SP Police launch Anti-Crime Campaign
Monday, December 12th, 2011
Ask anyone on the street and they will tell you that in the past two weeks, the crime situation on the island seems to be out of control. In the past few weeks there have been at least two homes broken into while the owners slept, two violent home attacks where individuals were wounded and two robberies on tourists, to name a few. For the Police Department, the increase of burglaries and robberies come with the increase of commerce that occurs during the Christmas season. For that reason, the Police Department has introduced their Anti-Crime Campaign on the island. The campaign was launched on the first of December and will run until the middle of January 2012.
It’s a genuine concern and in an exclusive interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mayor of San Pedro Her Worship Elsa Paz explained that indeed the crime situation is something to be worried about. “It concerns me and it’s sad to say, but we don’t get the needed assistance we would want to see from the Ministry of National Security,” stated Mayor Paz, adding “This island keeps growing rapidly and we require more resources.” However there is not much that the Mayor can do other than lobbying for more security forces since the national security falls on the elected representatives to the national assembly. “I cannot do much. Much of the responsibility falls on the Area Representative even more so since he is also the Minister of Tourism; he should be the right one to call on the Ministry of Police,” explained the Mayor.
In addressing the issue, the acting Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Station, Inspector Ernel Dominguez, said that there will be more visibility of the police on the streets of the island. “We want to give the public a greater assurance that the policing in the different areas will be enhanced to their standards,” said Dominguez. With the Christmas season kicking in, it is expected that there will be an increase of crime. Dominguez said that not only are they advising the general public to be extra vigilant, but he wants to send a strong message to the criminal elements. “Perpetrators want to take advantage of the situation but we want them to know that we will not let down our guards; we will increase our stop-searches, vehicular and even home searches if need be,” Dominguez said.
In the past, when San Pedro had been terrorized by criminals, a special operation has been put in place by elements of the Belize Defense Force deployed to the island to help fight and avert crime. But with the limited resources, the Police are forced to “act within their means”. In so doing, the anti-crime campaign has been launched and is being spearheaded by the San Pedro Police Department with the assistance of elements from the Belize National Coast Guard based in San Pedro, Special Patrol Unit of the Police Department, Anti Drugs Unit of the Police Department and the Belize Defense Force. Dominguez ended by advising the public to “be their neighbor’s keeper” and to report any suspicious act in their respective areas of the community.
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