Police Commissioner responds to LIU’s effectiveness being called into question
The effectiveness of the Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU) is being called into question after there was a flare-up of gang warfare in Belize City. Over the past week, three men have been gunned down in the old capital. Two of the men are believed to have been killed due to ongoing factions between feuding gangs. The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says while the LIU is working with gang members who want to change, there are some men who simply do not want peace.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We continue to do what we can through the LIU to mitigate the gang situation in Belize City. As I’ve said before in previous interviews that we are not naïve to believe that because of the efforts that we are doing through LIU that the gang problem will just disappear in its entirety and so quickly. We do operate on a daily basis anticipating that there will be occasions where there will be flare ups and it cannot be that we take these incidents and cast away the program or assume that the program is not working. But what we must do and what we have been doing when we do have these flare ups is to see how we can calm the storm and navigate our way through to ensure that we can restore peace within the different neighborhoods and that is what we have been doing. I know there are going to be some people who will say that the program is not working but believe you me, and I’m sure that you as members of the media can also attest to the fact that the crime particularly gang related incidents is down and that is a direct result of the work that we have been doing through LIU and the effectiveness of the police on the ground we have been able to ensure that with the two murders we have had the one on Police Street and the one on Antelope Street, that there is no retaliation and that goes to show that the police efforts is yielding good results.”
ComPol Williams confirmed that recently a member of the LIU, Adrian Pook, was killed after he was allegedly still an active gang member. Williams says it is disheartening to see some members return to a life of crime.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “He was a member of LIU and as the LIU family we’re trying to do what we can to ensure that there is no retaliation but again as I’ve said before we are not naïve to believe that this program is the answer to everything and because we now have the program everything will come to a stop. It took us many years to get where we are and it is going to take us many years to be where we want to be and we continue to work in that direction.”