Santa Cruz Village Police Detain Bullies Caught on Video

Santa Cruz Village Police Detain Bullies Caught on Video

Police in Santa Cruz Village, Stann Creek District rounded up a group of boys caught on video, bullying a primary school student.  The primary bully in the video is a student of Independence High School who was videoed for near seven minutes.  Throughout the recording, the victim was alone walking down a road when at least four boys ganged up on him throwing threats and insults.  About three minutes into the video, the person recording the confrontation antagonized the situation and a second round of confrontation occurred.  The victim continued walking, clearly attempting to flee the bullies but the assailant pursued him.  After five minutes of torment, the bully, then punched the primary school student in the face.  The victim once again attempted to walk away but the person capturing the incident on the phone continued to pursue him.  Love News reached out to the Principal of Independence High School for comments on the matter, but he declined.  Police Commissioner Chester Williams has commented on the recording, condemning the acts of bullying, and assuring the public that Police have picked up the assailants.  

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “The parties were brought in including the young man, who I must say appeared to be very quiet and humble, were taken to the Santa Cruz police station where an official report was lodged with the police. And those who were bullying him are currently in custody. Court action is being requested in this matter and so the police will be proceeding with criminal charges against these young persons. And whilst some might say that they are children, we have to understand that this is how problems normally begin. So if it is that we leave these actions to go unpunished then these young persons are going to believe that the actions are right and they will continue to perpetrate these type of actions against their peers. And so it is important that as a society we address it and we address it truthfully. Now, while we do so, we must bear in mind the guidance from the Families and Children Act provides that law does provide that when we deal with young persons, children in particular under the age of 16, that we must always keep at the forefront what is in the best interest of the child. So the child’s interest is paramount. In this case all the persons involved are under the age of 16 so they would fall within the scope of what the Domestic Violence Act seeks to protect. But again, we must again, look at what does the best interest mean. Does the best interest mean that we leave them to go unpunished? Or the best interest means that we allow them to experience some punishments so that they understand that what they have done is wrong? I believe that the latter is what the law contemplated. And so once they go to court, if convicted, what we’ll be doing we’ll be asking the court to send the matter to the diversion program which means that because of their age we are not going to have the conviction recorded so as not to have them tarnishing their criminal record from such an early age. So the court can provide alternative punishment like community service, etc. So we will ask the court to do diversion programs as opposed to having whatever conviction recorded on their criminal records at this early age. I think that is going to be a good route to be taken because once that is done it simply means that they will not get off unpunished.”

As the Santa Cruz Police work on this case, Belize City Police were informed of another bullying case in front of Pallotti High School.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “And I must say that about an hour ago another video footage depicting the fight among young girls this time in Belize City near the Pallotti roundabout. Again, I forwarded that video to the officer commanding Eastern Division and again directed at those young persons be picked up and have the matter addressed. I can say that I was just informed by Mr. Romero that majority of the parties are already in custody. I think they are looking for two more. And again, that matter will be addressed by the police the best way we can. Let me just say that as a society we must always ensure that we protect our children from being abused by adults. But equally, we must also ensure that we protect them from being abused by their peers. Oftentimes, we’re seeing these fights among young people and in some cases we’re seeing where some of them are extremely calm, extremely mannerly, and extremely humble, and they are just being bullied by those who for whatever reason choose to do so. And whilst some might say that they are children we have to understand that this is how problems normally begin. So if it is that we leave these actions to go unpunished then these young persons are going to believe that the actions are right and they will continue to perpetrate these type of actions against their peers.”

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