Unconventional – that is the word used by the Police Commissioner Chester Williams to describe the recent murders. In what is becoming a rare occurrence, the Police Commissioner gave the media an interview after a long wait on the south side as he conducted his meet and greet session which we will tell you about later. Recently, the Belize Police Department has stated that the murder count is low in comparison to the figures from 2018. Commissioner Williams added that he has been strengthening the police presence to deter crime.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “The types of murders we’re seeing these days are not the conventional types of murders, these are the I would call them silly murders; friend on friend, drinking, get drunk and kill each other, incidents at bars, domestic. So when it come to the gang related murders it has dropped significantly this year and that is a direct result of the work being done by the police as well as the assistance that we continue to get through CYDP. As you would know that CYPD do engage the young people, particularly the gang members in conflict resolution, conflict mediation as well as different sporting activities with a view to try to keep them in peace with each other. And so we are seeing the results of that now. Yes it is not where we want it to be there is still more work to be done and we are going to continue to ensure that we do what needs to be done.”
With the Christmas season quickly approaching, Commissioner Williams says there is a special police plan for the season.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We have anticipated at the beginning of the year that we would try to reduce murders by 10% this year and I believe we will do well above 10% if we continue to do the work that we have been doing. As a department yes we remain concerned, out district we have seen developments out district as I alluded at the National COMSTAT. The Cayo district at the end of September had a 100% increase in murder, that for us is a concern and we are addressing that issue. While we see reductions in other regions – San Ignacio or the Cayo region was up and we have to address that, we currently have a recruit squad in training they are expected to leave training at the end of this month to go and do the three months on the job training and they will be deployed across the country. And so we are hoping that with these numbers going out to the respective districts, because the recruits will be sent to the area where they enlisted from to work, and so we are hoping that that will help to boost the numbers out district that we’ll be able to have a better control of the situation during the Christmas time. We know the YuleTide season crime increases and so as a department we have to be prepared to ensure that we ramp up our Christmas anti crime campaign this year with a view to have as minimal crime as possible.”
Ordinarily the end of year report from the Belize Police Department is a general composition of offences. Commissioner of Police says that will change this year as the crimes will be categorized.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I’m going to make sure that for this year when we release the crime statistics that when it comes to murders we are going to categorize the murders. So we’ll have murders from; alcohol, drugs, gangs, domestic, etc. So there will be a more deeper analysis of the type of murders that we have had this year. Again that will be used to be able to help us tot look at how we’re going to police next year to try to reduce the numbers again but alcohol, loitering, continue to be the two main issues behind the murders and I know that have seen for example when you try to crack down alcohol and loitering some people go on social media and say ‘oh why the police di focus on these minor things and don’t focus on the murder.’. It is how we are focusing on the murders by stopping the loitering and stopping the public drinking is how you prevent the murders. So people need to begin to look at the bigger picture. Murder doesn’t just happen just like that there is always some driving force behind it and so we have to look at the root causes of the murder and address that root cause and the majority of these murders are public drinking and loitering.”
Commissioner Chester Williams told the media that he will continue to crack down on gang members who are wreaking havoc on society. He stated that people who confess of being part of a gang member will continue to be dealt with and be put behind bars.///////