With the brouhaha on the GECOM chairmanship taking centre stage, another serious situation is looming, and that is in the small but volatile community of Django town, Mon Repos North, on the East Coast of Demerara. In the 1980s it was a haven for the contraband trade and ensuing thieves. It later became an active fishing community but with pirates finding a perfect legacy and attachment. This later led to fishermen moving their operations to other nearby villages to evade the wrath of the pirate community and rise in the illicit drug trade. Since then, about a decade or so ago, the community has become agents for the narco trade. Boats of varying sizes come to the seawall to pick up and drop off shipments at night. Drug use has become rampant, criminals rampage through the village and neighbouring ones ever so frequently. Livestock is also stolen from other villages, brought for slaughtering and sale in the Mon Repos market by itinerant vendors.
Although police frequent the area by the jeep load, they are only there to collect their share of the goodies. Senior politicians have frequented this area in the past and enjoyed similar fetes by notorious villagers who possess large sums of money. These politicians some five years ago tried to “regularise” the area by setting up a policing group which included many criminal elements.
Compounding all of these problems is what a letter writer wrote in mid-July, the intolerable noise nuisance emanating from this village of Django town. Several notorious villagers own large music boxes, and would often play them at excessive levels with little thought for neighbours. This uncivilised level of understanding prevents neighbours from talking on the phone, and severely impairs hearing when music is on whether early morning or from mid-afternoon to late at night. You cannot report them, as the police are their best pals, who would often blatantly go to these homes to drink and have a good time. You cannot imagine the retardation which has occurred in the last 5 years or so.
Further, when there is a wedding, like the one that happened last Saturday night, 21st October, music levels are screaming crazy. Old people are severely discomforted, parents and teenagers cannot rest comfortably, while babies suffer uncontrollably. You call the police only to gaff, because they simply could not be bothered. I called the BV Police Station at 6:30pm on Saturday once the booming music started. They said once it’s a wedding they have to shut off at 12 midnight. So I said in the meantime what do we do? The police lady replied, they will get one of the van load of policemen, who already curry favour with the notorious from Django town, to go and ask them to tone it down! The music went beyond midnight, not just past, but until 8:30 am the next day! So throughout the night rest was awful. Midnight was no longer a consideration. One wakens fatigued only to be reassured that the following night, Sunday 22 October, the music will restart by late afternoon for the ongoing 3-night wedding celebrations! Not even the 2am curfew which mainly targets bars could impact the noise.
One of the ploys in loud music is robbery. Homes near and those downwind, afflicted by the noise, are often broken into, car parts are stolen as alarms have to be shut off because of the severe vibrations. Another related disruption is electricity is stolen to feed these loud music sets, especially when weddings occur. How can the authorities help us take back this village? A green economy is not only about renewable energy, it is about dismantling criminal enterprises and getting dysfunctional systems working again.
As Commissions of Inquiry are the order of the day, can the Commissioner of Police or Minister of Public Security investigate the woeful unresponsiveness and collusion at BV police station? Could the Ministry of Public Security explicitly ban the use of amplifiers when music permits are given for weddings, Bar-b-ques, and other similar dancehall activities particularly in private spaces, which currently allows this travesty? Could GRA pay some attention to those individuals with large houses who claim to operate legitimate businesses in my community? Could GPL consider running checks when loud music is played to see who is stealing current?
(Name and address supplied)