Tuesday, June 25, 2024

San Pedro Police staying vigilant following State of Emergency declared on the mainland


Since March 26th, a state of emergency (SOE) has been implemented in some regions of southside Belize City, Hattieville Village, and Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District. The motive behind this was to prevent any retaliation following three murders, one of which was a police officer. The police officers and Belize Defence Force soldiers have been targeting possible gang members in these areas. Therefore, many of them have fled to other parts of the country, including San Pedro Town. In the past week, the San Pedro Police Formation detained and removed several of these suspected gang members from the island.
Island police officers are posted at different ports of entry, such as the water taxis and the local airport. Several persons with questionable characters were intercepted when they arrived in San Pedro. If needed, they were taken to the San Pedro Police Station, where they were interviewed. If they were wanted on the mainland due to the SOE, they were escorted off the island and processed in Belize City. So far, police on the island have detained and removed seven gang figures trying to enter San Pedro.

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – file photo

The three murders involving Elwin Lewis and Nigel Williams in Belize City and PC Dylan Anthony in Roaring Creek triggered the current SOE to prevent any retaliations. The Commissioner of Police (ComPol) Chester Williams said that only a few persons are being targeted this time. “These young men who are going to be detained under the SOE will be investigated by the Central Intelligence Branch because many of them are being accused of shootings or even murders, and then some of them are also being accused of being a member of a gang,” explained ComPol Williams. “The SOE gives us that ability because one of the things we are getting from witnesses when we have these shootings is that they fear cooperating with the police because they fear retribution coming from those persons who are accused of committing these crimes and murders.” Williams hopes that with these persons behind bars, people can speak freely without worrying about repercussions.
The state of emergency will last one month. During this time, the ComPol said it will allow the police to conduct thorough investigations. The public is asked to call the nearest police station by calling 911 to report any suspicious activities in their neighborhoods. In San Pedro, the police station can be visited on Pescador Drive and contacted directly at telephone number 206-2022.

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