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Oct 12, 2022

Allegations of Extortion Lead to Cancellation of Hattieville Checkpoint

The vehicular checkpoint near the entrance to Hattieville has been done away with following a directive from Commissioner of Police Chester Williams.  The decision was taken on the heels of recent allegations that officers assigned to the post had been extorting motorists.  Last week, two persons came forward accusing an officer of shaking them down for money.  In one instance it is alleged that the policeman squeezed twenty-five dollars from a driver who pulled up to the checkpoint.  While that officer is facing disciplinary action, the instruction from the top has been to call off the spot checking of vehicles at that location.  On Tuesday, ComPol Williams responded to questions fielded by reporters in respect of the latest incident.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“It’s an embarrassment and on that particular day there were two complaints of extortion at the checkpoint.  Unfortunately, the other person chose not to give a report and just gave the information in terms of what transpired with him, but he was relieved of twenty-five dollars at the checkpoint by the same police officer because when he saw the policeman’s picture on the news, he messaged me and said, “That was the same officer hat extorted me as well.”  Just this morning, I ordered that the checkpoint at Hattieville be taken down for the simple fact that we are getting too much complaints of extortion from that checkpoint.  While we want to do road policing, it must not be at the expense of the Belizean people being shaken down by police officers at the checkpoint, and so, my directive this morning is that we’ll take down the police checkpoint and we’ll do more highway patrols, but not focused on traffic violations.  We want the highway patrols to be more of an enforcement unit, dealing with human trafficking, firearms trafficking, drug trafficking and human smuggling.  So we’re looking more at road policing as opposed to having these checkpoints where officers are shaking down the good people of this country.”

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