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Before you think that the exchange of political invectives was all there was at Friday’s House sitting, there were other matters raised in the adjournment. Opposition Leader raised the issue of the spiralling level of crime, and it was followed by an impassioned speech by the Police Minister Elodio Aragon.


johnHonourable John Briceno, Opposition Leader


“Unfortunately last year according to different news organs including channel 7 there were 145 people were murdered. When you looked at the records the UDP was elected in government since 2008 approximately a thousand Belizeans have been murdered and it seems that the government still has been unable to come with a comprehensive plan as to how are they going to tackle this matter just last week or over the weekend we had now a young man a Muslim Belizeans by the name of Fareed Ahmad who was murdered and shot in his head in his vehicle and it seems that a police officer is implicated in the murder of this well-known and well liked young man in his community.”


Honourable Elodio Aragon, Police Minister


“This situation is presently under investigation, I want him to know and the public to know because it’s all over the media etc. and the fact police department works with proper investigation and with fact I want to confirm and I think everybody knows this the woman police officer that was in the vehicle has since been arrested and charged, a firearm has been recovered and has been identified to be that of the police department and she is a police officer and that firearm she had signed out for that firearm which is normal in terms of policing, two expended shells has been since found these has been sent to the forensic department for analysis and we await the results of those analysis further more I want to assure the general public, I want to assure the family of Mr. Hamad that the police department is doing a proper investigation in this, there are two investigations taking place right now and one is the criminal aspect of this investigation in terms of the murder and secondly there is an internal investigation in dealing with the allegation that are out there.”


Honourable Elodio Aragon, Police Minister


“I want the Belizean people to know and the Leader of the Opposition, we here on the government side we want a safe Belize and it is for the best interest for everyone for all of our communities and we are going to continue to work hard to try to address these issues but it is not an easy one and I challenge anybody who feel that they could just snap their finger and get there and deal with the issues that we have bear in mind that we have a societal problem and the police department is but one institution that if faced day in and day out in dealing with the kind of ills that has transgressed over the years in our communities because people who don’t raise their children properly, who have fallen through the cracks of education, who have fallen through the cracks of good guidance etc. at the end of the day we deal with all of that problem, it is a challenge a day to day challenge but we continue to work our strategic plan in terms of the task force.”


According to Aragon, the Ministry of National Security will be implementing new measures including the introduction of a special task force charged with pursuing criminals, which is the duty of any regular police officer, and legislation that protects confidential informants.


Honourable Elodio Aragon, Police Minister


“Furthermore, we all know crime is an issue we have discussed this is a concern of national interest for the people of this country and especially those in Belize City.  The last house meeting I got up and spoke about the challenges that are faced by the police department and it is not an easy job we are in the media every day because we a department unlike any other institution that have to deal with the ills of this society on a day to day basis and so without a doubt you will hear allegations, you will hear police wrong doing etc. because we are a dynamic organization made out of people and not robots and therefore we will have people within the police department who might have over stepped their bounds in terms the use of force etc., but within the police department there are procedures and regulations to deal with those incidents of misconduct or wrong doing or corruption by police officers.”


Honourable Elodio Aragon, Police Minister


“We are strengthening Professional Standards Branch and this year within the next 60 to 90 days we will have Professional Standards Branch in every district of this country so that we can have citizens who have complains against police for whatever nature whether it be abuse or misconduct or wrong doing or whatever can go to these offices not to the police station and make a formal complaint against any member of the police department because at the end of the day we want transparency and we want to ensure that we are working and serving the communities that we police.”

 

Honourable Elodio Aragon, Police Minister


“We will be highlighting the introduction of a Special Task Force which will entail of senior investigators to go after the persons who are involved in these crimes that are taking place in the City especially the city so we can address the situation because I’ll tell you investigation in an important part for us to be able to deal with these people and get them off the streets of our country and that is going to be done shortly along with the strengthening of the Professional Standards Branch.”

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