Prime Minister Applauds Belize Police and Officials for Reduction in Crime

Prime Minister Applauds Belize Police and Officials for Reduction in Crime

Prime Minister John Briceno has commended the work of the Belize Police Department, as well as the Police Commissioner Chester Williams and the Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa.  His remarks made to Love News are on the backdrop of crime reduction in the country.  According to Belize Crime Observatory data, major crimes have seen a reduction in the Belize, Corozal, Toledo and Cayo districts.  

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “This is something that we can’t gloat about. One murder is one too much but I think that great credit must be given to Minister Musa. Minister Musa has been quietly working again with the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, a lot of credit also has to go to him and the upper top management of police because what they have been doing they have been doing some changes within the top management and at the same time they ‘ve been working in trying to change the culture within the police holding more responsible for their actions to ensure that they can be more measured as to how they behave in the public. And at the same time though we are working on giving them more of the equipment that they need to be able to do more effective policing. We’re looking at how we can create a better relationship with the communities. Community policing continues to play an even bigger role. I mean I always look at what Mr.Gillett – I’m not really sure what he is a Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner or something like that Howell Gillett. I mean he does incredible work with young people and I always admire him and lots of time he would invite me to a few of his functions and I would go just to show the support because we really need to reach out to our people when they’re young so that they could understand the importance of being a good citizen in this country. We have been trending in the right direction. We still have a long way to go but we need to give credit to Minister Musa, to Commissioner Williams and to his entire management and also the government that we continue to give them the support. For instance as it is right now we’re starting to set up some high powered cameras in some of the hotspots in Belize City so that if a crime takes place we can be able to capture that person when they’re moving out and trying to run away. So we have to use technology to be able to help us to be able to fight crime and to act as a deterrence to crime.”

Police Commissioner Chester Williams also weighed in on the crime statistics, recognizing his officers for efforts made in curbing crime.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We do take a serious look of the murder count and I always try my best to preserve life. Whenever we have any murder or shootings in the city I always find myself in Belize City on the grounds trying to see what I can do along with my team to mitigate any possible retaliation and I think that we have been doing well along with LIU intervention team as well as the program that LIU is pushing it is something that we take very seriously including our minister. He likewise has a hands on approach when it comes to the murder count. We strive to see what we can do to reduce these numbers. And yes this year is a record breaking year for us so far we are making great strides but we certainly are not yet where we want to be. Like you  rightly said every murder is a bad one because there are people who are left orphaned, children. We have wives who are left widowed, people are grieving so saving lives for us is the number one priority and we’re going to do our best for the rest of the year to make sure that we keep the numbers well below the figures we have seen over the past thirteen years. When I look at our stats and compare to our brothers in the Caribbean we look at for example St.Lucia which has a population of I think of about 140,000 people they are already over 80. We look at Bahamas a population of about 350,000 people they’re also over 80. So Turks and Caicos right now a small little island and I think they’re at fifty something so even when you look at the per capita I think for the first time in more than fifteen years we can have a per capita of less than twenty per year so I think that it is going to be historic but we’re not going to celebrate yet. There’s still a lot that we need to do before close this year and even when the year is closed we still won’t  celebrate because we have another year we have to look forward to to make sure that we can keep up the momentum and try to do better for next year.”

The two districts that saw an increase in crime rate were Orange Walk and Stann Creek.  This data is a comparison of this year and last year for the period, January to October.

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