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It is reported on Facebook (Boquete Community News) that a young woman was robbed by a knife-wielding man at San Francisco Plaza.  The post is by a woman named AdelinaKathy Mancebo (no space between Adelina and Kathy), who says that the victim is her son's girlfriend. Allegedly, police told her they could do nothing unless she had the man's name and, if and when apprehended, he had her phone and other things (unspecified) in his possession at the time of the apprehension. Any number of people are outraged by this, as evidenced by the responses on Facebook.

Can this be true? If so, it leads me to ask exactly what the limitations are under which the police work here. While there is widespread dissatisfaction with law enforcement in Boquete (and perhaps all of Panama), there seem to be opposing factions that suggest different explanations for police ineffectiveness. One faction, most vocally represented by ACC Boquete, advocates support for the local police to enable them to do their jobs better. Another faction maintains that the police basically are lazy, have no interest in investigating and enforcing the law.  A third view is that the laws of Panama are so weak that the hands of the police are tied. I don't recall any of these viewpoints presenting much in the way of facts to support their positions.

 

I would like to hear the views of someone with more knowledge than I possess about criminal law and law enforcement in Panama. What is the true situation?

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Judging by the comments on that page, it seems that many people, including Panamanians, are confused about the role of the Police here and their limitations.

For example, the Mayor is not in charge of the Police. Also, they are not the entity that does criminal investigations.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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15 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

Judging by the comments on that page, it seems that many people, including Panamanians, are confused about the role of the Police here and their limitations.

For example, the Mayor is not in charge of the Police. Also, they are not the entity that does criminal investigations.

 

Okay. In the case of my home robbery about two months ago, the Police came to the house to take a statement. I then went to both the Personeria and the Corregidora to file a denuncia. It was the police who had the perp's photo on their phone, but you seem to be suggesting that by law they do no investigation. Presumably, this is done by the DOJ. This is exactly what everyone is confused about. Also, if the police don't investigate crime, what else is left for them to do?

Edited by Bonnie
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Also, if the police don't investigate crime, what else is left for them to do?

"Community based policing", I believe.

Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”

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  • Moderators
3 hours ago, Bonnie said:

I find it very hard to share anything from Facebook, but try this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/boquetecommunity/permalink/2041736432555187/

Access was a problem because you had said "Boquete Community News". It turns out that it is" Boquete Community Group", and the word group was really important in the search algorithm. One would think that Facebook would be a bit more intelligent. Oh well.

Then adding insult to injury, apparently one has to register to be able to see that content on Facebook. Let's see if I get "approved" (their term).

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Bonnie, community policing is a catch phrase designed to make you feel good because pilice management, in the not so distant past, removed beat coppers from the streets to more efficiently respond to incidents using cars.  When it was realised that there was no longer any interaction between the police and the public (who can talk to a police officer who is driving by at 50 mph?) the phrase was invented to make it seem like management was doing something.  Arghhhh, I'm too old and have seen too much!

 

 

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