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Police implement changes to deal with the crime

The recent increase in shootings and murders within the city is starting to spike up a sense of insecurity in residents. For a few months, there was a relative sense of peace within the city that has been credited to the gang intervention program. Of late however, many men have met their death at gunpoint, particularly in South Side Belize City. Today Commander Vidal told the media Police have made several changes to address the matter but says it is not something out of the ordinary. Here’s why.

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal – OC, Eastern Division South

“If you look at statistics for January, there were seven murders as well in that one month.  We are looking at our deployments; we are looking at our intelligence, given that these matters recently are gang related. So we are visiting a number of areas where these incidents are occurring and we are addressing them as we speak.”

But what has led to the increase of gun violence within the area? The South side Commander says the police have a good idea and that is why the department has increased its watch.

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal – OC, Eastern Division South

“You must understand that the gang element thrives on a number of sources of funding and one main source of that funding is the sale of drugs. Once the network of that sale is expanded, then it obviously brings turf war because they want to expand their business. To a large extent this is what we are seeing and this is what in fact we anticipated would happen. If you notice for the past month and a half we have been targeting these persons for the sale of drugs, we have in fact seized a number of drugs.  As a matter of fact you might also recall that we launched an operation commandeered by Mr. Broaster where we did countrywide operations and Belize City was no exception.  So these people are being targeted. We are targeting the elements in Belize City and we are targeting their suppliers in the district and so that is why a countrywide operation was done.”

Given the current situation in the City, it is somewhat difficult to ignore that since the ending of March through to July, there was a sort of calm as it relates to gun violence. The situation is rapidly changing and the South Side Command says it was inevitable.

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal – OC, Eastern Division South

“As you said just now, seemingly there was peace, but if there were peace, there would be no reason for there not to be peace today but obviously there was none. What was happening was that these elements thought that they could expand certain activities once they were not committing murders but then these activities that they are expanding eventually leads to murders.  So what we are seeing is a bit of the implosion of this situation.”