The City Constabulary will be recommending that vending be discontinued under the Stabroek Market clock, following the discovery of a rifle there, according to Chief Constable Andrew Foo.
This discovery came less than two weeks after officers found a quantity of plant materials, suspected to be marijuana, as well as break and enter tools in the same area.
“This discovery underscores the seriousness of the situation around the Stabroek Market which is perceived to be a criminal hotspot. Our intelligence is that that area is a haven for criminals who are involved in the selling of narcotics and other unsavoury nocturnal activities. We have found that robberies in these areas happen in the early mornings and late in the night. This raid is part of our strategy to secure the areas surrounding the major market of Stabroek and Bourda. We will also be recommending to the council that as they secure new places for vending, they consider moving vendors from this area,” Foo told a press briefing at City Hall yesterday.
Foo explained that a joint operation between constables responsible for the Stabroek Market area and the constabulary’s investigation division led to the discovery of the rifle.
Superintendent Gordon Langevine, who holds responsibility for the Stabroek area, explained that an operation was conducted at the Stabroek Market canopy on Wednesday, at about 9 pm, based on intelligence gathered.
During the raid, the officers observed two individuals, one of whom appeared suspicious, “…sitting on a stall in a hoodie… I directed that he be searched. As the officers approached him, he dropped a bag and made good his escape. Several officers gave chase but they were unable to catch him,” he said.
A check of the bag uncovered the rifle, which had been disassembled. Foo explained that the weapon would be turned over to the police force so that its origins, among other things, may be determined. No ammunition was found with the rifle.
Langevine later yesterday afternoon addressed vendors that operate in the canopy section of the market and he asked that they cooperate with the city police as they move to make the area safe again.
Vendors were specifically asked not store items at their stalls at the end of the business day, since this practice creates obstacles that prevent city police members from seeing behind the stalls.
According to Langevine, they not only found the rifle but also tasers and ice picks. He noted that many of the criminals would use stalls to hide narcotics and weapons. Vendors, on the other hand, asked that more city constables be placed in the vicinity of the Stabroek Market. A vendor suggested that armed constables be placed at all the market gates. Other vendors also requested the presence of ranks from the Guyana Police Force.
Langevine disclosed that as the Christmas season approaches, they would be heightening their presence.