Belize City’s second State of Emergency in two years commenced on Wednesday, March 18. Eight zones were designated as hotspots and police patrols in those areas have stepped up immensely. On Wednesday, the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, had stated that a little over 80 persons were detained. Today, they were taken to the Belize Central Prison where they still spend the next month. According to the ComPol, after the police department issued several wanted posters, residents have been sending tips to the officers that have aided in the detention of several of the men. Many of these tips came in through Crime Stoppers. The ComPol encouraged the public to continue using this means, and as well gave an update on the progress of the State of Emergency.
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, Belize Police Department: “We are not going to hesitate, we will ensure that whoever is found to be harboring either of them that such person would be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. I must say that we already have a few persons in custody who will be charged for harboring a few of those that we have apprehended and let me say as well that whilst some may think that we’re only focusing on men that there are also some women who are involved in these gang activities and we’re also focusing on women as well. So some females or some women will be picked up and just like the men they’ll be ferried to Kolbe Foundation. We want the public to be assured that we will continue to do what we can with a view to ensure the safety and security of our people. Do not allow these gang members to move into your area and use your area as their safe haven because while they might use it now as a safe haven eventually they’re going to make your area become as dangerous as they had made certain areas of Belize City. So give us the information as to where they are, let us go in and root them out. We know where many of them have fled to and we have gone in and we have rooted them out but we want to root our more so work with us, give us the information and we’re going to do the rest from there.
The police also stated that they are continuing to thoroughly investigating the deaths of 4-year-old Dominique Rhamdas and his parents as well as 5-year-old Kia Herbert. They are optimistic that they will be able to make arrests sooner than later.