The prompt, decisive and successful response of the Joint Services to the daring daylight heist of the Wales Estate payroll must be commended.
This time there will be no extended manhunt; all those involved in the actual heist, along with a suspected mastermind, have been apprehended.
We commend the Joint Services for the level of response and the success they enjoyed, which, as we are now learning, not only solves this crime, but a number of others in which the gang was involved. We hope that justice will be equally swift for those likely to be charged and placed before the courts.
The police force and the army have in recent times come in for their fair share of criticism. It seems that almost every time there is a serious crime committed, some blame is apportioned to the Guyana Police Force and to the Government for failures. We have had a lot of these criticisms in the past.
After the recent robbery at Agricola, which sadly resulted in the death of a young woman, many expressed concern about the crime situation and the inability of the authorities to prevent certain crimes from taking place. This is an understandable reaction from a citizenry which is deeply concerned about the continuing high incidence of crime.
The Joint Services, however, inasmuch as they have a right to be criticised where such criticism is justifiable, equally should be congratulated for the successes they have made.
Yet Guyanese are very sparing in praising the success of the Joint Services, and this, too, should be a source of concern, because it sends the wrong signals to the criminally-inclined.
If those who are bent on breaking the law see a society that is reluctant to come out and praise the police, they may interpret this as a weakening of the national resolve to fight crime.
If the criminals in our midst feel there is reluctance by the public to disassociate from crime, the criminals will become more emboldened.
That is why it is important that we give praise where praise is due, and reprimands where blame needs to be cast.
We therefore urge all Guyanese to take a stand against crime. Do not be seen to be giving any form of support to criminals, because to do so will only undermine the efforts that are being made to fight crime.
At the same time, the police must appreciate that the public expects consistent success. It is all well and good for the police to solve a particular crime.
The police should commit to solving all crimes. However, it is asking too much to expect that all crimes will be solved expeditiously.
This happens nowhere in the world. The solving of most serious crimes often involves painstaking investigations, and sometimes can be protracted.
The public therefore must appreciate the need for patience, inasmuch as the police need to be aware that the public does not expect any crime to be placed on the back burner.
When it comes to reducing the incidence of crime in Guyana, there is still a far way to go. There are still too many gun crimes taking place in the country; and while we may not wish to admit it, the high numbers of these crimes along with the many other misdemeanors which the police are required to investigate are stretching the force very thin. In this environment, we feel the police need all the support they can have from the public.
They need support and they need understanding, because the challenges they face are monumental and they are trying their best with the limited resources they have at their disposal.
Instead of constantly mouthing off at the failures of the police; instead of constantly berating their failure to prevent crime, the public should try to do all that is possible to lend a helping hand to the police, so that they can continue to make inroads into crime in Guyana.
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