The government needs additional security measures and assets

Dear Editor,

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is gravely concerned about the inability of law enforcement authorities to arrest violent crime in Guyana. Murders, shootings, armed robberies, domestic violence, rape, car-jacking, assaults and other serious crimes are pervasive.  Sections of the population live in fear. Guyanese abroad fear being robbed or killed when visiting home. The crime situation prompted the US State Department on November 25, 2017, to warn US citizens to “Exercise increased caution in Guyana due to crime. Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common.  Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.”

Crime has subsided in comparison to a decade ago, but abject lack of resources and insufficient deployment of security assets have emboldened criminals to act with impunity and inspired more lethal criminal activities.  The brazen robbery and killing of America Street money-changer, Shawn Nurse (aka ‘Fabulous’), on February 4, 2018, and other recent shootings, evince such criminal audacity. Daily press reports of armed robberies, shootings and murders are damaging Guyana’s image and undermining our nascent ecotourism and petroleum industries. Crime will also deter foreign investments and engender more warnings from Washington and other major capitals.

Murderous Venezuelan gangs, ‘Sindicatos’ are terrorizing residents along the border. Villagers, businesses and gold miners in Hosororo, White Water and communities in the Amakuru River, in Region One, live in fear in Region Seven. There have also been reports of them in Region One. Venezuelan gang members cross the border into these communities in Guyana, unrestricted. They conduct shoot-outs, demand taxes and seize cash, gold, household items and store inventories.

They have ostensibly killed several Guyanese working in Venezuelan border mining communities and reportedly beheaded a young Guyanese miner in January. This gruesome killing was videotaped and released on social media. I am from Essequibo. I’m in communication with residents in these Regions. They advise that these murders remain uninvestigated and report no increase in security or capture of gang members to restore public safety.  The border remains lawless and dangerous. Residents feel vulnerable and neglected. Apart from Major General Joe Singh (retired) warning about this dangerous border crisis, there have been no warnings from national security authorities or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This neglect and abdication of the solemn responsibility of a government ‒ protection of its citizens, is a national disgrace!

These are challenging times for Guyana. While the country is developing, its security and defence infrastructure remain anaemic. Laws, assets, services and the criminal justice system are underfunded, under-resourced and antiquated. Crime-fighting measures by successive governments have been inadequate or ineffective. This coalition government’s record on security is dismal. No one has been held accountable for its copious public safety failures. High crime and activities on the Venezuela border pose significant threats to stability and national security. Simultaneously, there is an increased world focus on Guyana, whose international profile has been elevated because of imminent oil production.

While the border controversy is addressed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the government needs to implement new measures to bring crime under urgent control. If not these pervasive lethal, crimes will destabilize the country. Apart from recruiting, training and deploying thousands more law enforcement and defence personnel, the government needs a 1000 fold increase in additional security resources and assets. The national treasury alone cannot fund these acquisitions. The government will have to mobilize these resources from the international community. Our diplomats around the world should be tasked with this responsibility. Guyana’s criminal codes must be updated and existing penalties severely toughened to protect from modern crimes and new criminal techniques. Security services must dramatically increase patrols on the border, coastal waterways, in Georgetown and other population centres. These and other measures will give citizens confidence that the government is competent and deserving of their support.

Yours faithfully,

Rickford Burke

President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy

 

 

 

Comments  

A single group of investors saved the Ogle Airport project but does not control the facility

Dear Editor, As a former Minister of government, we would have thought that Mr.

Jagan and the PPP broke their promise to revoke the Burnham constitution

Dear Editor, Mr Anil Nandlall has offered compelling evidence to show how Burnham subverted the law and the independence constitution to drive his ambition of having absolute power in Guyana (riposte titled `While the Westminster Constitution remained in force for 16 years Burnham dismantled some pillars on which it was constructed’ (SN Feb 23).

We see great potential for the future of Berbice and Guyana cricket

Dear Editor, The new executive of the Berbice Cricket Board elected on February 18, 2018 must be congratulated.

Basic common sense was ignored when making decisions on sugar industry

Dear Editor, According to media reports, Finance Minister Winston Jordan is seeking to raise between $10 and $15 billion to restore the viability of the operations of Enmore and Rose Hall Estates.

Blocked flag raising

Dear Editor, It is baffling that a national event, like flag raising, could be blocked for lack of police permission on the one hand and the alleged non-agreement of the featured speaker on the other hand.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×