By Devina Samaroo
Criminal raids three times a week, heightened Police patrols and greater presence in neighbourhoods, intensified training among Police ranks, and the resuscitation of social programmes, are all components of a crime prevention strategy that contributed to the overall 19 per cent reduction in serious crimes at the end of April, relative to the same period last year.
Senior Police officials are staunchly dismissing the widespread perception that criminal elements are becoming emboldened and that crime is spiralling out of control.
They are contending that the public perception on the crime situation is a sheer misrepresentation and that a simple glance at the statistics will prove this.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) reported that there was a nine per cent reduction in murder; a nine per cent decrease in gun related robberies; eight per cent decrease in armed robberies where other instruments other than a gun were used by perpetrators; 38 per cent decrease in robberies with violence; 38 per cent decrease in robberies with aggravation; 18 per cent decrease in rape and 22 per cent decrease in break and enter and larceny.
According to the Police, this represents a 32 per cent decrease against those reported in March this year.
Crime in Berbice
Assistant Commander of B Division (Berbice) Ian Amsterdam, dismissed concerns raised by the local business community about the increasing crime wave in the Ancient County.
He reported that Berbice recorded 21 serious crimes, down from 34 in March, 33 in February and 41 in January.
Amsterdam maintained the regional crime plan is “definitely working”, adding that the local Police will be doubling their efforts to continue to arrest the situation.
These efforts, he said, includes working on more intelligence gathering, conducting raids in areas where criminal elements are suspected to be harbouring, and increasing patrols.
Particularly, he said much focus is being placed on clamping down on the criminal safe havens located in Rose Hall, Rosignol, Corriverton and New Amsterdam.
The Assistant Commander noted too that while the ranks are working with limited resources, they are doing the best they can to keep the crime situation under control.
Overlooking the fact that over six families were terrorised, robbed and in some instances killed within a space of one week in Berbice, Amsterdam said persons are peddling the wrong perception about the crime rate in the country.
Referring to the contentions made by the two leading Chambers of Commerce in Berbice, the Assistant Commander posited the bodies are spreading the wrong perception about crime.
“The Chambers didn’t speak to me. If they had spoken to me, I would have said that this is the wrong time to say that crime is on the increase. Maybe a month or two ago, they could have said that, but the very month that they speak is the very month that crime went down,” he stated, noting that people will believe the misinformation and disregard the statistics.
Meanwhile, the GPF boasted of the continuous exposure of its ranks to training; both locally and internationally.