Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:57 AM
Nov 14, 2008 News
Should everything go according to plan, citizens in the city could look forward to an almost incident-free Christmas season as the Guyana Police Force puts systems in place to reduce criminality and maintain order.
At a special ceremony yesterday at the Police Officers’ Mess, Eve Leary, which was attended by members of the Private Sector Commission and the media, the Guyana Police Force’s ‘A’ Division announced plans to effectively keep the city and its environs safe, after six weeks of intense preparations.
Under the plan, more police ranks, patrols and beats will flock the city to augment the existing city policing arrangements.
The plan will officially kick in tomorrow and will last until January 15 next year.
According to Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Leroy Brumell, the intention is to control and reduce criminal activity, build public confidence in the force and reduce traffic congestion which is usually at its peak in the city at this time of the year.
Reflecting on this year’s performance so far, when compared with last year, Brumell disclosed that there were 35 murders in the division, the same as in 2007, while robbery under arms increased significantly to 676, compared with 481 for the same period last year.
“The robbery under arms is a big worry for us,” Brumell said.
In total, there were 2232 serious crimes in ‘A’ Division, a figure which is 13.2 percent more than in 2007.
Brumell also revealed that the police in Georgetown and its environs recovered 38 illegal firearms, two more than last year.
“This is an area that we have been plagued with and we are trying our utmost. Every other crime you hear that a firearm was involved,” Brumell stated.
With this in mind, the Divisional Commander said that the police will be dividing the city into five sectors in order to establish more control over the situation in the particular areas.
Brumell added that each sector will be manned by an Inspector.
“We’ll have patrols – mobile, foot and mounted. Also we will have booths at various locations in Georgetown and at each booth we intend to have two armed ranks, and those ranks are expected to be on the alert at all times and respond to any calls that come to their respective areas,” the Divisional Commander disclosed.
Brumell stressed that emphasis will be placed on municipal markets and around city banks as well as other major business areas. There will also be raids in several crime-prone areas, as well as in “any area we get information that something is about to happen”.
Kaneville/Grove, Agricola, Bagotstown, Albouystown and North, East and West Ruimveldt will receive special attention.
Also to be targeted are night spots, where according to the divisional commander there is excessive lawlessness.
“We know that at some of these night spots persons are going in with firearms. We will raid those night spots,” Brumell assured.
Persons who sell squibs and other explosive devices will not be allowed to escape the dragnet.
There will be roadblocks in various areas in Georgetown and on the East Bank of Demerara and the Assistant Commissioner is urging citizens to be patient throughout the exercises.
Special operations will also form a major part of the campaign.
This will entail the police working with the Guyana Defence Force and their helicopters, which is expected to have similar results like the recent successful operation on the West Bank of Demerara following the $17M GuySuCo payroll heist.
Increased river patrols will supplement the campaign.
Residential areas will also see an increase in both foot and vehicular patrols.
To make the campaign a success, the Guyana Police Force will be utilizing the services of all its ranks, with most of the office staff being required to be on the streets.
Assistance will also come from the various Community Policing Groups and the City Constabulary.
Special emphasis will also be placed on the days immediately leading up to Christmas as well as Old Year’s Day.
With respect to the traffic arrangements for the period, Traffic Chief, Superintendent Neil Semple outlined a detailed plan to ease the expected congestion.
He told the gathering that traffic has been a year-round concern for all and during the period in question there will be a greater number of vehicles and pedestrians on the road.
“We don’t want persons to be carried away that Christmas is a period of jollification, hence there is going to be any immunity for them to be doing any traffic lawlessness on the road,” the Traffic Chief cautioned.
He proudly announced that the Traffic Department has been able to significantly reduce road fatalities by about half when compared with the same period last year.
This year so far there have been 96 road deaths compared with 190 last year.
Traffic ranks will also be on foot patrols in addition to the regular vehicular operations in all the police divisions throughout Guyana.
And motorists beware! The police tow trucks will be working overtime to ensure that persons adhere to the road regulations.
The police will also be escorting vehicles traveling along the West Berbice and the East Coast of Demerara especially.
The Traffic Chief said he intends to ensure that areas around the city markets and popular night spots are free of traffic congestion.
“There is going to be virtually no one in the offices. Everyone will be out there complimenting our patrols on the road during the day and the night during this entire period,” the Traffic Chief noted.
Head of the Private Sector Commission, Gerry Gouveia expressed praise on behalf of his organization for the work done by the security forces within recent times.
“We don’t want to hear about efforts, we want to hear about results because we don’t reward people for efforts, we reward people for results. We’ve been seeing tremendous results by the force…it’s been extremely reassuring to the Private Sector and I think you’re building public trust and confidence once again…and that is something that is good for Guyana,” Gouveia told Acting Commissioner Henry Greene and other senior police officers.
He, however, urged that the police must use intelligence when dealing with reports of criminal activity.
He warned against the wanton raiding of homes and nightspots without first gathering proper intelligence.
“I believe that the police force is on a nice wave at the moment, in terms of public confidence, and I want to urge you that in whatever you do, that you do not erode that public confidence and public relations with the community,” Gouveia said.
He pointed out that some persons might see the police operations that are not intelligence-led as police harassment.
He agreed with the proposed roadblocks and stated that he has urged members of the private sector to be cooperative.
With regards to the nightspot arrangements, the PSC Chairman urged the police to use restraint, especially on special occasion nights.
“If I go into a nightspot and I see ten policemen arrive there and start searching people, what you’re in fact making Guyana into is a police state; into a place where people are afraid to go out in the nights, and what they will consider to be harassment by the police force,” Gouveia explained.
But Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene noted that nightspots will have to ensure that they adhere to the law, along with their clientele.
He assured that the police will remain professional when dealing with this dimension of maintaining law and order.
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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