Promised Friday night patrols short-lived, say Station Street residents

Station Street, Kitty residents say that for the past two weeks police have not honoured promises to deploy a patrol in the area to control the traffic congestion on Friday nights.

They are very disturbed over the situation, especially since patrons of Seeta’s Bar are still parking their vehicles along every available space in the street, and in some instances preventing residents from entering and exiting their yards.

One resident told Stabroek News that police patrolled on June 7 and June 14 but have not returned on any of the Fridays since then. “For two weeks they haven’t come. I feel terrible because things gone right back to how it was,” the resident said.

At a community meeting on June 12, senior police officers who were on hand said that there would be patrols along the street every Friday night, in response to repeated complaints by residents concerning the impact of the many bars along the street.

Deputy Superintendent Steve Booker, who is in charge of the No 3 subdivision under which Station Street, Kitty falls, had said that every Friday night there would be a traffic patrol out of Brickdam Police Station in the area. The arrangement, he said, came into being the previous week.

Booker also told the residents that a crash truck would also be deployed to help with the removal of vehicles double parked along the road. There was also a request for patrols to continue the entire weekend and residents were told that it would be considered.

When contacted about the situation, police spokesman Ivelaw Whittaker told Stabroek News that  police ranks are maintaining the patrols in that area, not only on Friday nights but also Saturdays and Sundays. However, he added that the complaints by residents will be looked at.

According to Whittaker, the police presence and other arrangements put in place by the owner of Seeta’s Bar have led to an improvement in the traffic situation. There has also been an attempt to prevent the owner from opening but that matter is presently in court.

Whittaker explained that after the community meeting, two exercises were held in the street and eight persons were arrested—three on the first occasion and five on the second—and ranks also clamped a few vehicles and towed them away.

He added that subsequently there was an altercation between the patrons and the police and that matter is before the court. He did not go into details about the altercation but a resident told this newspaper that on June 16, a patron parked his vehicle on a resident’s bridge and ignored a request by the resident to move it in order for him to access his yard. A rank in the area at the time intervened, the resident said, adding that the drunken driver was found resting in the vehicle.

Stabroek News was told that when the rank attempted to arrest the man, other patrons converged and they started to beat the rank, who sustained a broken limb in the attack and had to be treated at the hospital.

Whittaker said that the owner of Seeta’s Bar has also employed two persons to help deal with the patrons. It was noted that the ranks are not only patrolling Station Street at weekends but other areas as well, including Hadfield Street, in the vicinity of the White Castle Fish Shop, Main Street and Waterloo Street, near Jerries.

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