In the wake of the recent incidents that have marred the image of the Belize Police Department and also the Belize Defense Force, Opposition Leader John Briceno said the government must get rid of the rogue officers. Additionally, Briceno says it is primarily a problem that has come about as a result of a lack of proper leadership. This is what he told the media in an interview on Monday afternoon.
John Briceno – Opposition Leader
“I believe that there are a lot of good Police officers but there are e a few bad apples and we need to get rid of them and we need to get rid of them fast but the problem is we have the former Deputy Commissioner of Police who although he is the Junior Minister is the substantive person in charge of the Police Department has shown that he is inept in handling the Police department. We have a Commissioner of Police who has been there for a number of years and totally and he is obviously incapable of addressing these structural issues that are affecting the Police Department and he is until we address the top we can’t address the bottom and the prime minster needs to act very quickly because the people’s lives are at stake. I was campaigning in San Pedro a few a weeks ago when a gentleman was telling me that he was assaulted and he was shocked and the bullet fortunately came in from one side his left and came out to the next side without hitting any organs but he had his bag of money and he handed it over to the Police to hold it for him because he was afraid he was going to pass out and when he got back his bag, monies was missing. This is what is happening and the top brass in the Police department and the Minister is totally aware of what is happening but they seem to be unable to address it.”
The People’s United Party has also called for the disbanding of the Belize Special Assignment Group after the incident where at least seven BDF personnel and a police officer, all members of the group, are accused of brutally beating Ariel Audinette, who later succumbed to his injuries.