Criminal activities have increased in the city, and the City Constabulary has named two of Georgetown’s prominent markets as popular criminal hotspots where consumers are attacked and robbed on a daily basis. These offences are suspected to be gang-related.
Chief Constable Andrew Foo on Friday said the Stabroek and Bourda markets have been on the radar for quite a while now on the basis of the increase in criminal activities in those areas.
“Those are two areas that have been identified in terms of criminal hotspots. The Stabroek section: on the weekends, you find a number of criminal activities that are taking place primarily on the bus parks in front of the Stabroek Market. Likewise, at the Bourda Market area, we have activities occurring primarily by night and in the wee hours of the morning around two or three ‘o’ clock,” he stated. Foo explained that at the Stabroek Market, since it is a transportation hub, persons entering and leaving public transportation are the main targets. With respect to Bourda Market, most of the incidents occur among vendors and shoppers in the rush hours, when sales are at peak.
“What we’ve found at the Stabroek and Bourda areas, most of these activities are gang-related. We’ve had information that some persons who are seasoned — old in terms of criminal elements — they are the ones who are orchestrating these robberies. They have the younger persons who are working with them; and likewise, you have persons operating on motorcycles, so they operate in pairs, so it is more gang-related,” Foo disclosed.
In some cases, the Chief Constable revealed, students are participating in these offences. To tackle this issue, there have been collaborations between the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Constabulary to provide a 24h patrol.
“Like the Guyana Police Force (GPF), we (the Constabulary) would’ve been working very quietly to keep a limb on these activities. What we would’ve done, being quite aware that our numbers are a bit limited, we would’ve had a joint arrangement with the Guyana Police Force; and we’ve since launched a joint patrol,” Foo explained.
Of all the criminal activities reported, the Chief Constable revealed, simple larceny and robbery are the common widespread offences.
“In keeping with those areas in the reports that we’ve been getting of larceny and robberies being committed, we’ve made an effort in terms of resources allocated to those areas. Therefore, our focus is in those two in terms of areas to ensure that the members of the public and shoppers are kept safe,” he said.
Foo emphasised the fact that the City Constabulary has a responsibility to regulate the vending activities within the city, and as such, works have also been done in that area.
“Outside of that, we have a responsibility (to regulate) vending activities within the city. Whilst we are aware that there is a soft approach in terms of vending, there is a need at times for activities of vendors to be regulated, and the Constabulary continues to work in that area. The Constabulary has a responsibility in terms of the enforcement of the city government bylaws as well as other laws within the city limits, as well as in terms of providing support to the other departments.”