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Sports is the new-game changer to combat crime

The Belize Police Department is holding its third annual Youth Basketball Cup, which begins tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at the Belize Civic Center and will continue for the next five months at various basketball courts around Belize City. Love News spoke with Douglas Hyde, National Youth Program Coordinator for the Belize Police Department, who said that it is a way to positively engage youths and keep them away from a life of crime.

Douglas Hyde – National Youth Program Coordinator, Belize Police Department

“It was an intervention process which works really well with young people in the area of crime and violence and because of the success in 2016 we had a total of eight teams, a total of sixty-four players on the teams that played in 2016. The success was so high we proceeded into 2017. In 2017 the same objectives were labeled and the aim was to look at these different areas again with more participation and the participation was more with ten teams. To be honest, we saw in terms of the reduction in areas specifically Mayflower and these high ridden areas of crime and violence, the reduction went down when it comes to shooting and murders. The evidence was there to show that shootings were less in these areas. The overall component includes Life Skills component which we call Personal Development, we’ve partnered with Community Rehab Department through the Ministry of Human Development and they worked in the areas of teaching these guys life skills. Looking at topics such as Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, Crime and Violence, Issues that they can sit down and discuss, grief and loss to gun violence and gang violence itself, how to deal with situations. So we have individuals who are trained social workers that work with them on a day to day basis.”

A total of fourteen teams will be participating in this year’s Youth Basketball Cup.