The ceremony was also attended by Commander of Operations Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner Marco Vidal and no less than the Minister of National Security John Saldivar. A few days ago, Minister Saldivar established an exploratory committee to examine the feasibility of a repeat gun offence law that would require some people to wear ankle bracelets. We asked him about the scope of the committee.
Jose Sanchez: “Regarding this new initiative regarding the ankle bracelets, who is part of this exploratory committee and is this something you actually expect to be utilized in the near future?”
Honorable John Saldivar: “Well as the name of the committee says it is an exploratory committee to look at the best practices across the world in other regions and other institutions that have applied it. We are going to look at the feasibility of doing it here in Belize both from a technical standpoint with respect to equipment and also from a legal standpoint, from a policing stand point so this committee will look at all of that including the cost for such an initiative. They will give me a report in 60 days after which we will make some decisions on whether we want to move forward with it or not.”
Jose Sanchez: “Are you looking at people who would be on parole or people who would receive bail from the courts? Who are you primary target for this?”
Honorable John Saldivar: “Well as we have said in the release we are looking at repeat offenders. We are looking at dangerous criminals that have done violent crimes, especially gun crimes but also gang crimes and so we will be looking at a wide cross section that will help us to keep the crime section under control.”
Jose Sanchez: “That does require responding to people who are referring to human rights. If you are looking at repeat offenders they may not necessarily come under any category that would require constant monitoring.”
Honorable John Saldivar: “Well the world’s greatest democracies have used it and so I believe that it can withstand the scrutiny with respect to constitutionality.”
The law would require repeat gun offenders and convicted gang members to wear a tracking device when they are released from prison to enable police to compare those persons’ location to the scene of a crime at the time the crime is committed. The committee members are are Carlos Namis, Dr. Ajay Hotchandani, and Nicole Haylock.