A family was driving along Norton Street in the city when the vehicle transporting them developed a punctured tyre. The driver had almost completed putting on the spare wheel when bandits pounced on the family and robbed them. It was quite a traumatic experience for the persons who were robbed.
A female businesswoman was yesterday beaten and robbed of about $2M in cash and jewels. There, three bandits scaled her gate and invaded her home, which is located not far away from where the Minister of Public Security lives, beat her in her head and took away the loot.
A fisherman from Enmore is now a cripple, suffering injuries to his neck and spine. He was robbed of a mere $20,000 while returning home from selling fish. He may never walk again.
None of these incidents was enough to eke a statement out of the Minister of Public Security or the Commissioner of Police. The aforementioned incidents are not allegations. They happened and have left their victims traumatised. One of the victims may never walk again. There are no indications that the police are close to making any arrests.
The Minister of Public Security however was finally cornered and answered questions posed to him about the allegations made against the Crime Chief. But these are just allegations. Yet they were enough to elicit a comment from the Minister. Yet almost on a daily basis people are being brutalised and nothing is being heard from those who should be assuring the public that action is being taken.
The APNU+AFC’s biggest failure has been on the issue of crime. Like the PPPC before, the ruling coalition has no answer to the ongoing crime wave. The crime is beyond the control of the Guyana Police Force.
The police have not been able to bring crime under control. Citizens remain at the mercy of the criminals. In the meantime, the authorities have sent the Crime Chief on leave on the basis of allegations said to have been made by whistleblowers.
At this stage there are only allegations against the Crime Chief. Nothing has been proven. No evidence has been made public against the Crime Chief. As such, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
However, credit has to be given to President Granger for at least asking that the Crime Chief be sent on leave. Procedurally, it is best that he be removed from his position, so as to not be accused to influencing the investigation.
The Minister of Public Security has indicated that the Office of Professional Responsibility will conduct the investigation. This however is not likely to assuage public concerns about the independence of the investigation. The police should not investigate themselves, especially when the allegations are against senior officers.
Years ago, when former Commissioner of Police, Henry Greene was accused of a sexual offence, the PPP government, under intense public pressure, brought in members of the Jamaican Police Force to investigate the allegations. Following the investigation, charges were recommended against Greene. He was able to eventually get the High Court to block charges against him. He died in a motor vehicle accident after demitting office.
Allegations have been made against a senior official of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. The allegation was said to have been made months ago. The allegation was made to the airport authorities. The airport authorities reportedly could not substantiate the allegation. This caused the complainant to go public.
The police jumped into the matter saying that the airport should have reported the matter to them. This is pure poppycock. It is the complainant who has to make the complaint to the police, not the airport. The allegation was of a criminal nature and no matter what the airport found, it is the complainant, not the airport, which was required to report the matter.
It is reported that the official against whom the allegation has been made has now been sent on leave after a report was made to the police. Both the Crime Chief and the airport official are entitled to a fair investigation. They should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
These two high-profile cases should not be used to deflect attention from the daily terrors, which are being faced by members of the public. The victims of the robberies also deserve justice.
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