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UK advises citizens of high crime wave in Guyana

Despite assurances from the Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan that crime is under control, the United Kingdom has issued a travel advisory to its citizens – warning of the high wave in the country.

“Crime levels are high. You should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings,” the UK said in its travel advisory for the new year.

The British Government told its populace to avoid travel to and from Georgetown Cheddi Jagan international airport late at night and before dawn.

“There have been incidents of violence, fatal accidents caused by erratic driving and incidents of violent theft by gangs, who follow cars travelling from the airport and attack their victims when they reach their final destination,” it explained.

The UK said crime levels in Guyana remain high and police capacity is low.

The UK Government said there are regular armed and violent robberies against businesses and individuals. There is a risk of passers-by being caught up in such incidents – the Police tend to respond with firearms if shot at or threatened.

“Many of the crimes in Guyana are common to countries with wide gaps in wealth and where the perception is that all foreigners are wealthy. Muggings have taken place in broad daylight. Burglary and theft from cars are commonplace. Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Try to avoid showing obvious signs of wealth,” the advisory further states.

British citizens were also warned to take precautions when traveling in Georgetown.

“In Georgetown, avoid the Tiger Bay and Albouystown areas and take care in Sophia, all of south Georgetown, Buxton and Agricola. Take particular care in the Stabroek Market area where robberies are a daily occurrence and where in January 2011 there was a grenade explosion which killed 1 person. Avoid walking alone around Georgetown, even in the main areas and don’t walk anywhere at night,” the advisory stated.

The advisory also addressed the issue of poor road habits of drivers.

“Driving in Guyana can be dangerous because of poor road sense of road-users, frequent hazards, inadequate lighting and poor road conditions in some areas. Drive defensively and limit driving at night as much as possible. The worst incidents have almost inevitably involved minibuses. When driving at night take extra care to avoid cyclists, pedestrians and animals,” the advisory stated

The British were also advised against using minibuses as a mode of transportation.

“Avoid using minibuses. They are driven dangerously and are responsible for the majority of road accidents in Guyana,” the UK said.


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