Jul 18, 2013 Editorial
Five robberies in one day in the city are most unusual. It therefore came as no surprise that the private sector representatives began to cry out for action by the police and the other law enforcement agencies. We have seen the statements by the Private Sector Commission and by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Indeed the criminals tend to target those locations where they feel that they could easily grab the cash there and move on. It is therefore surprising that these same entities have not been aggressive in pursuing the move from cash transactions.
The police say that they have irrefutable evidence that the robberies are sponsored by the overwhelming amount of cash in the system. People who store cash in their homes are more prone to visits by the bandits than any other person.
We have also seen that many persons leaving the commercial banks have been targeted by the gunmen. Just recently, the police managed to thwart one such robbery. They happened to be at the right place at the right time.
The people who get robbed are often those who are not members of the entities that are making a noise for the law enforcement agencies to step up and do something—we are not sure what—to curb the spate of robberies.
We would have expected these representative bodies to contribute to the efforts that they desire of the police and other law enforcers. There are private security services that have the ability to also launch patrols in the city. We as a nation are not blessed with the kind of resources that would allow anti-crime patrols to respond within ten or fifteen minutes although the city is so small. But with support, some anti-crime unit could be on the location within five minutes.
The police would be approached to incorporate the various private sector entities with anti-crime patrols into their schedules.
There is another aspect to the drive to curb the spate of attacks. More recently business places have been installing security cameras but some of these cameras are deficient. The resolution is poor and sometimes the cameras are badly placed.
However, while any expenditure on security will certainly save a company in the long run many business places feel the edge of the coin and if in the view of the business place the cost is too high then security is ignored, sadly so.
But there is something that the wider society needs to take into account. We have said time and again that there seems to be an increasing level of illiteracy in the society and these are some of the people who gravitate to crime. It must be worrying if it is proven that the spike in gun crimes does coincide with the end of formal education for some of the boys who must now roam the streets.
Yet the police need to revamp their operations. Each year the government releases vast sums of money to buy vehicles. This should increase the extent of patrols. Of course, the situation is better than it was a few years ago. There are more vehicles and the patrols are more. Because of this they are able to respond even faster.
That is being reactive. The police also need to be proactive. It would be interesting if the authorities could place plainclothes ranks at locations known to be the hive of criminal activities. After a few confrontations there should be a marked decline in criminal activities the types of which appear to be common.
For the first three days of this week there have been no less than six gun robberies, all of them in the city. Sadly, people do not support in every case. They refuse to identify the criminals after they are caught, not realizing that they are releasing the criminal to prey on someone else.
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