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Apr 27, 2012

Grassroots NGO talks solutions to crime

Murphy McLaren

The recent gangland slayings in the old capital has the entire city on alert. Eighty B.D.F. soldiers and police officers have been stationed across Belize City to prevent rivaling gangs from taking their battle into an all out war on the streets. Many of the gang members are youths themselves. The issues of crime have been tackled by Restore Belize, but the solutions are yet to bear fruit. One local NGO, called Commoners, is the brainchild of Murphy McLaren. McLaren, who traverses affected neighborhoods, called a press conference to give his viewpoints on the causes and solutions.


Murphy McLaren, Commoners Port Loyola

“We don’t believe that no school age kids should be on the streets after nine-thirty at night. You are supposed to be in primary school in the morning, but you are on the streets on night. And if you are on the streets without an adult, you need to be put in check; that is why some of our kids come up missing. These are the reasons why our kids just leave the home and we don’t know what happen to them. Bad things happen to our kids with bad experiences because we are never around to find out or to see what’s happening to our kids and we don’t keep track of our kids. We are all also saying if you are saying eighteen is the adult age group, then we don’t see why any under eighteen is on the street after midnight. After midnight is strictly for adults. You gotta have a time when you gotta keep track of where your kids are and your kids gotta be in the home. if you don’t have your kids on the home and your kids go on the street killing somebody, shooting somebody, robbing somebody and then you get on the TV and say, “Oh dah no my pikney and he no stand so and we noh know weh happen to ahn.” You weren’t keeping track of your kids. The government needs to aim its attack on youth back towards youth reformation and tackle the original problem: the environment and circumstances that push kids into street crimes. You cannot end a cycle of violence by punishment—only by providing the help that was not available in the first place. Young offenders are the product of government negligence towards the parents or the children themselves. Someone needs to take responsibility for these children rather than temporary disposing of them within the young offenders’ institutions. Rehabilitation; no doubt every person who harms another should be punished but also rehabilitation so that the crime is prevented from recurring.”

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4 Responses for “Grassroots NGO talks solutions to crime”

  1. Storm says:

    Another part of a broad solution to crime and securing our communities should be citizen watches and volunteer patrols. Corozalenos are apparently trying to organise something like that.

    There is an international organisation called Guardian Angels that has been doing exactly that, with great effectiveness, in several countries. I recommend interested community leaders check it out at .

    I understand they will even send someone to Belize to help organise a chapter here if any community is interested.

    It’s our country, we need to take responsibility to fix it ourselves if our chosen leaders are incapable of doing anything effective. Even where they are effective in some towns, why not supplement them and support them, with citizen efforts? The more the merrier when it comes to stopping criminals.

  2. Happy says:

    Every teacher can tell you, how disrespectful these kids are getting and he is right it starts from the home. Government need to realize that this problem can be solved by working on the roots. They need to reverse corporal punishment especially in school. Most kids in our society these days don’t get the discipline at home and now school, which allows them to feel untouchable. The teachers are like mothers to these kids, no teacher wants to see their kids failing.
    Patrick Faber I would like you to put yourself in one of the class at our lower class society then you will understand what a real teacher feels like.

  3. concerned says:

    The problem lies at home, at school, around the neighborhood, our leaders… Why? Well, there are no VALUES anymore. When I say values i don’t mean advice and counseling and authoritative measures…We fail when we let down our children, are not there for them, do no respond to their curiosities properly, never keep communication and responsibilities balanced, give them too much liberty without responsibility. We fail when we teach our children to prepare only for tests and examinations and not to attain understanding. We strip our children’s values when their failures become a mockery or a rebuke…We strip their self-worth when they fail at school and we do not try to help. We fail when we penalize them and begin to look at them as rejects at school and never accept that we are to blame too. WE fail when we allow our authorities to fight violence with violence and find no real solutions. Let us all try to truly educate ourselves and our children and be examples. So..who is at fault. It does start home, but our leaders also create an environment where the unfortunate remains the same and the fortunate capitalize….where the poor finds no hope because our systems are failing miserably. I applaud the many efforts that are being made to try to curb this but everyone must play a role. Above all, you leaders who read this know that our conditions are created by all those laws and regulations that you know do not allow growth. All the opportunities come first to those who already have and them the others if they are lucky. And there is much more that can be done. Both parties have been feeding us the crumbs, and want praise when they give us treats.

  4. Retired CEO says:

    Not to add insult to injury, but I somtimes wonder how many people know what is a value or what is the true meaning of value? One of the many issues plaguing Belize is that one cannot legislate morality coupled with pseudo religiosity.

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