New ‘crime wave’ puts Enmore on edge
The brutal murder of Enmore grocery store watchman Rudolph Narine has brought home the stark reality that the once secure community is fast becoming a haven for drug addicted thieves.
And if nothing is done to arrest the problem, the situation threatens to reach alarming proportions where criminals could reign as they once did in another East Coast Demerara village only a few short years ago.
Narine was found with his throat slit at his place of employment, the R. Ramlogan grocery establishment early Saturday morning.
The killers then ransacked the business, carting off an undisclosed amount in valuables.
This was just a few days after a popular business place a few doors away was broken into and millions of dollars in cellular phones and similar equipment stolen.
And just a little under two weeks ago, the bound body was taxi driver Rajendra Narine was dumped in the village, not too far from where Narine was slain.
And a little over a month ago, another Enmore man was found in the outfall canal, a death which is still the subject of controversy.
No one has been held responsible for these crimes.
These recent incidents have sent shockwaves throughout the Enmore community and while there have been several suggestions as to what is responsible along with recommendations for its arrest, the blame game is being played out.
While the statutory law enforcement agency -the Guyana Police Force has to accept the main responsibility, the performance of the village’s Community Policing Group and the commitment of the residents themselves to crime prevention are also coming under question.
Chairman of the Enmore Station Management Committee Taijnauth Jadunauth is of the view that residents, including businessmen in the village must understand that community policing is everybody’s business, and merely giving financial assistance alone will not keep the community safe.
“They have to show their support by volunteering their services to patrolling the village,” Jadunauth told this newspaper.
He acknowledged that there has been a lull in active community policing.
Jadunauth said that the police are not doing enough work in profiling the youths of the community.
“As Chairman of the Station Management Committee, my minutes to the Commissioner of Police refer to certain names of regular perpetrators. But the police are doing selective patrols. In law enforcement profiling is important and in Enmore, people know who the perpetrators are but the police are not targeting them,” Jadunauth explained.
Some of his sentiments were echoed by a prominent businessman who asked not to be identified.
“There is a group of young boys, drug addicts, who I believe are responsible for most of the criminal activities in this community,” the businessman told this newspaper.
And there is some talk about police collusion with the criminal elements in the area.
This newspaper understands that following investigations into a recent breakage in Enmore, the police had arrested several persons after recovering some of the stolen items.
But according to residents, the suspects were released last week, two days before the watchman’s brutal slaying.
“They stole cell phones and just after the police finish taking statements a young woman turned up with one of the stolen phones to buy batteries for it. She took the police to people she bought it from and yet there is no proper prosecution,” one resident complained.
Residents said that so much is criminally wrong in their village but people are afraid to speak out because of fear of being targeted by criminal elements.
But the police have their version of the situation and the constraints they face in effectively carrying out their duties there.
One investigator told Kaieteur News that, while the situation is definitely getting out of hand, residents are themselves to be blamed.
“Many times when we make arrests in Enmore, relatives of the persons detained will call some big one and we get instructions to release them. These people got connections to top people and they run all over the place and complain that we lock up Tom or Harry,” the investigator said.
He believes that the police have so many villages to focus on and can only do so much in one particular area at a time.
However, they are hoping that the recent upsurge in criminal activity in Enmore will spur residents to cooperate more with the law enforcement bodies to return the village to it former secure status.