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Letter: The crime situation in Guyana

Crime is at an all time high in Guyana, the incidence and the serious nature of those crimes are too numerous to mention, that is why the public is so insecure. Persons are scared, worried sick as to the whole situation because you do not know where or where the criminals would strike next. Truly, to be a Guyanese at this time of our lives is traumatic and this is taking it from the lower end of the scale of our troubles.

The government through the agencies of a minister, acting police commissioner and others, have painted a totally different picture, they in choice words have issued statements like “the crime rate is down … there were less murders in 2017.” Well, if the crime rate is down then someone is telling a fat lie and that would not be the figures and the real world situation which tells a horrible story. Talk to anyone in Guyana local people as well as foreigners and they would tell you how burdensome and terror filled their lives have become. So, someone is not telling the truth, absolutely!

Of course this has state of affairs have caused one Fist World Country, that is, The USA, to issue a travel advisory on this country. They out of pure concern for the life and limb of its citizens here, have issued a very definitive travel advisory. Pay careful attention to the words of that advisory “exercise increased caution! It goes on to say “violent crimes such as armed robbery and murder are “common” in Guyana.” “Be extra vigilant at banks and ATM’s, avoid walking or driving in the evening hours and to be aware of your surroundings.” Very terse words for a country and government whom they previously warmly embraced, but that has changed drastically as the real terror of crime in Guyana sinks in.

I am also reading in the news that President Granger has hastily convened a meeting with the stakeholders with a view to addressing the crime situation in Guyana. And here’s my point, but for the American Advisory, the crime situation would not have been addressed. It would have continued to be a non issue for this government. They would have been a continuation of that denial stance of theirs and the usual issuance of platitudes that “we do not have a crime problem.” Serious crimes would have continued unabated, as far as this government is concern, their response to anything involving crime bears the same lackadaisical approach.

Now, this government can do a lot more in crime solving than it is at the present moment. Firstly, there are numerous studies and reports in arresting the spiraling crime rate, so there is a wealth of information at their disposal. One of these areas that would bring direct result is the “stop and search approach.” They are fully well aware of the modus operandi of the modern day criminal that is – the armed robbery style involving motorcycles and motor cars – then step up the stop and search of motor vehicles and motorcycles. What is The Police Force doing with the vehicles given to them by the Chinese? These vehicles were given to them to go out there and tackle the out of control crime situation, they are not for souvenir purposes? You have to take the crime fight to the criminal with seriousness and with a mission, you cannot allow the criminals to get the upper hand . The point I am making is ,criminals would do what criminals do, the government must find ways in bringing this to an end. Another crime fighting strategy is for the police to make its presence felt around banks and ATM’s. There should be police patrols and more patrols, you have to go out there and make things happen. The criminal must understand that “eyes” are all around and that there is no hiding place. At the present moment the bandits are all too comfortable as well as very successful in their criminal pursuit. I must say that they must be made uncomfortable and uneasy and the areas I have highlighted above must be explored.

Finally, the area as it pertains to the illegal possession of firearms must be addressed in a serious and urgent way. Criminals must bare the full brunt of the law whenever illegal firearms are found on or in their possession. In this regard I am calling on the justice system to step up to the plate in amending those archaic laws as it relates to illegal firearms. Too many lives have been lost as a result of armed criminal assault? Too many lives have been ruined as a result of the haunting trauma of a firearm either being pointed at or one that was used on an innocent civilian. It is time for this nonsense to stop.

If Guyana is to come out of its crime ridden crime prone stupor, then urgent and decisive action has to be taken by the authorities of this country right now. There is no other way.
Neil Adams

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