Sep 19, 2022 Letters
The work of official watchers and enforcers of the law has become more difficult, increasingly trickier. Citizens, from individuals to business owners and operators, experience trouble in differentiating between “who is police and who is ‘thief” in this country. All of this has some presence in, and can be extracted from, the article titled, “Six charged for $13.4M heist at GTT’s Giftland store” (KN September 18). It has to do with criminals posing as security personnel.
I empathize with the honest professionals in the Guyana Police Force (GPF). They struggle against circumstances and convention and culture to do a clean and efficient job protecting the anxious citizens of this country. Now their duties have been made more challenging by an environment more and more infested with fake security people. When they show their faces, they have the element of surprise on the unwary, get the drop on them in their long moments of uncertainty and hesitation. Who is real? Who can blame those suddenly finding themselves staring at the dangerous end of a firearm? In one moment, the life and death flash before the eyes, and there is no time for reaction, including evasion.
Editor, the point I wish to emphasize today is how the expanding presence of fake police and security is being assisted and energized by official and political sanction. I don’t think that it is deliberate on the part of the PPP Government, simply the shortsightedness that is a product of negligence and ignorance, plus liberal doses of arrogance. First, there are many private security firms functioning almost as the GPF, in that they have been given clearance to assume some of the roles of official law enforcement. Second, these private security firms have all the trappings -machinery, weapons, clothing, and bearing that gives them authority that is accepted. Third, the split second to question or delay is either surrendered without a thought, or too late to pushback when detected, given the risk of grievous, even possibly fatal exposure.
Fourth, and this has worried me, many vehicles sport the kind of lights, markings, and other attributes that ordinary citizens usually associate with the GPF. It is extremely difficult to decide who is who, what is what, and which is which. That is, official and lawful, versus the secondhand and, hence, the underhand, if not the outright criminal. I conclude that the ecstasies and hysterias post August 2, 2020 continue to flourish, only now it is more open, with abandon, and as approved by the PPP Government through the use of collaborators in the GPF to clear the way. Similarly, there is the daily reality increasingly faced by the man in the street, where it seems that more vehicles now have tints than those without. This is inclusive of private vehicles. The tints are neither thin nor transparent, which would defeat the original purpose. Rather, they are thick to the point of being impenetrable. Fifth, things have gotten so bright with tint developments that reports are of some minibuses sporting them. Minibuses, folks, is what we have come to, now live with when tints are discussed. I suppose it is democracy on the move, and its vaunted freedoms on flashing display. Pity that regular people can peep as much and as long as they like but never seem to be able to understand what goes on behind the political and official tints in Guyanese life.
Putting all this on the public table, and considering our dangerous daily environment, I retrace steps to the first question, while throwing in a couple more.“Who is police and who is ‘thief”? How can a Government and its leaders be so unwise, so slipshod, and so reckless as not to understand what is being let loose on the land and those labouring honestly in it? It could be that they do understand, but didn’t give it the time spent in the toilet. Now that the GPF is forced to deal with these all points bulletin involving fakes imitating them in one manner or another, how do they cope successfully with them? And, last, where does this leave citizens going about their law-abiding business when confronted with steel pointed in their faces, and nothing between them and eternity? He who hesitates could end up losing.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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