A call to action

On Tuesday last, the swollen and partially decomposed body of Simone Hackett was fished out of a canal in the Cummings Lodge area after she had gone missing.
She was allegedly murdered at the behest of orders given by her ex-boyfriend. Her family turned up to the scene and immediately hysteria broke out. There were screams filled with agony and despair from her relatives after learning about the manner in which she died.
Before that an elderly couple from Good Hope was burnt alive to death in their home after bandits invaded their property with the intention of robbing them. Again, another family was forced to bury their loved ones and mourn the brutal circumstances in which their lives were snuffed out.
Also, the past week saw the media reporting on several robberies, petty crimes, serious assaults and murders in various parts of the country.
The truth is, far too many of our women, men and youths are dying as a result of the recent spike in crime and criminality in our country.
Far too many families are being terrorised at the dirty and merciless hands and weaponry of bandits, thugs and criminals in general.
It would appear that these criminal elements have become emboldened, strategic and well resourced. Some of them even appear to have serious connections with prominent figures in our society which sees them outmanoeuvring the security forces on one hand, and avoiding successful prosecution at the level of the judiciary on the other.
Also from media reports, reconsiderations and information provided by the Guyana Police Force, one ethnic group has become a major and lucrative target for these wanton and dastard acts.
But what is even more disturbing is the fact Government still has not managed to get the crime situation under control despite all the resources at its disposal.
Additionally, the new Govt’s crime fighting posture and policy initiative appears more reactive as opposed to proactive. The overall thrust of their actions to date could be described as ad hoc and lacking coordination. Simply put, the David Granger Government, even with all of its security experts and credentials, is lazy and continually failing the populace.
The roundtable weekly security meetings involving the security heads and the Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan which is chaired by the President is also not having any significant impact as far as causing a noticeable reduction in crime is concerned.
More needs to be done to bring those responsible for these killings and reign of terror to justice.
Far more needs to be done to prevent crime in the first place because the morals and values in our modernised Guyana appear to be losing its dynamism and effectiveness in this respect.
Workshops and talkshops will not work. A multisector and cross-ministerial approach is needed that will result in community level activism to prevent and fight crime.
The detailed security sector reforms piloted by the PPP Government needs to be implemented immediately and all of the disciplined services recommendations.
The Government needs to launch its national crime prevention and crime fighting master-plan which must have extensive proposals for the rehabilitation of convicted and remanded prisoners as well as deported citizens.
Guyanese will have to take a stand as death, terror and pain appears to be stalking this land. We will have to end these tales of pain, anguish, tears sooner rather than later if Guyana is to become safe again.
How many more lives must be lost before Government and security forces respond to the outcry from the populace? Or is it that they are awaiting another episode like that at Lusignan or Bartica before they understand the gravity of the situation?
Regardless of politics, everyone’s life must matter.