Guyana Police –Guilty by  Omission: Of Failure to put Motorcycle Crime in Remission

By Yvonne Sam

Let the criminals know they may commit the crime and ride but will serve the time and cannot hide.

I am penning these few lines hoping that at the conclusion some degree of clarity will enshroud my enigmatic cranium. Once again (or as always) crime in Guyana is seemingly spiraling out of control.  While this in itself is of grave concern, even more serious is the mode of transportation being used by the perpetrators, along with an accompanying and increasing ability to elude capture.

At a press conference recently, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, in reference to the country’s current crime rate, spoke thus, “the impression that Guyana is in a “really bad state” as compared to other countries with regard to the country’s crime rate is “not true”., “sometimes this thing is emblazoned across the front pages of newspapers giving the impression as though we are in a real bad state, [but it’s] not really true”.           

Conversely in September 2012, the then Guyana Police Force(GPF) Crime Chief Seelall Persaud, told Stabroek News that the utilization of motorcycles in the carrying out of serious crimes including executions and armed robberies were on the rise, but the numbers are not disquieting the police.

In fact, adding further national insult to civic injury the Crime Chief claimed that the number is inconsequential when compared to the total of serious crimes committed, noting that for the first half of 2012 there had been 23 recorded cases of motorcycles being used in crimes.

In June 2012, while out dining with friends at a Thomas Street restaurant, Director of Pest Control Mohammed Baksh, was fatally shot. The assassins fled the scene on motorcycles.   August 2012 while sitting with some other males on Waterloo Street, Kevin Singh was gunned down; again a motorcycle was used as the getaway transportation.  Crime Chief Leslie James in 2014, further corroborated that CG Honda motorcycles were the preferred getaway bike used by criminal elements in the commission of crimes especially armed robberies.

The emerging picture reveals— spiraling crime, passage of time,  2 Crime Chiefs, 7 years later,  no change within range,  just a country hurtling towards impending doom because those in authority are totally disregarding the elephant in the room.

The lingering question remains — At the police station who is safeguarding the safety and security of the nation?  Whose role is it to control? Even in the face of the Canadian and U. S Government circulating travel advisories, the rising crime rate still fails to be addressed with the level of immediate urgency it has merited. In fact, in July 2011 Crime Chief, Seelall Persaud, took umbrage at the advisory issued by the US State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council on crimes in Guyana in general, and Georgetown in particular.

Time should not be spent on ascertaining the source country of the motorcycles, the number of motorcycles in the country, or the means by which they arrived in the country. The Guyana Government and all representatives of the law are guilty by omission of not effecting measures that would put crime in remission. What happens next, now that the facts are known and the acts shown? Various branches of law enforcement have sought assistance from overseas agencies in educating local personnel on measures to be adopted in eliminating/ combatting crime.  Have motorcycle crimes been overlooked? If so, what are the underlying reasons for this blatant oversight?  Could the assumption be applied that currently the criminals on motorcycles are more adept than the ranks?

Conclusively, cutting to the chase and circumventing all afore-expressed rhetoric by the Crime Chiefs, the call is being made for the Police to step up their game or accept the blame.

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