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Chamber Concerned About Crime

Chamber Concerned About Crime
August 02
19:48 2018

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has raised concerns over the increased crime, specifically robberies and burglaries, targeting business owners over the last few months, primarily in Belize City, but in other parts of the country as well.

“Crime is everybody’s business, so everyone has to do their part,” BCCI President Nikita Usher told the Reporter this week in an interview. Usher explained that the Chamber had previously held a meeting with officials from the Ministry of National Security to express their concerns and said while the discussions were positive, actions need to be implemented to make the difference. The issue, however, as expressed by the Ministry is that there are not enough resources to implement new strategies to curb crime.

Usher explained that the business community, along with the Ministry, is looking at ways to secure enough financing to hopefully implement strategies that will see crimes targeting the private sector decrease substantially.

According to Usher, crime has become such a problem that the Chamber recently met with the respective business associations representing the Chinese, Indian and Arab communities. Usher explained that those three associations are not a part of the Chamber of Commerce but reached out to collaborate on ideas to help stem the rise of robberies and burglaries, which has affected the business community at large.

Usher said those meetings were very useful in reaching a unanimous position regarding the urgency with which the issue must be addressed. In the last few weeks, several businesses, including gas stations and even a security firm, have been robbed of cash, goods and even firearms. The Police Department, meanwhile, has increased its presence in commercial areas, including downtown Belize city, however, despite their efforts, the wave of robberies has not dissipated. Thieves have simply focused on less populated areas with less police presence. Last Friday there were three robberies in Belize City alone in a span of hours.

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