By Marion V. Ali
Inspector Mark Flowers, Commander of the Gang Suppression Unit, says he wants to meet with relevant government ministries to address the socio-economic needs of criminals to keep them from committing crime.
Flowers told The Reporter that his plan takes into account the lack of jobs and the need to keep unemployed Belize City men meaningfully occupied.
“As head of this unit it is my intention to speak with the Commissioner of Police and to invite the participation of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Transformation and perhaps the Ministry of Finance through documented requests and suggestions that we will come up with,” Flowers told this newspaper.
“We’re looking at job-creation [and] the economic allegation of ‘disenfranchised youths.’ Ultimately we are looking at reducing crime by any means that we can,” he said.
To start off, Flowers says he is toying with an idea that will seek to accomplish two things: create employment and improve the aesthetics of Belize City.
He explains that he will seek the input of the Ministry of Education for suggestions about the kind of jobs or employment opportunities that can be created since that ministry deals closely with youths.
Flowers, who has been under heavy public scrutiny since taking over the GSU just over a month ago, says there has to be more than the corrective measure to curb crime. There should be a proactive approach as well, he feels.
“I am saying let us help our people before they get to that stage. Let us show them that violence is not an option. Enforcement is but one way, but it can’t always be enforcement. We just can’t lock up people and recycle them,” Flowers said. He added that the criminal element must also want change for his life in order for there to be a successful transformation of our society”.