Apr 03, 2017 News
– Crime Chief Blanhum
Police have “overwhelming evidence” that vehicles from some car rentals and vehicles bearing false number plates have become the preferred mode of transportation utilised by criminal elements in the commission of serious crimes such as robbery under arms and execution style murders.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum made this observation yesterday while appealing to car rental operators to ensure that clients produce proper identification and a system be put in place to monitor the manufacture of licence plates.
“The Guyana Police Force is very concerned about this trend, since some of the operatons of these car rentals and licence plate makers are not strictly regulated,” Blanhum told Kaieteur News.
“There are numerous instances when vehicles are traced back to car rental operators who are not in possession of any records relating to the identity of the individual(s) who would have rented the vehicle. In these instances where the operators are unable to produce any such records, it is evident that those particular operators conduct their business in an ad hoc manner.
“Ideally, all car rental operators should be required to obtain copies of the renter’s driver’s licence and national identification card. And if they are found to have failed to do same, sanctions ought to be imposed,” the Crime Chief said.
“Secondly, where fake licence plate numbers are used on vehicles to perpetrate serious crimes, this discovery creates serious hurdles for detectives in their investigations.
Blanhun also noted there is no system that is currently implemented that enables the Force to access a database to trace which number plate maker produced the fake number plates.
On the other hand, he said that in first world countries, every number plate produced carries a chip that permits law enforcement authorities to access all the relevant data relating to the vehicles and the owners of the vehicles.
This is implemented as a counter measure for criminal elements using fake number plates.
“While this system would assist the GPF in investigations, it is costly to implement in a country like Guyana. As a result, there is urgent need for strict regulation of the business of making number plates. These regulations should make it mandatory for number plate makers to demand that individuals who wish to have number plates made, first produce the original motor vehicle registration and the national identification card of the individual ordering same.
“Additionally, a register of every number plate made, together with copies of the documents produced, should be kept by the number plate makers. And if they fail to do so, sanctions should be imposed.”
Last November, bandits escaped in a rented car, after carrying out a robbery at the Eccles, East Bank Demerara home of former Home Affairs Clement Rohee.
The individual who allegedly rented the vehicle reportedly gave the owners of the service a fictitious name and address.
In March, 2013, a young man who was allegedly committing a string of robberies at the seawalls was slain while attacking a seawall vendor.
The gang had reportedly used a rented Toyota Raum as a getaway vehicle during several robberies along the seawall.
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