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#454129 - 12/25/12 02:46 PM Witness Protection Program to be introduced 2013
Marty Offline

Elodio Aragon

While murder statistics are at an all time high, convictions are extremely low, but a new unit at the Police Department might change that. According to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, they are preparing to launch a Witness Support Unit in early 2013, which will provide assistance and protection for persons cooperating in major cases. While it is not a full-fledged witness protection program, Aragon says it should help with getting more witnesses to testify in court.

ACP Elodio Aragon, O.C., Eastern Division

“What is happening, we have, through the support of the US Embassy, we have received assistance in that of a small building where a small unit will be formed—it’s already formed—but I think come the first week of January of next year, we will see that unit come into full swing, we will be operational. And it is basically unit that is a Witness Support Unit and that is basically there to assist and deal with witnesses that are cooperating with the police to look after their basic safety when it comes to assistance. It’s not a full witness protection program, because that is something that we at this point in time, the department cannot sustain economically. But nevertheless a witness support unit will assist in ensuring for our witnesses to know the time and the dates they need to come to court and even assistance by the police to pick them up to bring them to court etcetera. And this will be mostly for the major crimes that are of major concern to us as a department. So this small witness support unit will come into operation in the first week of January. I think presently all the ground work is being done to ensure that it is ready to become operational within the next week or so.”

Channel 5


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#454146 - 12/25/12 06:02 PM Re: Witness Protection Program to be introduced 2013 [Re: Marty]
Nobody You Know Offline
Is lack of witness cooperation really the issue?

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#454153 - 12/25/12 08:36 PM Re: Witness Protection Program to be introduced 2013 [Re: Nobody You Know]
SnoopysMom Offline
From what I can garner, protecting the witnesses to crimes in Belize at any level is absolute first step! Many of these crimes are committed in public areas day and night. Few eye witnesses are willing to come forward due to the retribution risk to themselves or their families (and I do not blame them!).

Secondarily there should be a system in place to avoid the common "lost files/ evidence" issue..... (like scanning documents electronically for instance?).

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#454168 - 12/26/12 02:30 PM Re: Witness Protection Program to be introduced 2013 [Re: Marty]
artisan Offline
Witness protection would open a door to a US-like failed judicial system.
Anyone with an axe to grind can bear witness to false accusations.
Over-zealous prosecutors and cops use witness coaching techniques all to often just to get convictions, justify their existence.
The US has more people in "For profit cronyism built jails" than any other country.
They rely almost totally on these witnesses, who are often major criminals who give lesser players up just to avoid sentences.
P.S. Good luck to any "protected witnesses" in a country where the good and bad guys are one and the same.


Edited by artisan (12/26/12 02:38 PM)

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#454177 - 12/26/12 04:47 PM Re: Witness Protection Program to be introduced 2013 [Re: Marty]
Danny2 Offline
The U.S. is just setting up a testalier program in Belize. So sad and wrong.

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#454648 - 01/05/13 02:52 PM Re: Witness Protection Program to be introduced 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

POLICE WITNESSES NOW OFFERED SOME PROTECTION

Police assistance for witnesses in major court cases, will now be carried out by the Police Department beginning in January 2013. The assistance will be to counsel witnesses, give them transportation, court reminders, and other relevant assistance, including their safety.

The announcement was made on Monday, December 24, by Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon, Jr., the Commanding Officer of the Belize District Police, during a police press brief at the Racoon Street Police Station.

ACP Aragon said that a new unit has been formed which will be known as the Witness Support Unit. The unit was formed with assistance from the Embassy of the United States in Belize.

Aragon said that it was not a witness protection program, because the department cannot afford or sustain a full witness protection program, but the unit will do its best to assist witnesses.

ACP Aragon reminds the public that any information that can help in the investigation of cases can be relayed to the nearest police station or 0800 TIPS.

Superintendent Alden Dawson, the commander of Crimes Investigation Branch, reminds people that if they see crimes being committed, they can also call the nearest police station, or 0800 TIPS.

Amandala


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#454692 - 01/06/13 04:58 PM Re: Witness Protection Program to be introduced 2013 [Re: Marty]
Danny2 Offline
"assistance will be to counsel witnesses" translates to teaching them to lie and testify.

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