Concerns that Chinese businesses were being profiled for robberies were raised by Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Cui Jianchun, on Friday as he met with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and the Commissioner of Police Leslie James, to discuss security issues related to the Chinese community.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Public Security Ministry highlighted these concerns even as it acknowledged that a “number of Chinese business places have been burgled, with property stolen, sometimes under circumstances of violence.”
This, the Ministry said, has led the Chinese business community to feel that it is a targeted group. However, Ramjattan is contending that this is a misconception.
In dismissing the concerns of the Chinese Ambassador, Ramjattan and James assured that crime statistics and the motives of those caught does not suggest such profiling.
In fact, the Ministry said those “who are victims are generally as a result of opportunistic criminals who prey on those who may have been unalert and vulnerable.”
The two, who met with Ambassador Jianchun, nevertheless assured that every effort is being made to ensure additional Police patrols are prominently positioned in the commercial areas of the City and other communities which will deter criminal activities across the board.
The Ambassador further agreed that a meeting with the Chinese business community should be held as early as possible so that a number of concerns and questions can be directly answered.
During Friday’s meeting, the parties also discussed the Smart City project, which will be funded by a loan from China. In addition, discussions were forged on the China-Caribbean Countries Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Conference held in Grenada recently.
Ramjattan seized the opportunity on Friday to thank the Ambassador for the numerous contributions the country has made to the Force, which include providing assets and training for its ranks.
Only recently, three armed males pounced on the owner of the Real Value Supermarket located at Lot 246 Church and Thomas Streets, Georgetown and relieved the Chinese businessman of a significant amount of foreign and local currencies among other valuables.
Some weeks ago, three armed bandits were caught after they broke into a Chinese supermarket at Grove, East Bank Demerara.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday the Guyana Police Force said it recorded a whopping 23 per cent increase (37 against 30 cases last year in the same period) in robberies.
According to the Force, no instruments were used by perpetrators while a one per cent hike (405 against 402 cases) in armed robberies where firearms were used was recorded.
It stated that robberies with violence saw a five per cent increase (104 against 99 cases), while burglaries went up by four per cent (142 against 136 cases).