ComPol Furious Over Police Involvement in Attempt to Evict of Elderly Belize City Woman
Police Commissioner Chester Williams is furious after police officers tried to evict an elderly Belize City woman from her home. Sixty-one-year-old, Gertrude Hunter, told Love News that she was out running errands on Saturday when a neighbor called to inform her that officers were at her home. Hunter arrived to find that the locks on her doors had been broken and several of her belongings were already on the sidewalk. Williams says that it is not standard practice for police to participate in an eviction. He says that he will be speaking with the Officer Commanding Eastern Division to have the situation addressed.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I must say that when I heard it I was extremely displeased and I had said I was going to question the commander of Eastern Division if he was aware of it. But it slipped me and I had not had the chance to question him about it. But the truth be told in circumstances of such nature I would not have the police engage in such activity. Yes if there is a court order to evict the person the police would just normally accompany the persons to whom the eviction notice is given and that person would be the one to remove items from the home. The police must only be there to ensure that law and order is maintained during the process but not to participate in the eviction themselves. So if it s that those police officers went to the extent of partaking in the eviction then I have a serious issue with that. It’s not how we operate and even so when it comes to that an eviction order or an eviction notice I am not sure at this time if what they actually had. So we would always advise that in those instances the court document is sent to the legal office in Belmopan and then they would provide the guidance to the officers on the grounds in terms of how to deal with the matter. But we have too many police officers who are working for private individuals against the directive of the Commissioner and that is something we need to look into.”
Hunter says the property, located on Cemetery Road, was willed to her by her late common-law husband, but that his family is contesting the will. The officers left her home, without finishing the eviction, shortly after our news team arrived on the scene. She confirmed that they have not returned since.