– Commander Hicken
As the police and other stakeholders work out strategies to stem the tide of escalating crime, the populace is being encouraged to employ all necessary physical security when leaving home or turning into their beds.
So advises Commander ‘A’ Division Clifton Hicken. As he and his team work to reduce crime, Hicken said there is no quick fix to the problem but efforts are being made to build back the trust between the community and police while minimizing the confrontational approach to crime solving.
As a measure, he said one has to be serious about the current realities and be each other’s keeper. While one crime committed is too much in his opinion “it is not getting to an alarming stage based on our statistics.”
At the end of July 2015 the Guyana Police Force recorded a 10% increase in serious crimes in comparison to the same period in 2014.
Among the serious crimes policed by the Force are murder, robbery under arms, robbery with violence, robbery with aggravation, larceny from the person, break and enter and larceny, burglary, rape, and kidnapping.
A total of 94 murders were recorded at the end of July 2015 in comparison to 80 murders at the end of July 2014, an increase of 18%. However up to last Friday, the figure had climbed to three figures.
Expressing gratitude to the new administration for supplying vehicles and other resources Hicken posited, “I know that they are serious about crime fighting and they have been giving us resources to help us to build our capacity and it is working for us.”
According to the Commander, through ongoing efforts in his Division (A) from Dora on the Linden/Soedyke Highway Conversation Tree, many high powered weapons have been confiscated and several crimes were averted through tips from members of the public.
He advised the citizenry, “Do not leave your doors opened to be vulnerable. Don’t leave farming tools about the place so that perpetrators can get them to commit acts of crime. Try not to move about with large sums of money around Georgetown. Do not wear too much jewellery to become a target and don’t walk in dark areas alone.”
Hicken said that while police ranks are employed to protect the citizenry, crime is everybody’s business and all need to be involved in the prevention fight or all will be consumed.
Based on the recent crime statistics, he said that Truancy and school dropouts may be the main source of the spike in criminal activities.
He said that from his end, he will continue to maintain a policy where members of the public can visit and interact through the open door policy every day, all day at the Commander level. And he is encouraging the same approach at the sub-divisional level. Further, Hicken said there is a suggestion box at the ‘A’ Division Enquiries office from which suggestions are looked at monthly and some of them are actually implemented.
Weaknesses are also being addressed while statistics are being handled through a data management system which highlights in real time the areas in which crimes are perpetuated.
Hicken pledged that he will continue to work on suppressing crime through interventions and standard operation procedures and through public/private partnership interventions. (Mondale Smith)
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