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Apr 8, 2008

Police put hold on gun licensing in process review

Story PictureHaving reported on a record number of twenty-nine murders so far this year, tonight I have the pleasure to report that there were no homicides in the last twenty-four hours … or shootings, stabbings or rapes. And the fact that a single day’s absence of violent crime is a news story speaks volumes on the state of Belize in 2008.

But while the criminals may be taking a short break, the police are trying to regroup with strategies to increase the peace. One new initiative involving firearms was outlined by Commissioner Gerald Westby at Monday’s press briefing.

Gerald Westby, Commissioner of Police
“While there are guns on the street, we continue to see a large number of firearm holders losing their firearm. That’s why we have put a hold on renewal and licensing of new firearms, because what we want to do is get the appropriate system in place where each person will be required to give a controlled sample, each licensee and every gun or expended shell that comes into police custody from illegal usage like at crime scene, those will be stored in the automated fingerprint system where we can do matches. And many of these—then you’ll definatley see because the guys will know that if you commit the act there’s a high possibility that they will be caught because sometimes we know for a fact that in many cases, one firearm is used in more than one shooting. So if we can get these things in place, we’ll definitely have a dent in the crime.”

In related news, while Westby had nothing new to say about the set of bones found off the Coastal road last month, he did confirm that the file has been submitted to the D.P.P for further action. At the same time he awaits word from the Los Angeles Police Department regarding help in conducting D.N.A. testing on the bones in order to make an identification.

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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