Belize City, Belize – 13th February 2017.

On the 10 February 2017, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) held a special meeting at its Belize City office to discuss the crime situation in tourist destinations and others parts of Belize.  The focus of the meeting was to address current security issues and concerns, and to discuss strategies to alleviate the crime situation in Belize.

Present at the meeting were the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Honorable Elodio Aragon, Jr., Commissioner of Police Mr. Allen Whylie, the US Embassy Senior Law Enforcement & Security Attaché Ms. Erica D. Smith, Hopkins Village Chairman  Mr. Ted McKoy, BTIA President Osmany Salas, 1st Vice President Raineldo Guerrero, BTB Director of Destination Planning and Cruise Department, Ms. Noriko Gamero, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Technical Officer, Mr. John Reyes, BTIA Caye Caulker Chapter Chairman Stacy Badillo, BTIA Hopkins Chapter Chairman Damian Grieco, BTIA Hopkins Past-Chairman Rob Pronk, and BTIA Executive Director John M. Burgos.

The discussion mainly focused on the increasing crime rates at tourist destinations and communities, difficulty of crime victims obtaining a police report, the lack of proper community policing programs, and inadequate communication between the Police and stakeholders.

Minister Aragon and COMPOL Whylie expressed their commitment to improve the performance of the Police formations in each destination and to improve the police report system currently in place.  For its part, the BTIA committed to provide security risk assessment training to its members, assist the Police Department/Tourism Police with customer service training programs, and continue its advocacy to develop and establish programs to reduce crime in Belize.