The Ministry of National Security recently held a meeting with senior members of the police department including the Minister, the acting Commissioner of Police and the three Commanders of the Eastern Division which was recently divided into the Eastern North, the Eastern Rural and the Eastern Southern Divisions. At the meeting, the Minister, ACP and the three senior Commanders discussed matters concerning the mid year review for 2015 in which they observed a growing trend of murders resulting from domestic and private dispute. Today the Minister expounded on this and how they intend to deal with this situation.
“First of all, in terms of the statistics from the first six months, we noted the downward trend in major crimes, but noted that we continue to have some challenges with respect to murders. We also noted that those challenges seem to be shifting to more domestic and personal conflict issues and we’ve looked at a strategy toward to try to deal with that new challenge that’s facing us.”
“Well first of all, one of the things we’ve already done is to initiate contact with the Chief Magistrate and the Chief Justice in respect to these domestic cases where persons go in, make complaints to the police, go to court and then have the matter withdrawn. We’ve seen in most of the cases that have ended up in murder or manslaughter, there have been such complaints made several times by the victim and then when they get to the court, they drop the cases. We are trying to talk with the Chief Magistrate and the Chief Justice to see how we can not immediately have those cases withdrawn and perhaps have the court instruct those involved to go through some sort of counseling or something like that. Because that is one of the problems that bedevils the police domestic violence unit
Minister John Saldivar also commented on changes being done to formations in Cayo South and Dangrgia.
Though a lot of the focus has been on the crime taking place in the city, we do have some hotspots across the country. The Cayo south area and especially the Roaring Creek Camalote area, being one of them. If you will note compared to last year, we have fifteen murders already in that area compared to last year that we had five; I believe that is the correct number. And then we’ve had representations from the B.T.B. and the B.T.I.A. with respect to the rising crime situations in the Hopkins area. And so we’ve been thinking about for some time now forming a sub-formation that will cover those four villages that we’ve mentioned which is Hopkins, Silk Grass, Kendall and I believe Maya Center…sorry, Sittee River. We beloeve again that that is a good fix – to put a senior officer, an inspector will be put in charge of that sub-formation similar to what we did in Placencia, I think a couple years ago, to show that we are putting a little more focus on that area especially given the tourism importance.”