By Shikema Dey
With the Christmas season approaching and the city abuzz with activities, the Guyana Police Force on Friday unveiled plans to combat the expected hike in criminal activities and to ease traffic congestion during this period.
Common throughout the Christmas holidays is the influx of visitors to Guyana. This results in a build up of traffic which can lead to mishaps that sometimes end in a fatality.
So far, there is a recorded 3,712 cars traversing the city on a daily basis.
To address this, the Traffic Department has put in place arrangements to ensure that citizens can traverse our roadways with minimum obstruction, congestion and accidents.
“We know that one death is far too many so we are looking to have a reduction during this Christmas period. We know this is a period when all seems normal and dry…”
Traffic Chief, Linden Isles, stated that the capital city will be divided into four sectors. This, he said, will maximise police presence on a daily basis and aid response time.
“Special emphasis will be placed on the areas connecting East Coast and Berbice bus and car parks and Stabroek Market Stelling area.”
The Traffic Chief outlined that the city will see an increase in motor cars, motorcycles and foot patrols throughout the country.
He also stated that, “in Georgetown, crash trucks will be used for towing vehicles which are illegally parked”. The wheel clamping system will also be used.
The Traffic Department will be placing special focus on several common offences, which include driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding also the overloading of minibuses and cars.
For Christmas Eve day, one of the busiest days in Guyana, several arrangements will be made to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
East-bound vehicular traffic will be denied entry between Alexander and Light Streets, Regent Street and North Road and also Avenue of the Republic and Albert Street between 15:00hrs and 23:00hrs.
Further, motor lorries traversing the East Bank Demerara Corridor will be restricted from use of the road from 07:00hrs – 09:00hrs from Monday to Friday.
Meanwhile, the Crime Department under Acting Crime Chief Michael Kingston in his presentation revealed that the department will be targeting the ‘known crime hotspots’ as part of their strategy to tackle crime during the Christmas season.
He stated that the CID will be conducting frequent analysis of timings, items stolen, the modus operandi used and the mode of transportation used by the criminals.
Along with that, there will be targeted Patrols (both mobile and foot), several cordon and search exercises, staggered road blocks within identified areas and several choke point controls to be outlined.
Kingston further highlighted that there will be several collaborative efforts and enhanced enforcement capabilities and public Co-operation through specialised training and community relations policing among others.
The members of the public were advised to take several precautionary measures during this season to ensure their safety.
The acting Crime Chief urged members of the business community “not to leave large amounts of cash in safes at their business premises, but should utilise the services of a bank to deposit their cash”.
“They should make use of the reputable security companies when transferring large sums of cash”.
He pointed out that “citizenry conducting business/shopping should be cognizant of their environment and should try not to carry around large sums of cash. They should utilise debit cards”.
“Leaving large amounts of cash and firearm in vehicles is not advised”.
“Persons are advised to be very careful with the practice of wearing large pieces of jewellery.”
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