Mayor Daniel Guerrero takes more initiative in battling crime

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Sagging discouraged – Shops & Restaurants closing at 10pm

It has come to a point that residents on Ambergris Caye, along with its Town Council and the Police Department, have to take serious measures in battling crime on the island. To many residents, fear has replaced the sense of security once felt while walking around our island home. Over time, perpetrators have even managed to infiltrate the place where one should feel most safe – in the home.

The San Pedro Town Council is intent on bringing San Pedro back to the carefree paradise that so many residents miss; to a time when we could feel a sense of safety and security once more. As such, the council is sending a plea to residents, especially parents, to play a more active role in their children’s lives. Residents are asked to take pride in their island home, by keeping it clean and adding to the aesthetic beauty of the community. We promote our island as “La Isla Bonita”; Mayor Guerrero reminds everyone that a major part of the “beauty” of our island that people keep coming back for is us – the people of San Pedro.

It is with this in mind that “sagging” is being actively discouraged. Sagging is the practice of wearing pants below the waist, revealing much of the underwear. It is predominantly a male fashion. According to Wikipedia, the practice originated from United States prisons where belts are prohibited. In the 1990’s, hip-hop artists popularized the style as a fashion statement, and the trend has held fast.

Mayor is asking residents and children to take more pride in themselves and dress appropriately. He advised that if one would show up at a job interview “sagging” chances are – that person would not be hired. Mayor Guerrero also believes that “sagging” contributes to the idea of the “gang mentality” – and may be seen as encouraging crime.

Another request by the Mayor actually goes back to the Law Books. Guerrero explains that with the exception of Night Club Liquor License holders, all establishments licensed to sell alcohol are, by law, required to close at 9PM. However, he is being lenient by allotting an hour extra for restaurants and shops to make their sales. Bars will be allowed to operate until 12 midnight nightly. Places holding a Nightclub Liquor License will be allowed to remain open until 2PM on any night except for when an extension has been granted.

Mayor Guerrero says that he is acting in accordance to Part III of the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act of The Substantive Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000 – it states that: “There shall be granted under this Act the following kinds of licenses permitting sale of liquor in the premises and by the person described in the license- (a) a publican’s general license for the sale of liquor either by retail or in unbroken packages; Intoxicating (b) a shop license for the sale of liquor in sealed containers for consumption off the premises; (c) a malt license for the sale of wine, ale, beer, cider, for consumption on the premises; (d) a beer license for the sale of beer only in sealed containers not for consumption on the premises; (e) an hotel license for the sale of liquor by retail for consumption on the premises, and for the sale of liquor in sealed containers for consumption off the premises only to its guests or a bona fide traveler in person; (f) a restaurant license for the sale of liquor in the restaurant for consumption on the premises; (g) a publican’s special license for the sale by retail of liquor for consumption on the premises; 9.-(1) It shall not be lawful for any person to sell liquor in a restaurant licensed under this Act except to a customer buying a full meal therein and consuming the liquor with the meal.” And so forth.

This action, the Mayor sees as one that has become necessary to curb the occurrence of late night street loitering and petty crime. He informed The San Pedro Sun, that since this was implemented a couple weeks ago he has been getting positive feedback from most involved – barring a few – of-course. However, the general public is advised that this is all being done on a trial basis. The Mayor and the Town Council are working on finding ways to curb crime and create the safe San Pedro that everyone longs for. Guerrero is opened to suggestions and recommendations from anyone. The Mayor may be reached at the San Pedro Town Council at 226-2198.

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