Leadership Intervention Unit Shows Positive Impact Amidst Gang Violence Rise, Says ComPol

Leadership Intervention Unit Shows Positive Impact Amidst Gang Violence Rise, Says ComPol

The Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU) established in early 2021 as a means of addressing gang violence in Belize City, has been the subject of criticism since its inception. Despite those criticisms, Police Commissioner Chester Williams maintains that the Belize Police Department has seen tangible gains due to the unit’s activities. Williams gave an update regarding the current rise in gang violence in Belize City and stressed that those involved in the recent shootings have nothing to do with the unit.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Those persons who are currently involved in the recent spate of shootings are not members of LIU. They are not a part of the LIU program. And to answer your question further we have long maintained that even if you are a member of LIU, being a member of LIU is not a get out of jail free card. We expect that those persons who are members of LIU are going to hold themselves in a higher standard and when they do slip then they too will face the wrath of the law. And so, yes, we have been going after a few of those prominent figures who we believe are involved or may have had something to do with the recent spate of killings in the city. Again, we have to strike a balance in ensuring that we deal extremely tough with those persons who are adamant to create havoc in the city and at the same time we still need to continue to work with those persons who are working with us in holding the peace and so while I know that there may be some critics in terms of the work of LIU and would like to make it seem that LIU is failing, that is not the case. And as I have discussed many times before that we don’t expect that LIU is going to stop all crime from occurring. Certainly, crime will occur from time to time and we will have to find a way to address it. You would know as members of the media that when we do have these gang killings it is extremely difficult to contain the retaliations and I think that when you compare our actions now compared to the past, you would see that the retaliations are much slower and we don’t have that spate.”

Williams maintains that the LIU is not a universal solution to crime and called on society as a whole to join the efforts to make Belize a safer place. In Late June Dominique Noralez was named the new Chairperson of the LIU, following the passing of former director William Dawson.

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