Beefed-up patrols, random road blocks among police Xmas plans

Police say they are well-geared for the hectic Christmas season both in Georgetown and other parts of the country.

Stating that plans are in place for a safe and secure environment this Christmas, Commander ‘A’ Division, Assistant Commissioner George Vyphuis, said at a briefing on preparations for the season held at the force’s mess hall yesterday that the focus would be on suppressing and combatting criminal activities and reducing traffic accidents and traffic congestion.

Police Commissioner, Henry Greene said that an additional 90 policemen and women have been brought out from various divisions to augment the strength of the Guyana Police Force in the city for the season. “We expect to see the streets well flooded, well covered so that we can take care of any issues that arise out there,” he said.

Intensified police activities had begun early last month ahead of the November 28 general and regional elections and would conclude on January 15. However even more security measures will be in place between December 22 and 24 and the December 29 and 31, respectively since these periods record the highest percentage in Christmas shopping.

Among the beefed-up security measures are random road blocks, vehicle checks, consistent day and night vehicular patrols and  partnering with the Guyana Defence Force should the need arise.

Although there will be intensified security, the commander stressed the need for persons to be cautious when shopping. To this end he gave tips to shoppers such as limiting the amount of cash they have on their person, using debit cards wherever available and doing online bank transactions among others.

Noted too was the improvement in the police emergency telephone system 911 which Vyphuis said was functional and even equipped with a recording and tracking system. Members of the public have complained incessantly about this number.

Vyphuis said Georgetown has been divided into five sections, each under the command of a Cadet Officer who would be managing ranks. The reason for this, he added, was to make management of the capital easier and response to crimes more efficient and effective.

To ease congestion of traffic and road accidents  during the holidays there will also be additional traffic police monitoring and directing traffic so as to ensure a smooth flow. Acting Traffic Chief Brian Joseph noted that some drivers, especially taxi drivers, who display wanton disregard for traffic laws are often responsible for traffic backup because of lax parking. The force will also be working on implementing a plan to make some of the roads in the city one way only, in an effort to ease the traffic congestion.

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