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Aug 3, 2020

ComPol on Extension of South Side State of Emergency

While the extension of S.O.E. in the south side was on debate in the House, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, at the police press briefing also in Belmopan, confirmed that he had requested an additional sixty days of lockdown. This would allow some thirty-four persons, including four females, who are detained as a result of the south side state of emergency to remain in prison. Back in early July, following a spike in gun and gang related murders between rivalling groups in Belize City , a state of emergency was declared and again, leading gang members were picked up and hauled to the central prison where they’ve been for almost thirty days. ComPol Williams told the media today that the extension will free up officers to focus on COVID-19 preventative offenses.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We are hoping that the extension will be granted and with that, we will be able to keep some of those persons who we believe are the troublemakers from the city in prison, especially now where we are seeing that the issue relating to COVID-19 is beginning to pick up. The police are extremely busy and we are going to be even busier now dealing with COVID-19 relating offenses. And the behaviour of the gangs as you would know is causing more deaths than the COVID-19 virus that many people seem to be so afraid of. So if it is that we can maintain those persons in prison, it will give us room to ensure that the city remains calm and that the police officers can focus as much as we can on the COVID-19 preventative offenses.  I think that these gang members have now believed that you know I will sit down at jail for thirty days and I will come out back and so they don’t care. The fact that they will see and understand that it can be extended will also serve as a deterrent for them to understand that while you have your freedom, you must learn to live among people and act like human beings. The minute you begin to display behaviour that is incompatible with ordinary social behaviour, then something needs to be done about you.”

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