Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Criminals Threaten Town

Town meeting held for residents to voice
concerns to the Police Department

Please…Please…Please…this is the plea of the people of San Pedro as we go through a season of high criminal activity with no apparent effort to curb the situation. Street talk about the town should have been on exciting events like Tropic Air’s new terminal project, Jr. College Graduation, landing of a seaplane, Dia de San Pedro, or even the Hon. Minister’s daughter’s grand wedding. But no, the talk of the town are the daylight assaults and robberies, robbing of jewelry stores, the shooting of the gas station secretary, and the shooting of the jewelry lady on main street San Pedro and the breaking of a glass window at a store downtown San Pedro.

Everyone is talking about crimes and criminal activities on the rise with no arrests made or solutions to the wave of crime. There is as serious crime committed everyday, and people are living in fear. It is seriously affecting the daily lives of all residents and has started affecting our daily bread - the tourism industry.

In other parts of Belize, we hear reports of crimes, but we also hear of arrests made. That is not the case in San Pedro. It is a lamentable story, but it is the truth. The criminals are laughing at everyone and getting even bolder. If we do not stop them, they will terrorize our residents all year long.

Several solutions have been suggested, and we would like to repeat them for the authorities to listen and consider. First, victims are calling for justice. Where are the Justices of the Peace, who should represent “peace”? Are they just appointed for political favors?

Secondly, people are asking for the return of the Belize Defense Force (BDF). Still others are saying that the policemen belong on the streets, not the police station and that we need to triple police patrols during the day and night.

Finally here is as wise suggestion from the citizenry. The police should approach and question every suspicious looking individual or groups walking on the streets with no apparent goal or plan and intention to be going to work. Question their names, social security card, and proof of Belizean residency, address of residency, place of employment, name of boss or employer. If their answers are not adequate, give them one week to get all documentations and job. Repeat this process every day or every time you see them on the streets, even if it is two times each day. If they still do not respond positively, take them to the police station and take a statement on record, and question them even more strictly.

If they still do not respond positively, then see how they can be shipped out of San Pedro and even though Belizeans have a right to live anywhere, there are also laws against loitering, harassing people on the streets, vagrants and hobos and disorderly conduct.

PLEASE…those in authority do something urgently. While the hard working San Pedro people are at work, the criminals are sleeping. And while we are sleeping, then they are out in the night working their heinous, atrocious, and wicked plans. We need to win the battle on crime. At the moment they are winning.

Minister and Mayor Speak Out

Minister of Tourism and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, Hon. Manuel Heredia, said that he has addressed this serious issue to Central Government and will deliver every couple of weeks a deployment of BDF soldiers to the island for the next couple years. He stressed that he will work on bringing more tourism police and special constable to reinforce the San Pedro Police Department.

“I am putting a lot of emphasis and I am taking a different approach on fighting crime on the island,” he commented.

Meanwhile, Mayor Paz has expressed her discontent with the police department at Reef Radio’s Morning Show and urged the police officers to work harder by conducting more patrols.

“It is evident that there is corruption in the department and the town needs to take hold of jurisdiction over the department,” she said. “Right now we cannot do anything because control falls on central government. Our livelihood and tourism industry is at stake.”


Anonymous said...

People of San Pedro, I live in the USA and was really excited about visiting for 3-6 months this winter. But with all that I've been reading about crime there, I'm now not sure if I would risk the safety of my family. I hope that you can resolve this problem.

Anonymous said...

we don't need tourism police....we need the BDF or the Soldiers to be stationed in san Pedro so we can stop all this crimes. We need them full time in San Pedro or our tourism industry will go down.

Anonymous said...

We need to put our police officers or the BDF where we know the drugs or criminal acitvities are been committed. If you live in San Pedro YOu got to know where exactly drugs are sold. Everyone knows where these criminals are living. San Pedrito, San Juan, Boca Del rio, DFC Area. I am a hard working business man and travel from work to home late at nights and these few days it has been terrifing for me. I sometimes just want to reach as soon as possible home.Do you know how it feels to be living on the island you have called home and then suddenly you feel insecure and fear for your life. I ask the authorities to do thier job! Its a shame that San Pedro is so small and yet the authorites cannot catch the criminals.

Anonymous said...

God bless SP and its people. Prayer is needed. Build another church!!!

Anonymous said...

Your suggestion to stop and question every suspicious person is a very good one. Now lets see you do it. I would also suggest that all bars close at midnight or earlier. I go to San Pedro to dive and I stay at a hotel on the beach and you have a bar in the sea that plays loud music and is very annoying and on one occasion I was approached to buy drugs from someone from this bar. Your diving is the best in the world, but if you do not control the crime, divers will go somewhere else.

ing.en sistemas de informacion said...

well i think the police are very lazy because they know were drugs are being sell and they dont do anything, they are more corrupted than others i hope it gets better cause its a beautiful island

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If all of the residents would start caring a pistol in clear view on there hip and take matters into their own hands, that you are paying the police to do. Then all the criminals would ether leave or all be dead.