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Jul 14, 2020

Chester on Gang Culture: the Change Has to Start at Home

An anti-gang state of emergency was declared once again for hotspots in south side Belize City last week in an effort to contain crimes linked to gang activity. The legal system is designed where incarceration is the last step, but due to the powers invoked by the S.O.E., thirty-one persons, including four females, were sent to Hattieville prison. This is the third state of emergency where suspected gang members are detained for an entire month without being charged. While some may say it is effective because criminal activities go down, it is but a temporary fix. Today, ComPol Chester Williams was candid on the issue, saying that to achieve a permanent solution to the gang issue in the country; the change has to start at home.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“A temporary fix is better than no fix at all; one. And two, what permanent fix can there be to people who are raised in a certain lifestyle, people who just have this propensity to want to be violent? I don’t see what the state or the police can do to fix some of these young men. I don’t see what could be done. We can look at things and point fingers—that’s the easiest thing to do, pointing fingers—but at the end of the day when we try to look at lasting solutions, I think we need to start in the homes because at the end of the day, dah noh di police raise these young men, dah noh di state raise them, dah di parent raise them. And in many cases, you find that these children behave the way they behave because of the fact that they were raised in a home where the parent to some extent tolerate them with that lifestyle. Yes I can tell you there are some where we know that the parent does not tolerate them, but because of peer pressure they fall into line. We could understand those. But majority of them, it is what the parent tolerate. You watch when things happen, who go and cry on TV; the ma: my son innocent, my lee bwai this, my baby this. Dehn dah noh baby, dehn dah noh lee bwai; dehn di commit big man crime and they need to be dealt with like big man.”

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