Corozal Town is considered one of the safest communities in the nation. Over the past weeks; however, the peacefulness of the community has been put into jeopardy due to a wave of burglaries which has raised concern among residents. A few days ago Minister of National Security John Saldivar indicated that the lack of resources has contributed tremendously to the increase in crime in the district and that Government was looking into obtaining additional equipment and police force for the department. But Corozal residents are not willing to wait around until Government makes its move and last night they took matters into their own hands by holding a meeting at the town hall. So, what was the outcome? Janine Ayuso has the story.

Screen_shot_2012-04-20_at_8.04.38_PMJanine Ayuso-Reporting

The business community, private sector and residents of Corozal Town met at the town hall last night to voice their concerns on the pressing issue of increased crime. The meeting was brought together by a newly formed organization called ’Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition’.

Crime prevention and solutions were at the height of the discussion which resulted in a piercing wave of distress and high alert on the broadening issue.


“I think you guys should have invited first the magistrate to be here because I know one of the major problems for a long time that has been occurring that you have a lot of offenders that have a case pending in court is on bail and it is out on the streets I know that is major problem now you mention earlier about the offences and the penalties, a lot of these criminals are not first timers, they are people that have been profiled and basically the police would have an idea you would tend to have a rise or crime in your town when these guys have spent their time in prison and they are back in town so I think for future meeting it is important that the board of directors would meet with the magistrate from this district.  What we have to do here, I am willing to participate with the police, am saying it loud and clear, but we also need the police to focus on the problem immediately attack the situation, for example the border they send police there why they don’t send the BDF there and then move police officer from there that is simple let’s focus on those things and not on those things that goes through beaurocracy lets get things done now.

Crime doesn’t wait on no one, crime doesn’t tell us when it is coming so we cannot wait anymore, you guys just said something that you are patrolling but I will be frank with you guys crime is not decreasing it is going up high so something is wrong and patrolling is not the solution, this is a multi task force element, crime is not being caused by one factor, it could be caused by poverty, it could be caused by unemployment, it could be caused by drug abuse, it could be caused by alcoholism, it could be caused by dysfunctional families, and where are the true mothers and fathers here tonight, because I would ask many of them where are your kids right now, do they know, in which heads are they, are they taking alcohol, are they taking drugs, are they trying to be the best citizens they can be, right now the problem is not only Belize City coming here, Orange Walk coming here but our own people are committing the crime.”

Present at the meeting was inspector Reynaldo Pook of the Corozal Police Formation who rebutted the arguments and highlighted issues currently faced within the Corozal police force.

After most concerns were aired out members of the Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition received the strong support of residents who offered to aid police with fuel, human resources and other related forms of assistance.

Henry Menzies, President, Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition

“People complaining about the police not being professional, not getting back, they make calls and they don’t show up or they show up late, by the time the criminals has gone, in some cases they have to go to the station, instead of them going to the point of where the different crimes are being committed and so what we have decided and really happy that many of the citizens and many of the business people have come out tonight and have their support, a lot of people have given money to buy fuel, donated their time, donated their vehicle to go on these patrols and we want the criminals to know that we cannot put up with this any longer this is our town, this is our live and they need to find a job.”

According to the Coalitions President Henry Menzies, the aim of the group is to move Corozal forward by creating a crime free environment.

Henry Menzies, President, Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition

“Well the thing is that even the police have told us that couple years ago they had started a citizens committee or something to work along with the police and after the crime situation went down it quit, well our plan is not to quit and the name of this thing is Citizens for a Better Corozal and this is not only about crime but our main focus is crime right now because it has piled out of control but our plan is not only for crime prevention or trying to combat crime our plan it trying to do whatever it takes to get Corozal going, for us to have a better place to live, let us have a better life and a better life for our citizens that’s the whole idea.”

During the meeting residents were given the opportunity to form part of the Coalition in the fight against crime. Another meeting is scheduled to take place sometime during the upcoming weeks.