There are some things that do not make sense and they make you to wonder about the rationality of those involved. Let’s take a hypothetical example. The Post Office Corporation has several branches. One would assume the same guidelines apply for each branch.
If you have to produce your ID card at the Plaisance outlet to collect a mail, then one assumes that is the policy of the authorities. It is not logical then for the Charlestown branch to refuse the ID card and insist on a passport only. Here’s another example. If to work at the NIS you need five CXC subjects including Maths and English, it makes no sense for the Berbice branch to ask for five but the Essequibo section will accept you with three.
Here is my encounter with some police officers yesterday. Long ago under President Burnham, wheaten flour was banned. Transport vehicles caught with the illegal products were impounded and many housed at the Eve Leary compound of the CID. One of the structures that caught people’s eyes as they walked on the seawall and looked across was an expensive boat. While walking on the wall, you could see all the vehicles.
Those days are long gone. But the CID compound still stores vehicles that are either left for evidence in court or were seized for various reasons. Like the days of the flour ban, they are there in full view of the public. Actually, it is a terrible sight to behold. It just destroys the ambience of the CID lawns. I see them every morning when I am with my dog. You could even take a photograph.
I was doing some research on accidents at the seawall roundabout since it was opened, so I journeyed to the Kitty Police station. One of the things you cannot miss from the road on Alexander Street is the bicycles chained to the fence in the compound. There are about twenty of them. I asked the officer why the stuff is there. He said they are the results of police arrests for lack of brakes or bell or lights or riding down the one-way. He said the riders never came back after they were arrested.
This was really a surprise to me. The traffic ranks actually haul bicycle riders in for such things? Aren’t these poor folks that should be given a warning? It occurred to me that I should further investigate this “bicycle confiscation” thing. I put aside Diwali Day to do the investigation, because I figured the stations would not be so crowded on a holiday. What I encountered were some strange police officials. I went to traffic head office. I met Corporal Craig, Corporal James and Sergeant Ramdass.
I asked to simply take a look at the cycles that were impounded. Ramdass said no. I explained that all I need is to see them. This is because I wanted to count them. I explained to all the officers that the stuff is there in full view of the public at Eve Leary. Corporal Craig jumped in and insisted that I open up negotiation with the Traffic Chief if I want to see the things. I did just that. I counted 47 items. I went to Brickdam. They said seized bicycles were in the property room and the sergeant with the key had gone to Timehri jail where there was some confusion taking place
My next stop was East La Penitence Police Station. This is where the journey and research got interesting. East La Penitence station sits on a large piece of real estate. Unlike stations like Brickdam and Eve Leary, it just has one building. The front lawn is sprawling. It is filled with impounded motor-cycles. I counted 111 of them. Some of them are in terrible condition because the elements are destroying them. A rank told me public visitors to the station sometimes steal parts and even police ranks would do the same.
Corporal De Lima admitted that her station arrests cycle riders for lack of lighting and other defects, but her station doesn’t have any cycles impounded because after they pay the fine, they produce the receipt and take their property. I asked; “not even one?” She replied; not even one.” She knew I didn’t believe her.
My next stop was Sparendaam station. Impounded motor-cycles are in the station yard for all to see. Superintendent Brutus was hostile. He said I cannot see the bicycles. I must write the Commissioner to get permission. Only poor people ride bicycles for daily chores. Why take away their cheap means of transportation? But this is Guyana.
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