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The Law Is An

The Law Is An
August 02
20:31 2019

The Law Is An …

By, Major Lloyd Jones (Ret’d)

” When Mr. Bumble, the unhappy spouse of a domineering wife, is told in court that “…the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction,” Mr. Bumble replies: “If the law supposes that,” says Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is an ass – an idiot.”
— Dickens, C. and Horne, P. (2003). Oliver Twist, London: Penguin Books.

In 2011 the Barrow administration penned Statutory Instrument No. 19 of 2011 to control the tint on motor vehicles. The underlying purpose of the SI was supposedly to help reduce crime but the SI was a net, cast so wide, that it impacted on the ordinary law abiding citizens in a negative way.

Not surprisingly, the SI did not help to reduce crime because the truth of the matter is; the Regulations were a knee-jerk reaction to a spike in crime in Belize City. In 2012, the very year after the tinting regulations were supposed to make us more safe, the murder rate rose to 145 and it has not fallen below 100 per year since (with the exception of 2013 when it fell to 99).

If you recall they also promised us that crime would go down if we all registered the chip for our cellular phones. It would help the Police solve crimes they said. To date not a conviction has been secured using the data from either of the telecommunications companies!

The tinting regulations are a form of collective punishment meted out on ordinary law abiding Belizeans. The Police or anybody else for that matter can’t point to any substantiated data showing where the strategy of the criminals is to use tinted vehicles as a tool for murder and anarchy. If you look at the statistics more people have been murdered by criminals on bicycles than in vehicles on a whole (tinted or not). So what’s next? A ban on bikes?

I have been warning for some time now that there is an increasing reliance by the Barrow administration on collective punishment. The tinting regulations, the curfews and the states of emergency are all forms of collective punishment. Due to their own incompetence and corrupt behavior those responsible for public safety now expect to punish the law abiding citizens instead of going after the criminals. Collective punishment does not work and it never will.

On July 25th the Belize City Council announced the return of Kevon Jenkins to the Traffic Department as the “Enforcement Manager.” Jenkins made an immediate splash as he deployed his officers across the City “enforcing” the traffic laws. He seems to have placed special emphasis on tinted vehicles and a number of good, decent Belizeans were caught off guard.
Under Mayor Bradley little to no emphasis was placed on enforcing the tinting laws. Could it be that Mayor Bradley understood then that the law is an ass and so he did not bother to waste his resources on enforcement? In fact in 2016 the Mayor’s official vehicle (a Ford Explorer) was heavily tinted.

To repeat, the tint regulations were passed supposedly to curb crime. It has not worked. If the Police believe that removing the tint from the vehicles of hardworking decent Belizeans will stop the murders then the City Council should let them do their own enforcement. If the City Council insists on enforcing this foolish law they must prepare themselves for the political consequences.

As a people we are too sheepish and we keep standing by and allowing our politicians and their untalented cronies to trample on our civil liberties. Everywhere you go there is a check point inconveniencing the law abiding citizens but yet crime spirals out of control. Now they wish to harass us further with this foolish tinting law.

The primary reason the supporters of the tinting law give for such a regulation is that the Police should be able to see in the vehicle. But why? How does the ability of the Police to see in our vehicles prevent murders? It does not; especially when you consider the modus operandi of the criminals.

The benefits of tinting your vehicle far outweigh the cons. Among other things, tint helps to keep the contents of your vehicle concealed and tint helps to regulate solar radiation (heat). If you understand the projections for climate change for Belize you will know that one of the forecasted impacts is elevated temperatures. In the case of Belize average daily temperatures are forecasted to reach as high 120 degree Fahrenheit!

It is not going to get cooler beloved and the air conditioner in our vehicles are going to have to work overtime to keep us cool. The tint helps.

The tint law is an ass and any politician who dares enforce such a law should be punished by the voters. We are law abiding citizens and we should not allow any politician to bully us because of their incompetence. Removing tint from vehicles won’t stop the senseless murders, good policing will.

So then, if the law is an ass, what does that make the enforcers?

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