Sedi and Nuri disagree on police units

And while the interview with Minister Elrington and Nuri Mohamed together was to show a certain level of partnership, there were still areas on which they disagreed, especially as it relates to the police units. Nuri Muhammad brought up a point of whether or not all the police special units are answerable to the Commissioner of Police. Muhammad told the press that he interpreted Home Affairs Minister Elrington as confirming that some of those units do act outside the check and balance of the chain of police command.

Nuri:

And one of the examples he gave is the fact that they are units within the security department that really does not answer to even the minister. They are, I don’t want to use the term rogue because these individual units apparently believe that they have the go ahead of some higher authority. If it is not the prime minister, if it’s not the minister of National Security then I don’t know who exactly is giving the orders but what I heard today from minister Elrington is that he as a member of Cabinet is aware that within the region they’re conversations going on regarding security measures and that these concerns are sometimes being addressed by units within the police department and it’s obvious to me  from what he said that some of these units operate without even being under the check and balance of the authorities, meaning the commissioner, as well as the minister of police. 

Sedi:

Could I just clarify that, because I’m sorry that you formed that view, let me try to re articulate what I said. I said first of all, we know that they are people in the police force who really, really should not be in there because they really don’t necessarily comply with the law, first point I made that clear and I made that to members of the police force too. And we are taking steps to deal with that. That is being dealt with. That’s first order of business. The second point I made and I think this is where the Imam got confused. That personnel in our police force as well as personnel in our defense force get training all over the world with different forces so they get training. Chile for example they will get training in the Caribbean they will get training in United Kingdom. They will get training in the United States a lot of them get training in the United States. So that I personally do not know all the places that they get trained at and the nature and extent of the training. That’s what I said very clearly but I also went on to say very, very clearly that in fact no police officer, no police officer can act on instructions other than that given by the CEO or Commissioner of Police because we control the police force no other country can tell us how to act in terms of our police force. So yes they are rogue elements in our police force and all of us know that but there is no police officer who has any authority and any responsibility to take any instructions from anybody other than the Belize Police Senior Command. Every single one should be without exception and that is a responsibility which we are tasking the commissioner to ensure that nothing happens outside of his watch. 

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