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Oct 9, 2020

P.U.P. Launches Policy on Public Safety and Justice

The P.U.P. has been unveiling a number of platforms leading up to the general elections on November eleventh. Today, it was about Public Safety and Justice. The level of crime and violence on the streets is a matter of grave concern so the P.U.P.’s policy will grow the ranks of the police department and put mechanisms in place to restore confidence in the department. At the same time, if it forms the government, the P.U.P. commits to safeguard the independence of the judiciary and to maximize its efficiency. It also promises to double the amount of money invested in the judiciary to ensure that all citizens have the access to justice for a safer Belize. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The People’s United Party today unveiled its plan to make society safe and ensure justice for Belizeans. In a virtual launch, the P.U.P. outlined several key strategies and plans that will be set in motion if the party is chosen to form the next government. Area Representative for Caribbean Shores Kareem Musa says that plan includes increasing the judiciary’s budget.

 

Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Area Rep., Caribbean Shores

“The next P.U.P. government pledges to double the budget of the judiciary. We will ensure that our judges are returned their independence unshackled from the political bosses, with the transparent appointment of qualified and experiences judges and magistrates. We have mapped out a retooling exercise to modernize the rules of the courts, to maximize efficiency and access to justice. It is our commitment that Belizeans must get sure and faster justice. A greater budget for the judiciary translates to more magistrates and judges, speedier deposition of matter, the establishment of a night court to deal with minor offences, traffic violations and civil suits under a thousand dollars. We undertake to provide a full technological and infrastructural upgrade of the justice system to utilize best practices of the available technology.”

 

The P.U.P. also plans to focus on the police department by reforming it and rebooting the force with four thousand officers that will be recruited through an incentivized process. The PUP says that is will also disband the Gang Suppression Unit.

 

Kareem Musa

“We pledge to recharge and reboot our police department dramatically increasing its ranks to four thousand officers, the recruitment will have as its aim the restoration of confidence in the department though de-politicized systems grounded on adequate training, merit based promotions and police reform. The largest of next generation technology in police will be unlocked including the use of face recognition camera systems, drone technology, biometrics, DNA advancements and fully integrated computer system to ensure the connectivity of police intelligence. Yes, a fully functional forensic lab promised y the U.D.P. administration in 2008 must be finally at the disposal of crime fighting agents in the country.  The new P.U.P. government will make good on its promise to disband the GSU and demilitarize the police while introducing more effective measures to arrest the gangs and gang related activities.”

 

As for justice, Leader John Briceño says that with conviction rate as low as three percent the P.U.P.’s aim is to restore trust and confidence in the justice system and to improve citizen security.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“We intend to make this happen we are doing the following, enhance transparency openness and access to justice. Recast and restructure the functioning of the judiciary. Second, we must improve the effectiveness of law enforcement, prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime. A P.U.P. government will reform and incentivize police recruiting and training, improve the effectiveness and the prosecution of crime and introduce the citizen’s report card. Third, we will build stronger and safer communities and neighborhoods by doing the following, commit five million dollars a year for community and neighborhood grants, focus on creating opportunities in communities instead of designating them as hotspots and stigmatizing residents, implement strategies to improve communications and collaborations between communities and the police. So what should the Belizeans expect from us? They can expect that we will reform the police department, improve and enhance the community policing program, establish a meaningful community to deal with citizens concerns. Invest in a judicial complex as part of a plan to ensure that citizens receive timely, efficient and effective adjudication.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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