A Belizean delegation including civil society and the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams have recently returned from a trip to Jamaica where the visited Center for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, CISOCA. The center is a branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force which helps encourage victims to report incidents of sexual offenses and child abuse; ensures an efficient and effective investigation into allegations of abuse; enhances the rehabilitation of victims through counseling and therapy and conducts public education programs on Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. The Compol spoke of the reasons behind the visit.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We all went to Jamaica on a working visit and the purpose of that visit was to, one look at the issue as it relates to the operation of CISOCA in Jamaica. CISOCA stands for the Center for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. As I’ve said before in the past that it is our intention to look at a one-stop center that will deal with domestic violence and sexual assaults as well as child abuse and we believe that the model in Jamaica is a good one for us to start with and so we went to see how that operates as well as to look at the issue as it relates to how Jamaica deals with children and during that visit we met with the commissioner of police in Jamaica, Major General Anthony Anderson and he has pledged to see how best he can assist Belize in setting up this center as well as for us to be able to collaborate in other areas of policing such as training and capacity building. He has also said that once it is that we are ready to set up this center that he is prepared to send one of his officers from Jamaica to Belize to guide us as it relates to the setting up of the center that we have what needs to be in place to get it up and running. We also visited the Denham Town area, Denham Town is where a safe zone operation is being conducted. Denham town was one of the most violent areas in Jamaica and what they did over the past year was that they moved in with the police and the military and they established checkpoints on the outer perimeter as well as within and you have the military and police operating within the safe zone dealing with gang issues, then you have the conflict officers who work with the different gangs in the respective areas of Denham Town to see how they can work with the gang members to defuse the feuds that exist between them.”