San Pedro Police Department holds business watch meeting

Friday, February 12th, 2016

The San Pedro Police formation held a business watch meeting on Tuesday, February 9th at the Lions Den. The purpose of the meeting was to have businesses of Southern Ambergris Caye sign up with the Police Department so they can be visited on a regular basis to help prevent and reduce crime. This will also enhance the level of security for the employees, residents and patrons of that area. Various members of the business community were invited to find out more about the program the police are doing for the island. Plans for the northern side of the island were also announced.06 Police security watch program-web
Superintendent Sandra Bodden began the meeting explaining the importance of the security watch program in the southern part of the island. “There are a lot of businesses in Southern San Pedro and it is important to have them sign up to the program. Once we start working with the establishments, the presence of police will increase in those areas, hence providing more assistance and security to anyone living in that respective part of the island. It will also mean that there will be a direct means of contact between the businesses and the police,” said Bodden. She indicated that the rate of crime incidents as of press time has been reduced to 29%, which is significant, and it reveals the close relationship between the police and the community.
Deputy Officer in Charge Henry Jemmott explained that so far the program has worked very well with the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, thus, they will like to expand the program in order to cover more area and have more businesses be a part of it. “By signing up to the program, we will have a more accurate monitoring of the areas we need to patrol. Again, we will increase the presence of police officers in these areas, which will guarantee the safety of everyone. Usually crime takes place when there is little or no police presence. But with these implementations, we are sure to thwart any possibilities of crime related incidents,” said Jemmott.
Despite a reduction of crime on the island, Jemmott indicated that this is the time to come together and plan, look ahead and be ready for anything in the future. He hopes that by the end of year, the reduction of crime on the island can reach up to 45%. However, he indicated that everyone needs to work together, as the authorities cannot do everything.
A similar program is been designed for the northern part of the island, with the difference being it will focus more on the cops and the special constables. “Due to the limited resources that we have and not being able to have steady patrols on the north side, we plan to work along with the security guard personnel from the different establishments up north. Training will be provided from time to time to their security staff, so they are more prepared and know what to do in any situation and provide the police with information,” said Jemmott. A meeting with members of the business sector in Northern Ambergris Caye is scheduled to take place in the coming days to further discuss the program.
Bodden encouraged everyone to continue spreading the word to other members in their community and join the program. The San Pedro Police would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting, and they look forward to continue working together with the entire community, making San Pedro a safer island for everybody.

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