Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams has been in the media on numerous occasions either as the person being interviewed or, on a few occasions as the subject. The last time he was the subject was back in 2016 when he moved to change the shift schedule for his officers in the Eastern Division South and came across much criticisms from some superiors. Today, ACP Williams is once again the centre of a story as just yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs made a statement to the media surrounding Williams’ performance on the south side when it comes to alleviating major crimes. For reference we bring back the comments made by Retired Colonel George Lovell on April 24, 2017.
“The shakeup in Belize City that you are referring to comes at a time when there is serious efforts being made to keep the peace by the criminal element and they believe that things will be better with one particular officer, Mr. Williams in charge, do you foresee a set back once the change goes through?”
“None whatsoever and again my question to you is and maybe you can use whatever response you will have as the answer to the question that you had asked is have there been any change especially in the major crime rate over the last four years even with this officer being there that you’re referring to over the last two years.”
It is quite a bold and perhaps offensive statement to be made considering the obvious efforts being made to taper the criminal activities on the south side. Back in July 2016, ACP Williams spoke on the strides made and the decrease in the number of major crimes.
“I am pleased to say that January to June 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015,2014 and 2013 is the least deadly period for south side Belize City despite the critics who are saying that our efforts have not been working and that it is a mere coincidence according to some ‘experts’ out there. So we are happy to know that what we are doing is working and we know that no matter what we do we can’t stop crime. Even America that has all the sophisticated equipment to fight crime they have mass shootings and several killings. We are a small nation we are still developing. We are ten murders below the same period we were last year, so we feel good about where we are.”
In 2013, Deputy Commissioner Miguel Segura took over the Eastern Division and for the nineteen months that he was in charge there were sixty six murders reported. Succeeding Segura was Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dezeree Phillips who took over in July 2014 for twelve months. Under her command there were forty seven murders in that one year period. These figures were for the Eastern Division which was only subdivided into north and south in 2015. ACP Chester Williams came on board in July 2015 and in one year the murder statistics went from forty seven from July 2014 to July 2015 under ACP Philips to twenty seven for the period July 2015 to July 2016. When compared by the actual year, there has been an evident reduction in murders particularly on the southside of the old capital. To be noted is a marked decrease in murders for 2016 on the Belize City southside. In addition to alluding to the ineffectiveness of ACP Williams’ performance in Eastern Division South, CEO Lovell also says that the transfer is also based on giving everyone an opportunity to shine as well.