The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has recorded a 10% increase in serious crimes for the first five months of the year as compared to the same period in 2014.
Serious crimes include murder, armed robbery, robbery with violence, robbery with aggravation, larceny from the person, break and enter and larceny, burglary, rape, and kidnapping.
A statement issued yesterday by the GPF said data collected showed that 66 murders were recorded at the end of May, 2015, in comparison to 59 murders at the end of May, 2014, representing an increase of 12%.
In addition, by June 11th, eight murders were recorded, compared to six for the same period in June, 2014.
The statement further said that at the end of May, 2015, armed robberies overall had decreased by 8% in comparison to the same period in 2014, including a decrease of 9% in the number of armed robberies involving the use of firearms and a decrease of 6% in armed robberies where instruments other than firearms were used by the perpetrators.
It added that a total of 50 illegal firearms have been recovered by the police, comprising 31 pistols, 10 revolvers, 3 shotguns, 5 rifles and 1 pen-gun at the end of May.
Police advised members of the public to be vigilant and to report to the police any suspicious person(s) who they may observe to be lurking in their neighbourhoods, during the day or night.
The police also provided an update on open murder cases.
Police said there has been no arrest as yet as investigations continue into the murder of Alicia McPherson, 17, who was fatally stabbed at ‘B’ Field, Sophia, on April 19, 2015. A wanted bulletin was issued for the suspect, Shivanand Roopnarine.
Investigations are also continuing into the murder of Shawn Anys of Turkeyen, who was shot and killed during an armed robbery at his home on May 1st, 2015. Investigations are also continuing into the murder of Sherwin Barrow, 19, of East Ruimveldt, Georgetown, who was shot and killed during an argument with two men at Warlock, East Ruimveldt, on May 6th, 2015; Indian national Amendria Singh, who was killed at his home at D’Aguiar Park, on May 26th, 2015; and Ramesh Puran, who was shot and killed during an armed robbery at his home at Belvedere, Corentyne, on May 14th, 2015. The police said a total of six men were arrested and questioned during the investigation of Puran’s murder, but they were later released.
The investigation is also still ongoing into the death of Chandroutie Persaud, of Mahaica, East Coast Demerara. She was found dead in her home on May 23rd, 2015, with her mouth gagged and her hands tied. Five men were arrested and questioned but were subsequently released.
Meanwhile, police also announced that the force is moving to re-intensify efforts aimed at crime prevention through its police-community partnership programme along with social crime prevention interventions in the Policing Divisions with special emphasis on empowering youths. It was noted that there was a pause in activities in this regard in May owing to security preparations for the general elections.
According to the statement, members of the Youth Clubs in “E” Division (Linden) profited from Information Technology Classes and First Aid Training during the month, while officers and other ranks of “B” Division (Berbice) assisted in the cleaning up of New Amsterdam and were also involved in the enhancing of the environment at the St. Theresa’s Primary School.
In addition, there were three interventions supported by the religious community in the Cops and Faith Community Network, which treats with juvenile first offenders for minor crimes as a preventive intervention to the New Opportunity Corps.
The statement noted that since the launch of the Cops and Faith Community Network, and unto May 31st, 2015, there has been a total of 156 such interventions, with all cases of youths being counseled by religious leaders. It added that after the involvement of parents/guardians, and the victims where necessary, the majority of them were warned and sent away.