|San Pedro Daily||Thursday, October 1,
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Pedestrian Crossings being placed around town
You might have asked why part of Tarpon Street leading to Barrier Reef Drive as well as part of Coconut Drive was closed to vehicular traffic most of yesterday morning. The reason given by the San Pedro Town Council is that they found the need of placing pedestrian crossings and signs in much needed areas in town.
The traffic will be required to stop where signs are placed and give way to pedestrians especially for children to and from school. Drivers are asked to drive with due care and attention and to kindly respect the Pedestrian Crossing.
COMPOL SAYS CRIME MEASURES WORKING
This afternoon, Commissioner of Police Crispin Jeffries addressed the recent spike in crime when he spoke with reporters at the end of a two-hour meeting with representatives of the different media houses. Jeffries says the spike in crime was not unexpected but the police are putting all of its efforts into restoring a sense of safety to the streets and community.
Krispin Jefferies: Commissioner of Police
“We contribute the incidents to the ongoing rivals between young people. We saw a spate of incidents that knew would have had some rivalries. We stepped up our responses by patrols; our intelligence team is meeting as we speak to look at other measures. The information that we have been working with has died off and there have been some other incidents. But we do know that there are some rivalries taking place that we have not yet gotten contact information to respond appropriately. I believe we are responding to the incidents as they occur. I would not say the response in terms or time and speed is high but in terms of being able to preempt we are not getting the level of intelligence or information that we need. That is the incident with the youth died may have been that of an acquaintance. The information coming out of that neighborhood is not sufficiently detailed for us to suggest that it is something that we could have prevented. There is a pattern we are seeing and if one would travel the city at night you would see clandestine activities of young persons in our streets and strange hours; nine, ten and even eleven o’clock, both male and female. Those persons may well be those that are incontrollable or those that are being encouraged. There are those who have hard working parents that may not be able to be where they are at that time to control them. It is a very serious challenge that includes social problems.”
The Commissioner says that the police department is contemplating various initiatives to help deal with the current spike in crimes, including revisiting provisions of the curfew law, conducting a thorough search of certain neighborhoods and soliciting the assistance of social partners who come in contact with designated sections of the population. In the meantime, Commissioner Jeffries says that the community can rest assured that the police department is looking out for their best interest.
Krispin Jefferies: Commissioner of Police
"Based on our statistical analysis it is almost certain that the persons who are injured in incidents are known by their attacker and are sought for days before they are caught and shot at. It is almost, I know my intended victim, and I am waiting for the opportunity to commit the crime. There are so many of those happening that it is difficult to be at the right place at the right time unless there is sufficient prior information or what we refer to as intelligence. The two children on Mahogany Street were innocent bystanders. The indications are that the injuries they received was on the lower parts of their body and it was ricochet. That was when the projectile would have deflected off a wall and grazed one on the top of his or her foot; I think it may have been the female. She got injured on the top and the other one got hit on the ankle. It was unfortunate that the twelve year old and the nine year old got injured. We were looker for a third person but then we understand that the third person was in fact the third person. He is a well know targeted person in that community by other rival groups.”
During today's sit down with media representatives, Commissioner Jeffries released the latest crime statistics, which, as on previous occasions appears to indicate that crime is going down. Patrick Jones from our News Centre challenged the Commissioner on the perception of his crime stats, when the general sentiment on the streets is that crime is out of control.
Krispin Jefferies: Commissioner of Police
“The truth is the truth. The numbers of incidents are decreasing. It does not take away from the violent ones, it does not take away from the rivalries or the vendettas that have been there going on for some time. There are those that are engineered to divert police resources and attention. So we are in fact seeing a reduction in statistical figures but the rivalry is still high in certain areas. We would particularly note that a lot of it is occurring in certain parts of the Southside of Belize City. I have very little other ways of explaining to the community that we are doing our very best. We put our number out there, we analyze the crime, we look at the patterns and we respond proportionately to what the incidents are and at the same time. We also attempt safety in other areas. We see incidents of violent crimes, murders and shootings occurring and we see robberies. But then there is a wider part of the community that has a consistent police presence for which they can feel assured that a presence will be there. Whenever we make mistakes in those areas that is when we see a flare up of incidents.”
According to latest statistics up until September 28, nine murders were reported bringing the total to 73. This figure does not reflect the murder of 14-year-old Dylan Ayuso and 36-year-old Norman Gillett which occurred over the last two days. Love FM
Bar Association discuss motion to remove Justice Samuel Awich
The Bar Association met on Tuesday night to discuss a proposal by some members who want Justice Samuel Awich to resign for misbehavior primarily because of the length of time his rulings have been reserved in several cases. According to association members, there were heated exchanges at the meeting, but by the end of the session, the bar deferred the proposal to seek the removal of Justice Awich. This afternoon, Aldo Salazar, President of the Bar, said that timely judgments have been an issue on the table for some time with the judiciary. That aside, News Five also discussed with Salazar the retirement at age six-five of Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh.
Aldo Salazar, President, Bar Association
“What happened is that there was a requisition for a meeting at which the resolution which you aired the contents would have been proposed for consideration and discussion by the membership. So it’s not a matter that the membership had already decided upon. It is a matter which some of the members of the Bar had proposed for discussion by the general membership of the Bar. So what happened is that that issue came up for discussion yesterday, last night and it was discussed and it was decided that voting on that resolution would be deferred to another date. The view of the majority of the association that those actions are last resort and therefore we have taken steps to try and engage discussions with the judiciary about some of the things that concern us and the judiciary on a whole and we want to establish a committee to liaise with the judiciary so as to prevent any issues arising between the Bar and the judiciary.”
“When it comes to succession, when it comes to the Chief Justice almost at the point of retiring, how does the succession actually work?”
“That’s an interesting question because the issue of the—well first of all, the Chief Justice reaches retirement age at sixty-five I think next year. That doesn’t mean that he has to retire. There is a provision in the Constitution where he can be extended until seventy-five years. He may choose to ask for that extension prior to his birthday. If he wishes, he may do so. So it shouldn’t be said that he has to retire next year because he doesn’t have to if he chooses to go on and if he is renewed. But the issue of succession itself, if the chief justice decides not to continue as chief justice, there is no set method for selection of a successor to the chief justice. There is no body in place which adopts certain steps that have been predetermined for selection. Basically, it is up to government to propose a person to fill the vacancy.” CH5
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
AC CofC Meeting Today, October 1st- Blue Water Grill at Noon. It's been a month since the last meeting so bring your concerns/needs and let's discuss the topics that are affecting business and life on Ambergris Caye.
New SP License Plates- Deadline has passed to have SP plates on all island vehicles. Tickets may be issued to violators. Take your old plates, registration, insurance and BZ$15 to the Transport Office, ground floor, rear of the Town Board Building.
I'm happy to announce that we, the local San Pedro BTIA, will be offering a customer service training on October 17th at the SunBreeze conference center. Dionne Chamberlain will be doing the half day
session and she assures me that this will be for "excellence for the front line staff."
The cost is $25 per person for members and $35.per person for non members. The session will start promptly at 1:30 and should end around 4:00.
Please send as many of your staff as you feel necessary and then me know how many, approximately, so we can provide seating.
Thanks, Julie 226-2880
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