General — 31 July 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
Police meet-and-greet on  gang turfs

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 30, 2015–The new Commanding Officer of Eastern Division South Side, Belize City, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, went to neighborhoods on Kraal Road, Gill Street and other high-crime areas in the Southside of Belize City yesterday to meet and talk with residents

Williams said that he aims to establish peace in the area through the use of a new style of policing. Police will go into the communities to talk to the residents to hear their concerns, and to get advice from them on how police can be more effective in the area.

Williams said that these tips, bits of advice and expressions of concern will be compiled and reviewed.

The area was divided into four sections, and each section will be overseen by a senior police officer who will visit the homes of people in the area, while Williams himself will visit the notorious Gill Street, Kraal Road and Nurse Findley Crescent areas.

Williams said that he is aware that residents of the area are fearful, but there must be better communication between police and the area residents to remove that fear. Presently, he said, there are 24-hour patrols in these high-crime areas, but this, by itself, will not lead to better policing of the areas. Acknowledging that rival gangs and warring factions are at the core of the violence plaguing these neighborhoods, Williams said that his division is organizing a sports day so that all the young men of the area can gather together to socialize and recreate with each other through sports activities. Events being organized include a football marathon, held at the Berger Field on Vernon Street, which is aimed at helping the young men appreciate their talents and skills and reminding them that killing and hurting each other is senseless.

It is hoped that the Family Fun Day for the rival groups will give the young men an opportunity to display their skills and abilities to the public, Williams said.

The Commander urges the public to give the young men a chance to turn their lives around to help them put the life of crime behind them, and to support their efforts through even tiny acts of assistance.

He said that with encouragement and assistance, the young men will cease killing each other, which will make the communities more peaceful and secure.

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