strategy has two approaches but RESTORE Belize says the key is through constant communication. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo. 


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

RESTORE Belize has launched an initiative to restore Citizen Security through a strategic policy and plan. Drafted in 2019, the policy and plan takes into consideration the input of a broad group of stakeholder, including civil society, the opposition and various government agencies that are  key in citizen security actions. The goal of the policy is to respond to crime and violence in society in an effective and efficient manner.


Mary Vasquez

Mary Vasquez, Executive Director, RESTORE Belize

“The plan is actually a blueprint, a roadmap for how we can take what we are doing and increase the impact of it. We have two pathways in the place. The first pathway is what programmes are the most essential for achieving citizen security. It is based on an understanding what we talk about, when we talk about citizen security, which is we are talking about everything that contributes from birth to the nurturing and molding to law abiding and productive citizens. But we also focus on pathway two which is about behaviour. It is about behaviour in decision making. It is about behaviour on how we are governed.”


The policy is design in such away to assist “individuals and communities whose sense of citizen security is most affected by crime and violence”. A key factor to the plan is constant communication with stakeholders.


Mary Vasquez

“A big part of the plan it to communicate with everyone, with the hole of society about what is citizen society. It is not just about what’s happening on the streets and once we communicate that then it changes the people’s understanding of what success looks like and what solutions look like and what our realistic expectations can be. So we know that we need short term solutions but we also need long term commitment.”


The draft legislation describes citizen security as the outcome of other deprivations, vulnerabilities and lack of freedoms, the convergence of which fuels crime and violence, and creates a broad perception of insecurity.


Mary Vasquez

“The other part is that we’ve introduced additional theoretical framework that are accepted in discussion about violent crimes as part of the solution. So we talk about the need for trauma informed care for understanding the role of trauma in violence and the need to heal trauma to heal and change a violent society. We are also introducing the concept of complex problems and that has an implications on how we make decisions and what it is saying is that we basically need to be much more flexible about how we make decision and much more responsive to the dynamics to the situation of violence, crime and poverty.”


Reporting for News Five, Hipolito Novelo.

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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