You may recall some time ago when the former Prime Minister Said Musa was addressing a gathering in the Lake Independence area when their standard bearer Cordel Hyde was being endorsed. One of the assurances made to the Belizean public during that event was that upon the PUP taking office, the Gang Suppression Unit would be dismantled. Back then there was ample time before that would or could occur under the PUP; but now, we are at a juncture where national elections are just weeks away and any number can play. We met up with the head of the GSU, Mark Flowers and we asked him if he is at all concerned about the plans of the PUP to get rid of the GSU. Of course, there are parts of his response we have held back as it just may spark yet another controversy between he and Musa. But in essence, here is what he said.
INSPECTOR MARK FLOWERS
“I have no concerns about the elections when it comes to the longevity or the existence or continued existence of the GSU. I have no concern, I know GSU will continue to be here and the GSU will be here for a long time, at least another ten years I know for certain it will be around and I’m not saying that the PUP are not ever going to come back into government I am saying that the GSU will be here for a long time.”
Flowers has been heading the GSU since August 2014. Musa had condemned the GSU based on complaints of brutality … but according to Flowers, things are different now.
INSPECTOR MARK FLOWERS
“I remember clearly I’ve said to the media in August last year that I didn’t want to be judged on what their perception or knowledge or views were of the Gang Suppression Unit. I also said that I was not going to superintend over any group that was into any controversy and I told them to judge me from then on into the future. I am certain that we continue to be as effective or even more than it was but we don’t need any confrontations. We’ve been having more conversations with the public and we’ve been civil in the conduct of our policing styles and we’ve been as forceful as we always were except we don’t have the controversy and I’m happy that, either it is that the media has relinquished the mischief or it is that the GSU has changed. At the end of the day it is that we are still working but we are not abusive and I want people to understand that I don’t know what goes on in the back but under my superintendence there will be no such thing. We don’t condone it.”
Later on in our newscast, we’ll tell you about how the Gang Suppression Unit reached out to the elderly earlier today.