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Legislation to address gang problem to be introduced

The Ministry of Home Affairs is also looking into introducing legislation to deal with the gang problem in Belize. It is being called the anti-gang legislation and it has already been drafted up. Minister Elodio Aragon Junior also shared that a legislation to protect the identity of witnesses in order to ensure the successful prosecution of cases has also been drafted.

Elodio Aragon – Minister of State, Home Affairs
“We are working on a strategic plan. It has been some time now that we have not unveiled this because of the mere fact that some of the legislative reforms take time. We are working on an anti-gang legislation along with we have also a witness anonymity act that we want to introduce and legislate and these things take time because we have to go through the process in ensuring that what is being asked to be enacted in law meets with the constitution, meets with what is required and will give us the impact that we are looking for. In that regard I want the public to know that we are working on these things. We are also working on an anti-gang taskforce that will basically it’s not a hard charging unit but rather an investigative unit that will look at all the serious offenders out there because at the end of the day we all know who these offenders are within this country and we have to look towards all that and dealing with those who repeatedly commit crimes especially in terms of murder so these are the things we are working on. As you all know we did a major reshuffle in terms of the senior command of the Belize Police Department, many of these officers have taken up their new post and correct me if I am wrong Commissioner. So this reshuffle along with the strategy that we want to introduce very shortly because the two legislative reforms that I’ve mentioned have already been drafted up it’s only a matter for us to do a tweak here and there and that will be presented to the cabinet and then taken to the House of Representatives for it to become legislation.”

The drafted legislation is expected to be presented to cabinet as early as next month.