While noting that the crime rate in Berbice has recorded as decline, 42 per cent, comparative to last year, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) also said that the county has seen a 30 per cent increase in robbery under arms incidents where guns were used.
According to the GPF, serious crimes have shown a decline over the past year; between January 1 and October 21, 2017, Police have recorded 236 incidents of serious crimes, and for the corresponding period this year, the record shows 199 incidents. Murders for the period under review in 2017 were 24, as against 17 this year.
While robbery under arms incidents where guns were used moved from 24 to 32, a 30 per cent increase, robberies under arms where instruments other that guns were used showed a steep decline, with seven recorded this year as against 27 for the corresponding period last year.
Break and enter and larceny also showed a significant reduction, from 168 in 2017 to 68 in 2018. Robbery with violence, according to the GPF, also had a decline, moving from 15 to 13.
These figures were release on Monday as “B” Division launched its Christmas Policing for 2018. Deputy Commander of “B” Division, Superintendent Wayne De Haarte, told reporters that the division has put in place a number of strategies to make the area safer for residents and visitors during the Christmas period.
“We will be having mobile patrols by day and night in the housing and business sectors. Patrols will be deployed in all sectors: vehicular, motorcycle, bicycle, and foot patrols, in the main commercial areas,” he said.
These areas include New Amsterdam, Rose Hall Town, Port Mourant, Hampshire, Rosignol, D’Edward, Corriverton and several villages along the Upper Corentyne.
Divisional Commander Senior Superintendent Paul Langevine assured that the Division is well equipped with human resources.
“We have enough officers,” he said.
The Christmas Policing Programme in Berbice will also see mounted patrols in the backlands and roadblocks being maintained on the eastern end of the Berbice River Bridge and at Weldaad Police Station.
“Ranks will be detailed to monitor the linking and shopping areas in all sectors, and we will continue our social crime prevention activities within communities,” De Haart has said.
“Ranks will be deployed at markets on the following days: New Amsterdam, Mondays to Saturdays; Rose Hall Town, Mondays to Saturdays; Port Mourant, Fridays and Saturdays; Springlands, Mondays to Saturdays; and Rosignol, Mondays to Saturdays.
Marine patrols will be conducted in the Berbice River (and in) Canje Creek,” the Deputy Commander has outlined.
However, he noted that the Police need the support and cooperation of members of the public to ensure that the Christmas Policing Programme is a success.
As such, he urges that during the Christmas period, when persons are shopping or going home from parties, they use a valid taxi service. Business persons who are transporting large sums of money are being urged to do so with effective security.
De Haarte noted that any concerns persons have relative to their personal security when they are out shopping could be related to a Police officer on duty, who will be in all the major shopping areas. DeHaarte has said that from now until mid-January, there will be regular vehicular patrols throughout the day and night in all communities. The Divisional Commander expressed confidence that persons who live in Berbice or those who may wish to visit will be safe.
“This programme will not achieve its success if we do not get support of the members of the public. Our plan entails a lot of stop-and-search and patrols. We cannot be here, there and everywhere; so we will depend a lot on members of the public. We don’t want citizens seeing things happening and not reporting to us.
“Our intention is to get anyone who is bent on breaking the law and making citizens’ lives uncomfortable. Just like how we’re planning, the criminals are planning to take advantage with the increased commercial activity and congestion on the road; so we have to work towards ensuring that their plans are not successful,” Langevine said. (Andrew Carmichael)