Police told residents of Station Street, Kitty yesterday that they are working hard to deal with the numerous complaints of noise nuisance and the other issues associated with the numerous drinking spots located in the area.
They were urged to make reports to the police and to provide statements so that the appropriate action can be taken against those who are breaking the law.
Senior officers within the subdivision under which Kitty falls held a community outreach at the Rama Krishna Primary School yesterday. Though the meeting was poorly attended, residents had an interactive session with a three-member police team foralmost two hours. The team comprised Inspector Corine Marshal, who is the officer in charge of the Kitty Police Station and the Prashad Nagar Outpost, Deputy Superintendent Steve Booker who is in charge of the No. 3 subdivision under which Station Street, Kitty falls and Deputy Commander, `A’ Division Senior Superinten-dent Ian Amsterdam.
During the discourse, the residents singled out Seeta’s Bar and Balran Sports Bar as the main causes of their discomfort. Stabroek News yesterday counted a total of six bars in the street. There are also several other shops which may also be selling alcoholic beverages.
In his opening remarks Booker said that the meeting was part of a nationwide outreach for residents to raise concerns. He said that the Kitty area is plagued by frequent complaints of noise nuisance. He said that it is up to the residents to ensure that the matters engage the attention of the courts. “We have to get a statement. Some come and others decline”, he told the gathering.
“Give us the statement so that we can pursue those persons who are operating stereo sets in a loud manner and disturbing others”, Booker said, adding that they will try their best to address the concerns raised.
The first resident to speak was Rudolph Dyal who lives at Lot 26. The man said there needs to be cooperation from the police in relation to Seeta’s bar. This bar is located close to the Vlissengen Road end of the street. He said that he lives eight houses away from his bar and as such the noise does not affect him. He said what affects him though is the actions of the patrons who come and park their vehicles in front of his home.
Dyal explained that during the wee hours of the morning, person would come in front of his home, open their car trunks and start blasting music. He said that often they would brace against his religious flags and would urinate in that area. The man said speaking to the patrons about their behaviour is pointless and the same can be said for the police at the Kitty Police Station.
He said that often when calls are made to the station for assistance, the phone rings out. “These are the problems I face. People living close to her (Seeta’s Bar) I am sorry for them”, the resident said adding that on weekends instead of using Vlissengen Road which is closer to access his home, he has to drive all the way round to Sandy Babb Street to get home because of the traffic congestion in Station Street.
“These things can be solved with policing”, Dyal said, explaining that many times persons leaves the bar under the influence of alcohol.
Concerns about noise nuisance sprang up last week after a woman who had frequently complained about it was doused with acid.
Booker in responding to the concerns raised acknowledged that the police have received complaints against Seeta’s Bar and in one case a woman had given a statement. As a result of this he said a report was done and it was recommended that the owner be charged with noise nuisance. The officer said that that matter is still engaging the attention of the court.
As it relates to the traffic situation in the street. He said that a system has been put in place where every Friday night there would be a traffic patrol out of Brickdam Police Station in the area. That arrangement came into being last week, he said adding that a crash truck will also be present to help with the removal of vehicles which may be double parking on the road. “Once we find them doing so we will remove them and take them to Brickdam. That is one of the plans we have in relation to persons going there”.
He said that in relation to loud noise, reports were received and several persons were arrested and placed before the courts. Those matters, he said are still pending.
Meanwhile Inspector Marshall said that the Force’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) state that ranks should give their names when answering the phone. She said that if this is not done a name ought to be demanded. If the rank still does not comply, she said one can visit the station and lodge a complaint which would result in the ranks who are in charge of that shift being disciplined.
Pandit Chrishna Persaud said that patrons are committing an offence when they consume their alcoholic beverages in public view. He pointed out that the grocery stores in the street are also selling alcoholic beverages adding that they are consumed there even as women and children go to make purchases.
The man warned that if things in the area do not change “something more serious will happen. I am a Hindu and I will not tolerate this”. Persaud noted that nothing is wrong with playing music but it should either be played in an enclosed area or residents should be informed with an understanding that it will stop at a specific time.
He spoke about a bottom house rum shop which has been in existence for six years and there are continuous reports about it but residents are still to get some relief.
He said that the noise is a health and an environmental issue.
Pesaud said that in relation to Balran Bar he had spoken to the owner several times about the loud music. He said that the man always apologizes but does the same thing the next day.
He noted that residents are getting angry over the situation while arguing that what is happening to them is unfair.
Persaud later said that things have calmed down with the owner but they are now being forced to endure the behavior of the patrons.
Sunil Persaud, the son of Mala Persaud who was doused with acid earlier this month after she made repeated complaints about noise nuisance, expressed belief that the traffic ranks should be present from Thursday nights through to Sunday, a recommendation which Booker said would be discussed. He called on the police to take the issue of drunk drivers seriously. He spoke of an instance where at 6 am on a Sunday music was still blasting from Seeta’s Bar.
He spoke of an instance where his father’s visa was not renewed because police in a clear case of victimization came and searched his home. He pointed out that a lot of the lawlessness at Seeta’s Bar is being fueled by the owner’s relationship with retired Assistant Commissioner Jameer Mohammed who is the Head of the Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
The religious leader called on the police to formulate policies to help deal with the issues. He noted that help is also needed from the EPA and the City Counsel in that matter
The three-member team was also told that many residents are afraid to speak out because they fear being victimized.
Meanwhile Dyal later questioned who was responsible for the issuing of liquor licences. “Don’t they take the neighbourhood and the negativities into consideration?” he said, adding that it is only a matter of time before residents take action into their own hands.
He told of a case where he and the police caught a man red-handed breaking into his home. He said that the man was sent away while he was placed on $10, 000 station bail. He said that to this day the man has not been charged and he is still on bail. When asked if he followed up the matter he said “honestly the police station don’t make any sense”, while noting that he is waiting for the day when he feels confident that he will get justice.
Another resident, who said that she is the owner of the Liquid Love bar told of instances where persons operated recklessly in front of her business. She said that she plays her music but ensures
that she is considerate.
Another resident who did not state his name said that patrons throw condoms on his bridge and asked whether he should remain silent on the issue.
Paul who lives near Balran Bar said that his daughter is suffering. He said that the she was involved in an accident during which she sustained a fractured skull. He said that the noise causes constant headaches.
He told the police of many instances where his vehicle was damaged by patrons when he complained about the noise, items stolen from inside and his rear view mirrors removed. He said that broken bottles are often left in front of his gate and he is the one who has to remove it. He said that there are many instances where he cannot get access to his home. Paul said that sometimes he had to park his vehicle in another resident’s yard.
At 6 pm he added he has to close up his home like if he is living in a jail.
He said that he was continuously told that he had only gotten “a small dose” and although police reports were made nothing was done.
Amsterdam assured the residents that the police are also concerned about Station Street and Seeta’s Bar. He told the resident that they will get justice but stressed that it will take some time.