The Belize Police Department is cracking down on gang members in Belize City. This morning Police Commissioner Chester Williams announced that the department is looking again to reinforce the gang membership laws to curb the city’s ongoing gang warfare. According to Williams the move by the department is being made to round up gang members unwilling to work with the government to make changes in their lifestyle. Here’s how he puts it.
Chester Williams: Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “We have utilised the law again as it relates to being the member of a gang. The GI3 Investigation Intelligence Section has been busy in terms of investigating these gang members with a view to bring charges against them and last week they were prepared to charge, I think, seven of these individuals for being the member of a gang, some of whom were caught. They were taken to court. They pled guilty and from what I am told, two persons were sentenced to prison. I wish the sentencing was more but it is still a start compared to before and we are grateful for that. Some were remanded because they pled not guilty and I think that we’re still looking for a few. The gang, the GI3 investigation unit is currently compiling files on other gangs within Belize City and we’re hoping that very shortly, we should be bring charges against another set of gang members so we’re doing what we can from a legal perspective to disrupt the gangs in Belize City and we are hopeful that it will help to reduce the tensions and the crime problems in Belize City where these gangs are concerned.”
Reporter: Is the department looking to seek out other gang members from other areas in the city?
Chester Williams: Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “Certainly yes we are doing that. While, yes, we do have the programme that is being run in Belize City with the gang members, we are working with those who want to make that change and are not involved in the violence. But those who we believe are still involved in the violence and creating havoc then we have to go after them and charge them under the gang law and see if we can put them away.”