- as overall robberies increase 15% while robbery with violence surges 54%
On the backdrop of a 15 percent overall increase in robberies with a 54 percent uptick in robberies with violence, coupled with other criminal activities, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has announced several measures to beef up security during this year’s Christmas season. Some of the measures forming part of the plans include vehicle, foot & bicycle patrols, road blocks, riverine postures and parking arrangements to reduce traffic congestion. These security initiatives were announced at a press conference at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary on Monday.
The plans have already taken effect as Guyanese prepare for the annual traditions associated with the Christmas season where shopping late hours is expected. Special focus on implementing the measures will be placed in the capital city, Georgetown where the majority of country’s serious crimes are recorded. ‘A’ Division Commander Marlon Chapman said that police presence will be beefed up around several strategic areas which include the seawall, Stabroek Market, banks, restaurants and night clubs.
Chapman added that security presence will be increased at the Georgetown Prison; Dennis Street Sophia, Robb and Regent Streets, Vlissingen Road, Homestretch Avenue and the East Bank Demerara Highway with special focus on the Demerara Harbour Bridge. He added that the GPF will collaborate with the business community, entertainers, the city constabulary and community policing groups, all with the aim of tackling increased criminal activity.
Traffic Chief Deon Moore noted that the security measures commenced Monday morning and will continue up to January 15, 2018. It was related that in ‘A’ Division, there will be security and traffic arrangements to facilitate commuters for late night shopping during Christmas Eve Day and for the Old Year’s Night celebrations.
Increase in Robberies
Police Preliminary statistics presented by Acting Crime Chief Paul Williams during the press conference, revealed that in all Divisions (A-G), there was 15 percent increase in overall robberies but a 17 percent decrease in robbery under arms. These numbers were for the period January-October 2017 with the comparative period for 2016. The year by year comparison showed that robbery with violence surged 54 percent (79 cases in 2016; 122 in 2017) and a similar uptick in robbery with aggravation at 38 percent (52 cases vs. 72 cases).
Notably, the number of murders recorded decreased 21 percent and recorded rape cases also decreased by 9 percent (218 vs 198). Though Break and Enter cases decreased by 15 percent to 906 cases; larceny from the persons surged 14 percent. There were no authentic reports of kidnapping as both 2016 and 2017 showed zero cases. According to the acting Crime Chief’s overall numbers, serious crime decreased by 9 percent with 2,768 cases vs. 2525 cases for the period January to October 2016-2017.