Over a year ago 7news did a story on an area known as the Jungle in BELIZE city. That neighbourhood is located in the Pickstock slash Fort George division and has been a famous slum in the city for at least four decades. But today the neighbourhood got a good cleaning – when the police department teamed up with CISCO, the Belize City Council and the Pickstock Community – in a cleanup campaign effort. It was a lot of hard work, but the community was more than grateful for the good gesture.

Desiree Phillips, Assistant Commissioner

"We’re doing a cleanup campaign of course in a collective effort with the Belize City council and the CISCO construction limited and of course members of the community from this Pickstock housing area."

Monica Bodden

"Tell us why this specific area?"

Desiree Phillips, Assistant Commissioner

"Well, last week Friday we came out on merge 2 precinct meet and greet and when we came out we observed of course a lot of garbage. Of course cleanliness and healthiness is good to everybody's well-being. So we spoke to the residence here and they actually asked and they said that they would support if we would come out and help them clean up the area. Actually it's not the police cleaning the area for them; we're partnering with them to clean their area."

Monica Bodden

"Now tell me how important is this to have the officers out here? Getting along with the community and also doing something positive?"

Desiree Phillips, Assistant Commissioner

"Well of course you will agree with me that one of the key success to fighting crime is to engage the community. What we're doing, we're trying to empower the community so that we could engage them some more. As long as we could get the community to work together; definitely we will see a decrease in criminal activities in the community."

Reporter

"How long have you been living back here?"

Sebastian Nunez – Area Resident

"About 19 years."

Reporter

"And has it always been this way?"

Sebastian Nunez – Area Resident

"Well, it no always be this way because most of the times they come and clean the yard. The neighbour they put together and do the cleaning and stuff. A lot of people come and just throw dirt, throw dirt. The dirt begin to build up and build up and stool all over the place and stuff. The police they come in and say well, we don't like to see how the place is and they decide to get a cleaning team amongst themselves. They come around here and clean the yard, chop the yard. Clean the basketball court, clean the park. And that's good so I decide to say, if they could do it, I could do it too because I know the policemen have a lot of job out there to do. So they could stop their job out there to come and clean this place, I could be the one to join them. The jungle was in a mess, a real bad mess."

Monica Bodden

"I notice between these two apartment complex it's like a dumping area."

Sebastian Nunez – Area Resident

"Yeah, they dump the dirt because they throw their dirt from through the windows and nobody see them then they throw their dirt. Dirt begins to build up and build up until it becomes to a whole bunch. And they're still throwing dirt. So I hope when they finish clean this place and take all the dirt out, I hope they quite throwing dirt because it's getting sick and it smells pretty bad."

The police department plans to continue working with other communities – and they did so in the Mayflower area today.

Channel 7