Many Belizeans have been asking what will happen at the end of the thirty days period of the state of emergency. Deputy Commissioner Williams addressed that concern earlier today.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams: “Within the first thirty days we will be looking at the investigations in respect to the offenses listed in the notice that they got. If it is that we come up with evidence that will be sufficient to charge any of them for the named offenses then we are going to do that. Another offense that we are looking at is the gang membership offense and other offenses relating to the gang legislation. So more than likely some of them will be charged under the gang legislation and if we can get evidence against them in respect to the criminal offenses then we are also going to charge for that. As the minister said the constitution does allow in the first instance for a thirty day period. When you go to section 18 subsection 5 it also says that it may be extended by a resolution by the House of Representatives and it can go to as much a one year and it shall remain enforced unless or until it is withdrawn. So I guess we will be monitoring how things go from here and we will be in dialogue with our minister and our ministry and when the one month period is up then we will decide exactly what course we’ll to be able to ensure that we can continue to maintain some semblance of peace in Belize City.”
There is apprehension that being in lockdown for a month will cause a subsequent flaring up of violence on the streets. Deputy Commissioner Williams shared his thoughts.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams: “When are we as a society going to stop worrying about when gang members get angry? Why don’t we worry about when the masses of us get enough of what this handful of young men is doing to our community. Are we going to succumb to one handful of people or are we going to try and fulfill the wishes of the majority who want to live in a peaceful society, in a peaceful community? If they want to be angry and go out and perpetrate criminal or gang activities? I am not going to beg them not to if they do that I will know what to do and believe you me I know what to do.”