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Works Continue in Keeping Belize City Crime Down

National Security Minister meets with New Commissioner, Formation and Branch – Commanders of the Police Department – On Wednesday, January 16, 2013, Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, accompanied by his CEO, Colonel (Ret.) George Lovell, met with the new Police Commissioner, Allen Whylie and commanders of all formations, substations and branches from around the country to offer ministerial guidance and direction going forward.

There was a comprehensive revision of goals and strategies, as well as a full analysis of crime statistics, particularly over the past year, and of the performance of the various formations, substations and branches in effectively responding to it. Specific benchmarks and timetables were agreed for measureable reduction in crime and for successful investigation and prosecution in respective areas. Commanders of the various formations, substations and branches will be held responsible for ensuring that the targets are met within the specific timetables.

There will be monthly meetings of zone and branch commanders; and quarterly meetings of senior leaders, similar to that which was held on Wednesday, in order to review the latest crime statistics and offer commanders the opportunity to report on progress, or lack thereof, in their respective areas. Where there is a clear failure to achieve the required results within the stipulated timetable, the Ministry and Department reserves the right to replace those commanders with other individuals deemed competent to get the job done.

The Minister thanked the Commissioner and officers present for the expressed commitment to do their part in the stepped-up fight to reduce crime and increase safety throughout our communities countrywide. The meeting on Wednesday was conducted at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

In other news Belize City media reported that the private sector is demanding that the Government of Belize to stop negotiating with criminals. According the reports he Belize Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and the Belize Business Bureau (BBB)  have issued one of its strongest release expressing grave concern about the escalation on crime following the shooting at the house of the former prime minister.

The BCC is & BBB are calling on the government to take immediate and serious measures given the gravity of the situation. The B.C.C. and BBB are demanding that Government implements measures that are directed at improving the quality of life in Belize and adopts a position of zero tolerance to crime and known criminals. It condemns the Government’s perceived need to negotiate with criminals while the demands of law-abiding citizens for protection and safety are repeatedly ignored.

The private sector also considers that government’s willingness to negotiate with gang leaders sends a dangerous signal to Belizeans and the international community because criminal factions are emboldened by the fact that they can bring the PM to the negotiation table, while citizens cower in fear.

The private sector also calls for the wholesale implementation of the Crooks report, and asserts that crime is not regressing saying that this is the time for the authorities to govern, not engage in amicable discussions. In respect of the economy, the private sector calls on the government to lower the cost of production and the cost of doing business. And according to the statement, their calls have fallen on deaf ears, while “criminals are perceived to be sent on vacations and paid extortionist stipends.”  The BCC and BBB also calls on the government to provide sufficient financial resources to the police, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Judiciary. (News Source: Channel 5 Belize)

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