Earlier in our news cast we reported that there has been increasing reports of robberies on Albert Street. In an effort to build the security confidence of Business owners on Albert Street the Belize Police Department hosted a meet at greet today with Businesses located in the area. The meet and greet was led by ACP Chester Williams and Area Rep for the Albert Division Hon. Tracy Panton. Williams tells us more
ACP Chester Williams: I’m sure you’re certain that we’ve been seeing an increase of robberies on Albert Street. So as a part of our meet and greet process for today, we decided to come and visit the business sector to see what are their concerns and explain to them what we intend to put in place so we can alleviate the concerns that they may have pertaining to their safety. The police, as well as the Area Rep for Albert, Misses Panton were invested in the different business places and explained to them what we will be doing to address the crime problem on albert Street. We’re hoping that what we have plan, that it will be able to alleviate the concerns of the shoppers, as well as those persons who have business places on Albert St. It is paramount that we provide security for the people who do business here, and I wouldn’t say that the police has disappeared, but to some extent we had dwindled our numbers from Albert Street and were focusing in other areas. What we intend to do now is to ensure that we increase the numbers even greater than where they one were, to enhance the police presence and to make sure that we return safety on Albert Street.
According to Williams the Department has an idea of the identity of the persons behind this recent string of robberies on Albert Street. Williams further stated that the Police Department has developed a plan of action they
are calling ‘Operation Safe Zone’ as effort to put an end to the string of robberies in the area.
ACP Chester Williams: Well we have to look at all possible angles when we investigate these crimes, and yes the possibility does exist that the crimes are being orchestrated by different groups, and we have basic ideas who those persons are. We’re looking at them with a view to see and gather evidence to be able to arrest and charge them and take them to a court of law. But as I said, until then, we must put things in place in order to prevent them from furthering the actions where it comes to coming on Albert Street and even going elsewhere in the city.
Reporter: Sir do you believe the increased presence will deter these criminals?
ACP Chester Williams: Most naturally it will, and I’m not going into specifics of our operation, but I will tell you what we have planned, I am 99.9% sure that it will work. We have been devising plans to address situations in Belize City, and the plans have worked. The thing is, we just have to be careful how we do it. Like I said before, while we focus here, we cannot take our eyes off other areas and that is exactly what we will do.
Area Representative Tracy Panto told the media that she has been meeting with churches, schools and families in the area to hear their safety concerns
Tracy Panton: One of the reasons we are working very closely with the police is because we have received these concerns from the school, church community, as well as the business community and other residents of the area. We had, a few weeks ago, a meeting with the school and church community, and there’s a meeting now being arranged with the business community collectively, because while police has its work to do, we also need the business community to come on board so we can use our resources best as we can.