– is 16th most homicidal country in the world
Twelve murders a month. That’s the grim average that faces the Guyana Police Force, which has recorded 108 homicides between January and September 10, last.
The Force also recorded a 12 percent increase in serious crimes in comparison to the same period last year.
Statistics like this mean that Guyana may well retain its unenviable status this year as the 16th most murderous country in the world.
Statistics released yesterday by the Public Relations Department revealed that 104 murders were recorded at the end of August 2015, in comparison to 98 murders at the end of August 2014; an increase of six percent.
This year’s murders include 16 execution-style killings between January and last July. This is a 100 percent increase in such killings, when compared to the same period last year;
Last year’s Global Status Report on Violence Prevention, compiled by several international organsations showed that Guyana had one of the world’s highest homicide rates, with just over 20 deaths per 100,000 of the country’s population. This meant that Guyana was the 16th most homicidal country globally.
It also rated Guyana as the sixth most murderous country within Caricom.
But police may be encouraged by the fact that they have managed to solve several high-profile murders within the past six months. These included some execution-style killings, and at least one murder that was staged to look like a home invasion.
But according to the Force, reports of robbery under arms between January and August increased by three percent in comparison to the same period in 2014.
Police also recorded a four percent increase in the number of robberies in which firearms were used, and a similar use in the number of armed robberies.
There has been a 65 percent increase in the number of reports of rape, with 271 such reports at the end of August. This is in contrast to the 164 reports of rape for the same period last year. Police also recorded a 13 percent spike in break and enter and larceny and burglary cases.
At the end of August, police recovered 81 illegal firearms, including one sub-machine gun, 46 pistols, 21 revolvers, six shotguns, six rifles and one pen-gun. This compares to 53 illegal firearms that were recovered unto this time last year.
Responding to the firearm amnesty, police stated that civilians handed in two 16 gauge shotguns and two matching cartridges at “F” Division; two air rifles and one .32 pistol with two matching rounds in “A” Division; and a .22 air rifle in “E” Division (Linden/Kwakwani).
The Force once again stated that it is continuing its efforts at crime prevention through its police-community partnership programme, along with social crime prevention interventions in the Policing Divisions, with special emphasis on empowering youths.
During last month interaction between the police and youths attached to Police Youth Clubs in “A” Division (Georgetown/East Bank Demerara) saw a number of children being involved in a spelling bee competition, educational talks focusing on motivation, nutrition and healthy living, visits to places of interest such as the National Park and the Zoo, softball cricket and other recreational activities and training sessions in information technology, fire prevention and first aid.
The Division also held its inaugural Ms. Youth Ambassador Pageant 2015 on August 15, 2015, at the St. Stanislaus College, Georgetown, where Miss Onica Lynch from the Albouystown Group was crowned Ms. Youth Ambassador 2015.
In “B” Division (Berbice) the police donated sports gear comprising two prefab football goals, along with nets and a football to the community of Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam, in further efforts to boost police community relations.
The Division will also be making efforts to assist with the improvement of the playground in the community.
On August 27, last, the police in “D” Division (West Demerara/East Bank Essequibo) launched their “See Something, Say Something” initiative under the Divisional C-PETS programme in its quest to reduce crime.
The initiative is in collaboration with the faith-based leaders attached to the Cops and Faith Community Network.
During the launching of the initiative at the Tuschen Car Park, East Bank Essequibo, the police conducted a back-to-school distribution exercise where a number of children received backpacks with school stationery and water bottles.
In “E” Division (Linden/Kwakwani) a football tournament among 14 teams from Police Youth Clubs was held at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground, Wismar; a day of sports was also held at Silver Hill, Soesdyke/Linden Highway; and the youths were involved in first aid training and a workshop on Peer Pressure as well as a cheese straw making competition.
In “F” Division (Interior Locations) a three-week community project was conducted at Itaballi, Mazaruni, between August 2 and August 23, 2015.
The project involved 64 youths from the Purple Heart Police Youth Group engaged in skills training, craftwork, sports and educational talks.
On August 3, 2015, the police in “G” Division (Essequibo Coast and Islands) launched a four-week empowerment project for 23 youths from the Dartmouth community.
They are being exposed to home economic skills at the Essequibo Technical Institute. Upon the successful completion of the programme the youths will be certified by the Carnegie School of Home Economics.
Divisional Commanders also held a number of community outreach meetings where issues and concerns raised by members of the public were addressed.
During last August, there were 24 interventions supported by the religious community in the Cops and Faith Community Network, which treats with juvenile first offenders for minor crimes as a preemptive intervention to the New Opportunity Corps.
Since the launch of the Cops and Faith Community Network in September 2013 and unto August 31, 2015, there have been 210 such interventions.
In all cases the youths were counseled by the religious leaders and following the involvement of parents/guardians, and the victims where necessary, the majority of them were warned and sent away.
In relation to the Family Liaison for victims of serious crimes and domestic violence project, which is also under the Cops and Faith Community Network, there were 17 interventions by members of the religious community in response to suicide attempts, and several cases of serious crimes, including armed robbery and murder where the affected persons, victims and relatives, were counseled.
A number of police ranks who were involved in incidents where they came under fire while responding to reports, were also counseled by the religious leaders.
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