Prime Minister Dean Barrow said there is the need for what he called “hard serious policing”. He said there needs to be a balance to restore trust in the troubled neighbourhoods.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“There must be an effort at hard serious policing which can assist in interdicting the efforts of the gang culture in Belize City. But I said earlier and I repeat it cannot be just a policy or a policy at all of brute force and ignorance. Two things, I don’t know that we can win a war conducted on that basis and number two, that inevitably entails collateral damage in terms of the sorts of confrontations that spill over and involve and engage other members of the community, other members of neighborhoods. There has to be an effort made to restore trust between the Belize Police Department and the neighborhoods and the citizens they serve and together with hard policing the intervention exercises must continue, efforts and conciliation must continue, a serious attempt must be made to win hearts and minds.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams agrees that a balanced approach must be taken.
Chester Williams – Deputy ComPol
“The truth is for us to be able to move forward, we must work on gaining back the public trust and confidence and that is one of my number one priorities. Once we gain the public trust and confidence then we will arrive at a situation where the public will feel free or will feel confident in working with us, in giving us information and that will then assist us in having the public joining forces with us to flush out those persons who want to create havoc within their communities. So we must understand that while yes, we want to be tough- and I’m going to tell you when the need arises for tough policing I will be the first to support it because we cannot and will not be giving people too many chances; you get a chance make good use of that chance you get. If you screw up that chance do not expect that the softer side of policing will come to you- you will then be experiencing that tough side of policing. So the important thing is for us to be able to strike a balance.”