Last week Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams attended the three-day INTERPOL Americas Regional Conference in Uruguay. The conference saw the participation of police chiefs and other senior law enforcement officials from the Americas who looked at organized crime and terrorism issues that currently affect the region. DCP Williams told Love News today that Belize is ahead in addressing some of the issues discussed at the conference.
ACP Chester Williams, Belize Police Department: “Some of the main features of discussion had to do with cyber crime, citizen security, violent crime and terrorism. I must say the discussions are very much healthy and some of the issues discussed, particularly in the area of violent crime was those involving gangs and gang activities and what the region can do to be able to rid itself of the gang violence or even to minimize it and some of what were discussed as possible solutions to gang violence are exactly what we are already doing in Belize. A very salient feature of the conference was the issue of gang intervention where they believe that is one way to mitigate the gang situation across the world. They also looked issues pertinent to diversion programs and again we have been doing that in terms of looking at the youth mentorship program that we are doing currently which is geared at influencing young persons to become more positive persons rather than being involved in gangs and try to find persons that they can emulate as their role models. So I think that we are well ahead in terms of what we had been doing in Belize and to be able to mitigate the occurences of gang violence in our country. So I was very pleased to see that what they are looking at now to try and do are things that we are already doing and when I gave them the Belize scenario and what we are doing they were very much appreciative of what we are doing and many of the countries are saying that they are going to try to emulate that in their respective countries when they go back.”
Reporter: When it comes to cyber crime is there anything in particular Belize could adapt?
ACP Chester Williams, Belize Police Department: “Yes they look at how cyber crime is affecting the world, the amount of money being made from cyber crime related incidents and it’s a huge sum I think over 70 billion annually and so in Belize we don’t have much of that but we are still trying to see what we can do to be able to put in place things to mitigate cyber crimes because while we are not where other countries are we are moving toward that direction. So we are hoping that in the not too distant future we can have within the police department we can have a cybercrime unit to be able to look at issues pertinent to cyber crime incidents.”
At the start of the conference, Uruguay’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Rodolfo Nin Novoa stated that INTERPOL quote,“strengthens the necessary dialogue and constant interaction between countries to ensure effective and efficient information exchange to tackle organized crime and terrorism in a coordinated manner,” end of quote.