Illegal rum shops continue to cause woes
Yet again, members of the public have sought to complain of the woes illegal rum shops have been bringing, this time in La Penitence, where such establishments have become dens of gambling and unregulated drinking.
In a letter to this newspaper, residents of the Public Road La Penitence area have voiced their concerns over the loud music and the “unregulated gambling and drinking that attracts many criminal elements of society.”
The loud music reportedly goes on into all hours of the night, and hinders persons who live nearby, from sleeping.
Further, claims have surfaced that the environs of the illegal shops are unsanitary because patrons of the shop urinate and defecate anywhere they want.
Similarly, there is widespread littering that causes drains to become blocked, and this contributes to the flooding the neighbourhood experiences when there is heavy rainfall.
In addition, allegations surfaced that there was blatant theft of electricity to power the music systems, television sets, lights and large freezers and refrigerators.
In like manner, similar reports have been received concerning illegal establishments on both the West Coast Demerara and in the Stabroek Market.
Added to this, there have also been reports, from different parts of the Coast, of the increase in the number of unlicensed rum shops.
Bogus licences are apparently procured and these rum shops are usually set up in the ground floor of private residences.
Within the Stabroek Market, the noise caused by illegal liquor restaurants has caused business place owners in the environs of Stabroek Market, especially near the East Coast minibus park, to voice their outrage at the way these entities (illegal liquor restaurants) operate, and the way they are allowed to operate with no hindrance from law enforcement personnel.
Business owners said that they had previously sought the assistance of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to curtail the operation of these illegal establishments, but to no avail.
One such businessman, who operates an ‘exclusive bar’ has said that the noise is too much for his customers to bear, and he added that he has lost a lot of business.
He said that the liquor restaurants on the pavement are off-licence, if they have any licences at all and it is therefore illegal to serve alcohol on their premises.
Many of these illegal rum shops all over the country, operate under the noses of the police, who hardly seem to be concerned with the noise nuisance, gambling or the illegal sale of alcohol, which is taking place on a daily basis.