The Police Department has officially announced that with immediate effect police officers cannot work special duty without proper permission being granted. In a release issued today, it states that quote, “business establishment/ individuals requesting officers to work Special Duty must apply to the respective Formations/ Sub-Formation Commanders at least seventy-two hours prior to the scheduled event”, end of quote. Applicants need to describe the specific duty requested and for how long. Once an application is approved the business establishment will receive an invoice and be required to make necessary payment into the Treasury Department prior to any Police Officer being detailed for such duty. The department however encourages business owners to employ the services of private security companies where applicable. In response to the Department’s decision, the Anti-trafficking in Persons Council of Belize commended the effort. The organizations states that the move will advance the country’s efforts quote, “to enact recommendations directed at the discontinuation of that practice and the crackdown on establishments that exploits trafficked persons. The presence of uniformed Police Officers at establishments where trafficking victims may be present gives credence to one of the common methods of control used by traffickers against their victims: that the law enforcement officials are under the control of the trafficker and therefore should be feared by the victim,” end of quote.