A spike in burglaries on San Pedro Town has prompted the Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch to increase the security guard presence and performance on the island. A meeting held with the presidents of the neighbourhood watches along with Mayor Elsa Paz and the San Pedro Police department revealed that a large part of the burglaries and other criminal activities are caused by its own security guards. As a result, to increase the professional performance of all guards, training for security personnel including volunteers will be offered to those who wish to participate in the initiative to combat crime on the island. Love news spoke to Assistant Superintendent, Dennis Arnold of the San Pedro Police Department who told us more.

Assistant Superintendent Denis Arnold; San Pedro Police

"Basically in the past we have been having some problems with burglaries on the island, what happen on our initial investigation we usually find that it's the same security guard who usually would break into these businesses. The investigation would usually start from them as they are the security guard on the scene; we need to formulate some kind of plan as to how we will integrate the police to work along with the security and the security to work along the police. I believe this is nothing new, security guards are all over the country and this is in one way how security guard will be able to help the police into securing peoples property especially when the police are doing other work. The security can be alert and what to look for in terms of criminal activity in these certain areas."

Arnold stated the training will be moderated by him and two other sergeants who will instil fundamental information that is found in their special constable manual which will be integrated to what the security guard duties are.

Assistant Superintendent Denis Arnold

"We have gotten reports from people and their house has been burglarized right next door to the security guards door, when we check with the security guard they say yes we heard noise but that is not our job. At least they can pick up the phone or radio and call the police and say something is not right over here and we heard noise at the neighbours house, we know the neighbours are not here, that's all they need to do, we would then go over and check and if we find somebody then that is a plus for the security guard."

In your opinion its sheer laziness?

Assistant Superintendent Denis Arnold

"That's definitely; there is no if, ands or buts about it. Then what happen I believe they were told that they were not concerned with the neighbours property but its just to give us a hand in those different areas to call the police if they hear anything, any noise whatever the case may be and they know that its not right, just call the police we will check it out."

The course is aimed at increasing the awareness and professional excellence of all the volunteers that attend. Businesses on the island that employ security personnel are encouraged to send those employees to the course. Arnold told us that they prefer island based San Pedranos to assist the police in this crime fighting effort. He ended with how an applicant can register for the course.

Assistant Superintendent Denis Arnold

"When these people come in and assist voluntarily, it assists the police department to recover the losses in those areas that resources have been lost. To be a part of the special constable program you have to be a Belizean or have some kind of nationality, have a clean police record, be able to read and write and be willing to work flexible hours on voluntary basis. Its just to write a letter to myself or the commission of police that you want to assist in police officers in crime fighting and we will take it from there."

The training is slated for July seventeenth and eighteenth.