Your Eyewitness was one of those who called for a more proactive response by the Police to the crime tsunami sweeping the country in general, and Berbice in particular. With the overwhelming majority of the crimes being committed by gun-toting bandits, he called for the deployment of the SWAT Unit to take them on, on an equal footing. The regular Police were invariably late on the scene, even after frantic calls and it was suspected they feared they’d be outgunned.
Well, the SWAT Unit WAS rushed out to Berbice but it was the “regular” Police who, evidently acted on intelligence, swooped down on the bandits’ hideout and claiming they were greeted by gun fire, returned the same and killed all three bandits. Now we know they were the bandits since an AR15, several handguns, bullets, burglary equipment, jewellery and cash were recovered. But several questions arise.
The first one, of course, is why hadn’t the Police launched this operation before?? From what we heard from relatives after the strike, all three dead bandits were “known characters”, whose homes had been raided before when crimes in the area had been committed. What was lacking, in the estimation of your Eyewitness, was the intelligence. And the main reason for this is there aren’t enough Police personnel drawn from the local communities who would be able to cultivate a network of informers to keep them posted.
These bandits didn’t helicopter out after their depredations. Like the bandits who’d been holed up in Buxton back in the day, these fellas remained in the community – and obviously were supported by their own network in the community. We’re told they had freshly cooked food – someone must’ve have prepared and delivered this! Police intelligence is lacking in all areas of the country – and this leads to another question on the minds of some citizens.
Are the Police in cahoots with some of the criminals?? And is this why in most of these encounters, the bandits are invariably all slaughtered and the Police don’t even get a scratch? If there were actually bullets flying first from the bandits – as is invariably the reason given by the Police for their deadly fusillade – how come their element of surprise is always lost?? Is it a case of dead men don’t tell no tales??
Last month we learnt that Police were being equipped with body cameras for traffic stops and other ordinary interactions with the public. Shouldn’t the units conducting raids with the possibility of using deadly force also wear cameras as Standard Operating Practice??
Your Eyewitness won’t discuss the accusations by some that deadly force is only used on bandits of a certain ilk.
Save to note this was this point made by Mr Hoyte, re “Blackie”.
…and its origins
In the mind-boggling round of criminality kicked off in the first decade of this millennium – with its epicentre in Buxton and led by the prison-breakout Mash 5 – there was a welter of analyses on the conditions producing it. While there were vehement disputations on many points, there was unanimity on two: the bandits were prison graduates and were nurtured in poverty stricken environments. There evidently weren’t too many ways to enjoy the “good life” by honest means.
And what do we already know about the Berbice bandits? They were all prison graduates and were operating in Berbice, which had always been at the lower end of the economic ladder. But with 4000+ sugar workers thrown out of work, they quickly slid to the bottom. The point is, while structural factors mightn’t ALWAYS compel people into certain actions, they certainly encourage those actions.
And it’s for this reason, the Government should’ve rethought their unilateral action on sugar. But vengeance is mine, said the PNC!
It was interesting that after one person was apprehended for a murder committed at Leguan, the father of the victim wrote a fervent thank you to some high-level Police officials from GT.
Why couldn’t the arrest be made by the locals?