Multi-Agency Crime Forum Discusses Smart Policing and Police Restructuring

Multi-Agency Crime Forum Discusses Smart Policing and Police Restructuring

The multi-agency Crime Forum took place today in Belmopan at the University of Belize.  The forum geared at discussing strategic plans to address crimes, the concept of smart policing, and the restructuring of the police organization.  It is a crucial forum that Dr. Richard Rosado had noted would look at addressing crime and criminality.  Present at today’s event was the Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “Today was an extremely important engagement with our national university, the University of Belize. We had a large gathering of not just lecturers but also of students. This was important for us to address the crime prevention and crime control strategy, part of the Ministry of Home Affairs strategy to tackle crime and violence, specifically in Belize City. But certainly it is one of those programs that we want to expand countrywide. As you know, we started this initiative under Mr. William Dawson in 2021. And it’s no coincidence that we’ve seen a drastic reduction in violent crime throughout the country of Belize and specifically Belize City. And it is because of effective policing and it is because of the work that the LIU is doing.”

Reporter: So the multi-sectoral approach. does it work? There’s still some critics who say otherwise.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “There will always be critics, you know, but we have to understand that crime is an extremely complex issue. It’s not just black or white, you have to have many different approaches, many different ways in which you tackle crime and violence. And that is across the world. And so this is just one of the many facets that we’re employing to tackle crime. And I have to say, again, it’s no coincidence that there is a reduction. And Belize continues to plummet in terms of the ranking of the world’s most violent countries. We were at number 11 in the region last year and we hope to get even further down that ranking.”

Dominique Norales, the recently installed Director for the Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU) spoke on the forum, emphasizing that crime and violence are everyone’s business.

Dominique Norales, LIU Director: “Crime and violence affects everyone, no matter if it’s indirectly or directly, victim, perpetrator. The national budget is spent on crime and so it is really everyone’s business and especially within the space of academia we speak a lot about the lack of research, a repository of research when it comes to crime and violence and so engaging academia, the wider public on policies that are going to be funded by government and of course involve civil society are very important. The work and the investment that has been made into the Leadership Intervention Unit which as we know is still quite a very young initiative by the Ministry of Home Affairs. It’s a necessary thing because we don’t want to say that well we’re just going to throw our hands up and hope for the best. I think initiatives such as this that involve this multi-sectoral strategy, involves government and non-government, involves public and private sector is how we’re going to as comprehensively as possible tackle the issue of crime and violence both in terms of prevention, in terms of rehabilitation, and of course restorative justice.”

Dr Rosado had noted this week that one of the key concepts was the mentoring of boys as they transition into men.

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