The shooting to death of three persons suspected to be bandits by the police has brought some amount of relief from the crime situation. However, the police are far from being on top of the crime situation.
The police are reporting that four men were shot and killed in the backlands of Black Bush Polder. Guns are reported to have been retrieved from the scene.
The Corentyne has witnessed a spate of robberies in recent days. At least three families were brutalised by armed persons.
The police operation, which resulted in the death of the alleged criminals was said to be based on strategising and intelligence.
If the men were indeed involved in criminal activities, then the police would have at least ensured that these persons would no longer be a threat to the general population.
But the overall threat is far from reduced. Criminal attacks, involving weapons, including gins, have been occurring almost daily. And they have been widespread and not confined to Berbice.
This column has been highlighting some of the incidents, which are leaving in a state of fear and near-panic. The reports in the media suggest that criminal attacks are not confined to any one area.
The attacks by the criminals have not ceased. A family of Diamond were brutalised by bandits. Diamond is more 100 miles from Black Bush Polder.
One of the family members was bloodied and badly beaten to his head. The attack left the family home in pools of blood. The bandits reportedly has guns and cutlasses
On Saturday night, a single-parent mom and her 11-year-old son were victims of an attack at their home in the same Black Bush Polder area where two other families were attacked days earlier.
The victim is poor woman. She works as a cleaner. The bandits spent a long time ransacking her home and because they were not satisfied, they beat her mercilessly.
A forty-seven year old taxi driver was found dead in a drain yesterday. The vehicle, which she was driving and her cellular phone have gone missing. Strangely, no marks of violence have been found on her so at this stage it is not clear whether she was a victim of a robbery despite the missing car and phone.
A man was also robbed of his cellular phone yesterday while walking on the road, so it is not only schoolchildren who are being targeted for their phones.
The phone companies are not doing enough to help curb crime. Most of the robberies in Guyana involve stealing cellular phones, some of which can cost more than G$150,000. Cell phones are major targets for criminals who resell them.
Many of phones, which are being used by persons are stolen phones. Some persons hardly have proper clothes; they are begging for money to put “credit’’ into their phones, many of them are bums, yet they are walking around with phones which costs more than $100,000. Where did they get the money to buy these phones?
The phone companies can make a huge impact on crime by requiring to register their all new phones, manufactured after a certain date and to show proof of purchase. There are too many phones in the system for all phones to be registered.
A bigger dent can be made on crime if technology can be introduced to allow the phone companies to deactivate a phone, not just a SIM card, after it is reported stolen from its legitimate owner.
The technology to do this exists in other parts of the world. Most phones have unique serial numbers. If your phone is stolen, your service provider should be able to prevent it being used even if the person changes the SIM.
There are some phones, which can trace the stolen phone. The government should make the introduction of this technology mandatory so as to stop phone thefts which is one of the leading reasons for robberies.
The government is unable to control the crime situation. They need help.
Three persons shot dead will only bring a temporary reprieve. The criminals are all over and they have their support cells and are well organised.
While the police may have had eliminated three criminal suspects, there are thousands of others out there who are hell-bent on terrorising and robbing citizens.
And the sad part of it is that they are receiving intellectual support by mischief-makers who are peddling the same notorious theories which were used in the past to justify hate attacks on citizens.
Criminals are going to be bolstered by such support. And this will make the work of the underperforming police force even more difficult.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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