In the law books, the charge is “allow or suffer a child to be in a public place”. This is the first time we have heard of such a charge. Over the weekend, a 48 year old mother of Belize City was arrested and charged for the offence of ” Allow or suffer a child to be in a public place between the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.” Police say that her children, two female students ages 15 and 16, were found socializing on Glenn Street, Belize City during that time. It’s a real offence that some parents and guardians may not know about. Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says his officers have been warning parents for weeks.
“First we began with the issuance of a warning letter to parents whose parents were found on the streets between the hours of 9pm and 6am and as time progresses we did pick up a number of children and we issued a number of warnings but it seems as if some parents are still in the habits of wanting the streets to raise their children and when things go wrong with the kids in the streets then they begin to point fingers at the police, at the government at social departments, everywhere by themselves. So we decided to stop issuing warnings, because we cannot always be warning people and that we need to begin to take parents to court who for some reason or the other allow their child to be on the public streets between the hours of 9pm and 6am unsupervised. We have arrested a number of persons for this matter before some of whom have been convicted including the one who got arrested over the weekend she had been arrested before.”
According to Williams, the charge carries a two thousand dollars fine or imprisonment for a term of one year.