Nov 13, 2016 News
As part of heightened security activities to ensure domestic security, the Joint Services yesterday conducted Operation Safe Guard at the Georgetown and New Amsterdam prisons and seized a large quantity of contraband items.
According to Government yesterday, confiscated from the Georgetown Prison were 22 cellular phones; 558 grams marijuana; nine packets of cigarettes; eight cellular phone chargers; a quantity of zip lock bags; 45 lighters; a quantity of bamboo wrappers; a quantity of wine; 21 weapons; four cellular phone batteries; one arrow; two pairs of scissors; $300 cash; TT$200; four grabber hooks; five gallons of home-made wine; 20 razor blades; five sim cards and one tattoo machine.
According to the Ministry of the Presidency, a lesser number of items were found at the New Amsterdam prison. That operation was concluded at 11:30 am yesterday.
“Of grave concern to the security forces is that the Georgetown Prison was last searched on September 23, 2016, which means that the contraband item haul accumulated in just under two months. The government will continue to work closely with the Guyana Prison Service and the Joint Services to address on-going security weaknesses at the nation’s correctional facilities,” the statement said.
The Guyana Police Force, along with the Joint Services where necessary, will continue to scale up security activities in targeted areas to ensure the security of residents and visitors across Guyana as the country enters the holiday season and in light of the uptick in criminal activity.
“The Government of Guyana continues to urge citizens to cooperate with the security forces.”
On Friday evening, Government announced that it will be placing joint services ranks in areas considered hot spots for criminal activities.
This was after weeks of a reported increase in armed robberies. There were robberies at gas stations, supermarkets and an auto importer office as well as a number of home invasions.
While statistics are showing a drop in serious crimes compared to last year, the indications are that there has been a spike in armed robberies over the last two months.
Government has hinted at the possibilities of a political direction in the incidents and said it is monitoring the situation.
According to President David Granger last week, it was almost as if the robberies were being carried out with the intention to embarrass the police force and the Government.
The joint services patrols will be in areas known to be safe havens for criminals and in residential places where the reports of robberies are high.
The prisons have been a hive of illegal activities with evidence that a number of these were facilitated by guards and other staffers.
In March, 17 prisoners were burnt to death after they clashed with police and prison authorities. They reportedly set fire to a block at Camp Street after locking the doors.
A Commission of Inquiry that was launched blamed overcrowding as one of the main problems.
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