Latest update March 29th, 2023 12:59 AM
Aug 24, 2008 News
I live on the East Coast of Demerara, and almost every day I encounter the inconvenience of roadblocks set up by the Joint Services.
These roadblocks, I suppose, are designed to at least curtail the movement of criminal elements, but mainly to intercept them, as well as prevent illegal activity.
However, I get the impression that the authorities have got it wrong this time, although they might claim that they have seen some success over the past few years. Yes, they have managed to apprehend a few persons and recover illegal firearms.
They have also intercepted several caches of illegal drugs, but this is as far as the roadblocks go.
Many argue that the inconvenience they suffer is not worth the while, and given the resources that are involved, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The roadblocks are really a reassuring sign that something is being done to curtail criminal activity, but are they really working?
Take the obvious, for example. A criminal is making a move from Buxton to the city. Do the authorities expect that, in this day and age of the cellular phone, that criminal will be so stupid as to be caught in a roadblock?
In fact, there are reports that the criminal will not even be moving with his weapon, (having given it to someone less suspicious, like a female, to transport it beyond any security roadblock).
I happened upon one of these roadblocks, and the time it took me to reach the checkpoint was frustrating.
Now, which criminal will wait in line to be searched by the security forces?
I have seen many vehicles turn back after waiting in line at these roadblocks, and heaven knows whether these vehicles contained criminals.
Sometimes I wonder if these roadblocks are specifically aimed at catching overloaded minibuses because, from what I see, the ranks on duty are more interested in ‘harrassing’ these vehicles, especially in the late-night hours when most people are hurrying home to catch sleep for another gruelling day of work.
To be in a minibus that is stopped and emptied by the security forces when you are tired must be a disgusting situation. The passengers are searched individually and then made to re-enter the buses, which then proceed along their way.
While many persons will sacrifice some convenience for better security, surely there must be a better way to do things. So, while the ordinary suffer the inconvenience, the ‘rich and famous’ get a free ride.
From all appearances, the hands of the ranks are tied when it comes to those who are perceived to be in the top bracket of society.
I have noticed ranks stopping minibuses and emptying them while allowing the Prados and Pathfinders to pass.
Who knows if these so-called ‘rich and famous’ are the ones moving the weapons for the criminals?
How did Fine Man and his gang move from Linden, with all that the police claimed to have found, without being detected at a roadblock?
Ranks have told me that whenever they stop a vehicle of the rich and famous, the person jumps on his cellular phone, and within minutes they are instructed to let the vehicle go. There is the case of a well-known fuel smuggler who was stopped many times by the police.
The ranks now know that they should not stop this smuggling truck because they will feel the wrath of a senior police officer who is reportedly a friend of the truck owner. Maybe it pays to have a friend high up in the police force.
Then you can become one of the rich and famous by just transporting criminals, because you know you will not be stopped and checked.
This situation leads to corruption, since the ranks manning the roadblocks no longer concentrate on security issues, but pay more attention to making a dollar for themselves.
While passing roadblocks, I have overhead ranks telling each other how much they hoped to make for the period they are on the road.
Snap roadblocks are the way to go. But, then again, I am told that senior security officials are against this type of activity by their patrols.
Many persons will argue that, instead of spending so much on roadblocks, the security forces should place their emphasis and resources on intelligence gathering.
Because no sooner than the roadblocks are stopped and everything appears to be back to normal, the bandits strike, and then there are more roadblocks.
You sucking the dry seed of your own mangoes, while the foreigners eating sweet flesh.
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