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|San Pedro Daily||Sunday, October 30, 2011
Stop the Clock!
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Belize ready to roll with CARICOM crime prevention plan
Belize Minister of Public Security and Policing Douglas Singh has placed his country’s stamp of approval on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) pilot project Youth Gangs and Violence: partnering for prevention and social development. The project was presented to him during a series of stakeholder consultations which started in that country on Tuesday.
The project is an offshoot of the CARICOM Social Development and Crime Prevention Action Plan which was developed by the CARICOM Secretariat in tandem with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to “prevent and reduce levels of violence and crime in member states, through a cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach…”
The plan is grounded on five pillars -- reduce violence; foster social inclusion; promote integration; empower victims; and protect the environment and economic resources – which are linked to the regional development agenda.
Belize is one of the four countries selected to pilot the project; the others are Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.
On Tuesday, Singh told a CARICOM Secretariat delegation, headed by Beverly Reynolds, programme manager, sustainable development that Belize had in train social initiatives that could interface with priority actions in the pilot project.
Notwithstanding his blessings, the minister warned that interventions should be country specific, timely and designed to add value to the process they had already started.
His sentiments were echoed by the directors of the Restore Belize Project and the Conscious Youth Development Programme, Mary Vasquez and Edward Broaster, who articulated their willingness to work with the CARICOM Secretariat in implementing a specific pilot gang prevention and youth and community development project in Belize. They called for a comprehensive exit strategy for gang-leavers and a review of policing techniques to include community policing.
Chairman of the Belize Truce Committee Paul Cassanova and other key stakeholders have also thrown their full weight of support behind the pilot, but they were in agreement that efforts must be concerted and sustained in order to be impactful.
At the broader consultation on Thursday, Belize Commissioner of Police, Crispin Jefferies, who gave the opening address, spoke to the positive impact of social interventions on crime and violence in Belize. He underlined the importance of providing social programs for young people to keep them away from gangs and welcomed the CARICOM initiative, noting that “the government of Belize is fully behind the process.”
Reynolds, who facilitated the consultations, noted the importance of each category of stakeholders in mitigating crime and violence and in effecting change. She underscored the debilitating effects of violence on the social and economic development of the Region and emphasized the adoption of a multi-sectoral approach to reducing crime and violence.
Presenter Loris Heywood stressed that the breakdown of family and family values in the region had left both a psychological and physiological void in young people who gravitate towards gangs as an alternative family.
Another presenter, Dr Izben Williams gave a comprehensive presentation on the nature and causes of violence in the Caribbean, pointing to the homicide trends in several CARICOM member states and stressing the fact that violence was preventable through a multi-sectoral integrated approach. Piecemeal approaches, he argued, were counter -productive. What was needed, he stated, was a process in which the problem was defined and monitored, the causes established, interventions tested and the most effective ones applied and evaluated.
Broaster, who is also a superintendent of police in Belize, shared his varied experiences in policing and working with gangs, underscoring the importance of unity in effecting social change. He also rapped the Belize media on their reporting knuckles for what he described as a steady diet of negative publicity, urging them to endeavour to report the positives as well.
The series of consultations was organized with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to present and discuss roll out of the project, identify pilot communities and a mechanism for the implementation of the project in the communities, identify a team to undertake a mapping of the selected communities and identify immediate training needs in the areas of gang formation and violence prevention. The next stop will be St Kitts and Nevis.
Caribbean News Now
Belize Shrimp In Danger Of Being Blacklisted by EU
Belize's aquaculture industry is in peril, because in three weeks' time - the European Union may choose to identify Belize as what they call a non-co-operating third country" and refuse to accept fish and shrimp imports from Belize.
That's because the Europeans say Belize's offshore industry is not properly overseen by the Fisheries Department. And when we say offshore, we don't mean like in the blue, we're referring to IMMARBE - which is the ships' register and the IBC register. The Europeans argue that the beneficial ownership of many of the 120 Belize-Registered vessels on the high seas fishing fleet is obscured in the register of International Business Companies - commonly known as IBC's.
Now, both IMMARBE and the IBC registry are privately owned and operated by large, monied interests and for the Fisheries Department to have any kind of oversight is a joke to anyone who knows the in's and out's of how such things work. But it's not a joke to the Europeans and unless Belize's government comes up with an answer soon - principally Belize's aquaculture shrimp industry could face international trade sanctions.
Saga Humane Society
8th Halloween Party
12:00pm - 5:30pm Central Park
DOG COSTUME CONTEST
Registration by 3:30 p.m.
Best Couple – Dog & Owner
Lots of Raffles!! Drawings every ½ hour.
Silent Auction – Online bidding will begin on Mon, Oct. 24th. You may also place a bid at Saga Humane Society. Bidding ends at 6:00 p.m., Sunday October 30, 2011.
Food & drinks… chilli, hot dogs &
monster dogs, chicken & cheese dips,
chicken/rice & beans.
Candy bags for all participants.
The San Pedro Sun is organizing a BEAT THE CLOCK campaign. We will arrange a "permit to gather" from the San Pedro police and are scheduling a demonstration at the clock site at noon on Monday, Oct. 31. Please bring posters, banners and whatever else it takes to get the point across that there are a dozen reasons
WHY the community of San Pedro
is against this town "improvement."
As a tourist who has spent many a vacation on Ambergris Caye, I too am appalled by the notion that electronic billboards and a huge wristwatch are a necessity to San Pedro. Mayor Paz, do you really think that we care what time it is when we come to San Pedro? Guess what? We don't. That's why we come there. To forget the times and troubles of our real lives. As pointed
out today in the SP Daily editorials, it's not wanted. You are taking another huge step towards commercialization and robbing your native peoples and tourists of the very atmosphere we US vacationers come to your island for. If we stop coming that means our money is being spent elsewhere. And worse yet, as the parent of a firefighter, you will put potential harm to
those in need of first responders if a fire truck cannot pass through this main artery. Either you have lost touch with the people who put you in your position or you have allowed yourself to be put in the pocket of a greedy corporation. I beg you. It is unwanted, definitely unnecessary, and
unsightly eye art. Please please let Isla Bonita be!!!!
Royse City, Texas
I think the 'free' billboard for Ramon's is a terrible idea, it does not 'fit in' and causes major maintenance headaches. The mayor is making a very poor decision with very little input from the public. The current
Ramon's billboard by tropic air, is way too bright and is blinding to drivers, in addition to being a major traffic distraction. It gives me headache's just looking at it.
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