Over the past days, Guyanese have been waking up to the news of death as crime and accidents have claimed the lives of several persons.
In a stinging statement on Tuesday, and justifiably so, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) called out the Guyana Police Force and asked that they address real crime and the crime rate in Guyana that has, once again, begun to spiral out of control. Interestingly, the Miner’s Association said in a direct question to Public Security Minister and Third Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan, “How many more must be robbed, or be slaughtered before it is accepted that we have a crime issue in Guyana which must be addressed?”
Clearly furious at the cold-blooded murder of miner Deon Stoll on Monday as he was about to conduct business at the establishment of El Dorado Trading, the GGDMA asked, “Where are the Police patrols? What has happened to the hundreds of vehicles and motorcycles the Government of Guyana has given to the Guyana Police Force? Are these vehicles being used for its intended purposes? What are the Guyana Police Force’s plans to address this upsurge in crime?”
However, these are the very questions on the lips of Guyanese who have been ignored over the past few years. These questions have been left clearly unanswered by the Minister himself, the hierarchy of the Guyana Police Force and by large the Government itself. Incidentally, this APNU/AFC Government is made up persons with the most security/defence career backgrounds. Unfortunately, no genuine coherent plan to robustly pursue criminal elements within Guyana has been conceptualised and the little that have been put forward have proven to be no deterrent to the criminals— who are carrying out brutal, senseless killings and robberies with ease. It is a constant barrage on people’s mindset as criminals operate with impunity executing brazen robberies from which no law abiding citizen feels a sense of insulation. No country, especially one that stands to potentially break new economic grounds, can afford this level of insecurity. Solutions must be robustly pursued and while the harsh realities have to be conveyed to the citizenry, there must be a sense of real optimism and hope.
As was previously stated by this newspaper, the lengthy delay in taking action exacerbated fear among citizens and emboldened the criminals. Many asked if the authorities made themselves deliberately oblivious of the ongoing spate of crime. This is noteworthy in the context that the Public Security Minister is expected to be an integral part of routine high-level national security meetings. Guyanese would expect the national security meetings to discuss status reports on crime, its frequency and the impact of interventions or lack thereof. To repeat previously asked questions: how many crimes must be committed and how many citizens must be beaten or killed before a meaningful intervention by the Public Security Ministry or the Government made up of much security experts?
Citizens want Police to intervene to curb crime. Citizens want to live without fear. Those are not unfair expectations, especially when they pay for such services through taxes. Any appearance of reluctance to take necessary action would not only be a disservice, but a failure to govern in their best interest.
Given what continues to play out holistically regarding crime, one wonders whether there is a logical explanation for what appears a hesitancy on the part of the current political leadership to frontally tackle crime.
To repeat what was said by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association: How many more must be robbed, or be slaughtered before it is accepted that we have a crime issue in Guyana which must be addressed?