Letters — 27 August 2016
Brian Ellis Plummer on crime

Dear Editor,

I would like to add to the discussion about crime.

Crime costs Belize millions annually in security costs, health, law enforcement and other related impediments.

So far the approach to combating crime in Belize and the Caribbean has been combative instead of preventative. All our police forces have been militarized, triggering an arms race between law enforcement and criminals. This has yielded little success.

I would suggest a more comprehensive approach with societal re-engineering. The military or combative approach should be available occasionally, but the mainstay must be education and an adequate social safety net. Criteria-based public assistance.

No successful democracy in the developed world has been able to exist without such a system. We could spend tens of millions in law enforcement and health cost, etc., or spend millions in education, poverty eradication and inclusion. Look at the empirical data globally and locally. Every mouth must be fed or the streets will run red.

For about the past 15 years Belize has been in the top ten of most murderous countries. We have enacted and implemented more draconian laws, such as no search warrant for search and gun possession law. But crime has increased. One can argue they have helped to increase crime instead of hindering it. This assertion will be both from a mathematical correlation and a sociological negative pressure matrix.

This social pressure has caused criminals to adapt and become more brutal, and law enforcement doing likewise in the creation of the infamous GSU.

Results are what count; successive governments have helped to ferment criminal enterprises in Belize. It’s time to act intelligently and not with brute force and ignorance, which studies have suggested contributes to creating more criminals.

Yours truly,

Brian Ellis Plummer

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