The police have been dealing aggressively with acts of piracy

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Police Force is responding to an article published in the Kaieteur News of Monday June 24, 2013, under the caption ‘Fisheries Chairman slams police, judiciary for not enforcing Piracy Act.’  In the article the Chairman of the Upper Corentyne Fishermen’s Co-op Society and Berbice Anti-Piracy Squad Mr Pravinchandra Deodat is quoted as accusing the Guyana Police Force of failing to appropriately deal with acts of piracy. According to the article he also stated that the police do not share information with the Fishermen’s Co-op and it seems that the police do not acknowledge the Piracy Act.

The Guyana Police Force wishes to state that we have been dealing aggressively with acts of piracy. Over the past five years the police have conducted investigations into thirty reports of piracy in Berbice, that occurred within the territory of Guyana, and which resulted in twenty-three cases being placed before the courts.

In many instances fishermen living in and operating from Berbice have been implicated and charged, including a sibling of the Chairman of the No 66 Fishermen’s Co-op Society.

Given the fact that fisher folks from Berbice are involved in these acts of piracy, the police have some reservations concerning the sharing of information on their operations/strategies.

It also appears that the Chairman’s understanding of the law in relation to the Piracy Act is not adequate. With the exception of incidents occurring on the high seas under certain circumstances, the police can only prosecute offenders for offences committed within the territory of Guyana.

The Guyana Police Force has a very productive working relationship with our counterparts in Suriname on reports of piracy, in addition to other law enforcement issues.

Yours faithfully,
Ivelaw Whittaker
Public Relations
and Press Officer
Guyana Police Force

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