There is a very disturbing social phenomenon being institutionalised in Guyana where the people are now electing to take the law into their own hands as a matter of course in their apparent attempts to redress issues which should be the sole responsibility of the Guyana Police Force.
There have been two recent events which illustrate this phenomenon.
The first is the electrocution of a teenager in Melanie. Though this incident is still being investigated and charges are yet to be laid, it can be posited that there was some callousness on the part of the homeowner.
Here is a man who allegedly refused to return a ball which had found its way into his yard, to a group of kids indulging in the age-old ritual of youngsters enjoying their August holidays.
But this was not all! Circumstantial and hard evidence suggest that the electrification of the fence which led to the death of the youngster was activated sometime between when the ball entered the yard and when the owner returned to his premises shortly after.
All we are now sure about is that a young man was electrocuted as he stood waiting for his football to be returned to him by a homeowner whose fence was electrified, presumably to serve as a deterrent to persons who might want to enter his yard without his express permission.
The next incident is the vandalising of a motor vehicle which was parked in front of a business premises in the city. Once again, the case is still under investigation.
However, reports again suggest that this act was perpetrated by a disgruntled business owner who had become fed up with persons who insisted on parking in close vicinity of his business place.
The common denominator of these two incidents is that acts were perpetrated against individuals for the sole purpose of deterring others from acting in a manner perceived to be inimical to the interests of the perpetrators of these acts.
Another common denominator is that the end results fall into the sphere of criminal acts.
In the first case, we have the death of a child through an apparent willful act, and in the second, the willful and malicious damage to the property of someone else.
What does this say to us? It says to me that there is a crisis of confidence in the Guyana Police Force whose responsibility it is to protect us from each other when we choose to act in a manner that is deemed to be inimical to each other’s interest.
Which brings me to the final point I wish to make and which I will illustrate with another incident which has taken place in the last few days but which has a chronology that dates back to a few months ago.
I refer to the incident involving a police cadet officer, who allegedly brutalised a senior citizen/business owner in Bartica because he refused to be bullied into submission by the cadet.
A complaint was made and the officer was transferred immediately to Georgetown, and supposedly placed under close arrest pending investigation, the conclusions of which are still to be revealed to the victim (who is now blind due to the beating he allegedly got from the bully).
Lo and behold, the victim learnt in the media that this recalcitrant officer has now graduated from Training School with kudos for which he has been given an award.
To whom does Mr. Winter now go for redress of this barbaric act perpetrated against his person?
In any civilised society Mr. H. Greene would have been relieved of his position as CoP and the officer would have had the book thrown at him.
Remember the Rodney King incident a few years ago in California? It is no wonder that most of us have lost confidence in Mr. Greene and his officers!
There are many disturbing features to this situation but the most disturbing of all is that it points to the existence of anarchy in Guyana. Of this I have no doubt!
When the protectors become the victimisers and private citizens routinely take the law into their own hands we have a state of anarchy staring us in the face. Of that I have no doubt!
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