The recent stabbing to death of two young transgender persons on the streets of Georgetown has raised several important issues which I think all Guyanese should be concerned about. I write specifically in regard to the role of the private security firm whose vehicle and staff were on the scene at the time of the incident.
Numerous eyewitnesses report that the MMC security officers, in a marked vehicle, picked up the confessed murderer after he threw gasoline on several sex workers in an attempt to set them on fire, and took him away from the scene to another location where he then attacked and killed the two other individuals. This is extremely troubling to me because it reveals a significant problem in the way private security companies operate in Guyana.
Private security forces are widespread in Guyana; as a matter of fact, in some communities, these private companies have more of a presence than the police. However, unless I’m wrong, is the Guyana Police Force not still the body to which all crimes have to be reported? Why then, did the security officers not take the (now deceased) murderer immediately to the Brickdam Police Station? It was clearly stated to them that this individual had attacked several people on the streets of Georgetown. So I repeat, why did the MMC officers not take this obviously violent and dangerous individual directly to the Brickdam Police Station?
Does the mandate of these private security companies allow them to overrule the basic law enforcement mechanisms of Guyana? Or, was the inaction because the individuals getting attacked were transgender and/or sex workers?
I am very concerned about this matter and call upon both the CEO of MMC as well as the Commissioner of Police, Mr Seelall Persaud for immediate answers.
All citizens of Guyana, including transgender persons and those engaged in sex work have the right to safety and security. The citizens of Guyana also need clarity about the role and responsibilities of private security forces. Are they free to act with impunity or are they also subject to the same laws and oversight of the Guyana Police Force like everyone else?
(Name and address provided)