Senator Lisa Shaman

After years of dormancy, the Crime Control Council has been resuscitated. The Council met today to consider the proposed declaration made by the ministry of National Security under the Crime Justice Act to declare certain parts of Belize City in which the police should exercise special powers, which are conferred upon them by the act once the declaration is made. Minister of National Security John Saldivar announced the move to make the declarations last week during the Prime Minister’s business forum. But one member of the Crime Control Council, the representative of the opposition People’s United Party, Senator Lisa Shoman told Love News earlier today and before the meeting was carried out, that the Minister may have jumped the gun by going public with the announcement before the legally required procedures had been adhered to.

Around 11:00 o’clock this morning, the Crime Control Council involving all members which include representatives of the government, the opposition, private sector and non-government partners conferred at Young’s Law Firm on Regent Street to discuss the matter. Love News caught up with the Chairman of the Council, Attorney At law, Senior Counsel Michael Young shortly after the meeting and he told Love News what had been holding the council back from meeting.

CEO in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell says the names of the designated crime areas will be released once they undergo the proper process.

Michael Young

Although allegations exist that police have already been exercising extra-judicial powers in searching areas for over five hours, Lovell explained what conditions falls under the three hour area cordoning law which comes hand in hand with the new operations.

And in terms of the constitutional rights of residents being violated in the communities where the operation will be put into effect, Young explained that the operation aims in working with the communities.

But no operation can be launched without the proper funding, in this case as proposed by the Minister of National Security, that of one hundred thousand dollars a week. Lovell explained how the government will be able to sustain the program, especially in these crucial economic times. George Lovell, CEO in the Ministry of National Security.