The law on rum and noise abuse should be enforced; it is time to return civility to Guyana

Dear Editor,

One of the failures of the coalition government has been the continuation of the Jagdeo/PPP policy of the police condoning rum abuse and noise nuisance. My personal experience as a victim of noise nuisance is that the police make no arrest, even in the face of very intoxicated, disorderly, and threatening perpetrators. The police would warn the perps and leave. The drunks would continue with the noise at higher decibels. It is like the police catching a rapist in the act, making no arrest, warning the rapist, leaving the victim with the attacker, and when the cops leave the rape continues. To make my case I share my experience on 1st Jan, 2018.

I got home at 5.30pm after a fishing trip, and my one of my neighbours was indulging in rum drinking and making noise. The more they drank the more they got drunk and the louder they amplified the music/noise. By 7.15 pm I came down with a headache and could no longer bear the shock waves pounding my head. I called the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station and made a report. Between 7.20 pm and 9.30 pm I called the station 7 times, but only got through on 3 occasions. I visited the station twice. I also called 2 senior police officers. When the police patrol came they found the neighbour to be very intoxicated, disorderly, and threatening. He had to be restrained by 3 female family members. The police warned the perp rather than arrest him. When the police left the noise continued. The police returned. The noise stopped. The offender locked his gate and refused to speak with the police. The cops said that they could not enter the premises and left.

That was clearly a case of non-enforcement of the law and I have experienced it 5 times in the last 2 years, so I would say it is the policy of the police force. Such a policy came about during the 23 year reign of the PPP, and it was aimed at making PPP supporters feel empowered. They  drank as much rum as they could and made as much noise as they could and the police would not charge them in exchange for them turning a blind eye to the depravities of some in the PPP leadership. Such a policy helped birth the rum-till-I-die culture of many PPP supporters. Such a culture has been very detrimental to a large segment of the Guyanese population. It has led to an epidemic of rum abuse, domestic violence, noise nuisance, cutlass violence, murder, suicide, drunk driving, vehicular accidents and deaths.

It is high time the APNU+AFC government reverses the PPP policy on rum and noise abuse. Enforcing the law would lead to a reduction in rum abuse, domestic violence, noise nuisance, cutlass violence, murder, suicide, drunk driving, vehicular accidents and deaths. Time to return civility to Guyana.

Yours faithfully,

Malcolm Harripaul

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