The Belize Police Department is asking the community of San Pedro to come together in assisting the department when it comes to fighting crime. That includes reporting incidents, identifying criminals, joining the special constables program and doing their part of abiding by the law. “It is only fitting for the locals to be part of the security of their own island,” commented Commissioner of Police Chester Williams in his address to the concerned citizens.
The community meeting came about after the double murder of tour guide Mario Graniel and tourist Dr. Gary Swank who were shot down during a fishing trip in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize last Sunday, June 23, 2019.
Watch Entire Meeting
Residents of Ambergris Caye keep expressing their concerns of the escalating crime on the island and their frustrations with the lack of progress and assistance from the Police Department. Issues pointed out during the meeting include: how criminals are not being caught, not convicted when taken to court, how witnesses’ identities are not being kept safe, police bribery, police brutality, ineffectiveness of the police department, among others.
But the Commissioner of Police, Coast Guard, Minister of Tourism and Mayor of San Pedro all believe that they are taking proper steps to combat crime on the island. This is despite the cries from residents who say that there is just no justice on the island and they fear the consequences of the drug wars taking place in the country and region.
There was no disclosure of any activities that the Police Department is taking at the moment other than the installation of ten surveillance cameras in San Pedro Town and the recruitment of 12 special constables. Commissioner Willams stated that if the department revealed its plans, it would only inform the criminal element of their actions.
“The Police is here to help and we are going to help in any way that we can,” stated Commissioner of Police. “I can assure you that I am not going to rest; I am going to ensure that we step up our game and that we try to make you as safer as we can. I am very optimistic that this meeting is going to yield good results for all of us. It is going to ensure that we get the level of services and security that we rightly deserve.”