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Compol Williams Says the Cops Will be Coming Down Hard on Gang Members

Meanwhile, the Police Department has outlined measures designed to stem the violent tide that plagued the city. Police Commissioner Chester Williams spoke about what those measures will look like.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “There’s a lot that we’ll be doing operationally to address the gang problem in Belize City. And I know it not going to be easy because we do have attorneys out there who monitors everything the police do and as we do something that they believe is a violation of their client’s human rights we are sued and the government is made to pay. I listened to my good friend this morning on Love FM Mr.Bradley and he outlined and correctly so he did outline that we cannot be taking photographs of people. We cannot be doing this, we cannot be doing that as police officers because people out there think that because we are police we have the powers to do whatever. I wish we do. There’s a lot I would love to do to deal with the gang members but whatever we do it must be done in conformity with the law, if not the government will be made to pay. Now human rights is human rights and we must respect human rights but at the same time I don’t think that an individual’s right should trump the rights of humanity. Human rights for the most part is always focused on the rights of the perpetrator, the person who commits the heinous crime and the rights of the victim to live, to be free is totally ignored. I do not think that those – the pioneers of human rights – intended it to be used as a means for criminals to get off and walk free after having committed the most heinous of crimes. We must strike a balance and I can tell you that moving forward we will do what needs to be done to make the masses of our country happy.”

Going forward, the Department is actively following leads on the Gabourel case and a number of other unsolved crimes. Commissioner Williams added that the department will actively pursue other cases in which underworld figures have been previously charged.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We have a number of these gang members who have cases before the court. In some cases we believe that the cases against them is very very strong, we have good evidence. I will task our prosecution director Ms.Alifa Elrington along with my legal office or my legal team to look at these cases and we’re going to fast track some of those prosecution against those gang members. The cadre of lawyers we have at police headquarters will also be deployed to prosecute some of these cases. In some instance I will ask the DPP to help us to prosecute some of them and I know that she is going to be willing to do so. And hopefully this is going to help us to get some of these gang members off our streets. We will also be looking at warrants some of these gang members may have outstanding warrants so we’re going to approach the court and get these warrants for those gang members and see if we can get them behind prison. There are other things that we will be doing but I’m not going to divulge at this time but the public is going to see them playing out in very very not too distant future. I want to assure the Belizean people that as a department we’re working in conjunction with many other departments: the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Human Development and even the prison we’re collaborating with them to see how we could address the issue of gang violence. I personally am not in dialogue and will not dialogue with any gang member. If there is any question to be asked about mediation or intervention that will be answered by Mr.Rosado. The intervention and mediation is a part of his operational strategy for eastern division and as the regional commander I do not interfere in what he does if he thinks that is going to help him then by all means I will allow him to do so but being in negotiation or intervention or mediation with the police or any other organization is not going to be used as a shield by any criminal to believe that they can do what they want and run to the table to negotiate.”