Vendors frustrated at increased robberies in Stabroek Market area
…Police increase presence
Vendors who trade around the Stabroek Market area have voiced concerns about the increase in robberies there. According to vendors, this has had an impact on sales in the area, and persons are now diverting their patronage due to criminal elements.
Speaking with this publication, several vendors have said that pickpockets have been touring the area, waiting for unsuspecting prey.
On Saturday last, a major retailer on Water Street, Georgetown released CCTV footage of a robbery that occurred in front of the store. The video, seen by this publication, showed a man clad in a short blue pants, white T-shirt, and a black hat following a woman along the road. However, she came to stop in front of the store, and the man approached her from behind and relived her of her gold chain.
Speaking with Guyana Times on Wednesday, one vendor said almost every week someone gets robbed around that area. He said the men would usually arm themselves with knives to commit the robberies.
“When people waking here, they will have to hold on to their bags, and sometimes that don’t even help, because they (thieves) would cut it open. Them does thief from chain, phone and anything they can find,” he said.
Another vendor, who gave her name only as Pat, said the increase in the amount of robberies recently has definitely affect business. She said that after this state of affairs continues for some period, she believes persons would not want to come around that area to purchase anything.
“That is unfair to us, because we work very hard to feed our families. I can’t understand why they can’t go and look for a proper job. Everybody works hard for their things, and they coming from nowhere and taking it. What will that do for them? Because two more morning from now, Police might shoot them and kill them,” she said.
Meanwhile, Regional Commander Simon McBean has said the Police have not received numerous reports about robberies in that area. He said that based on Police statistics, there has been a decrease in the amount of robberies in that area.
“…for the past two weeks, there has been one report of robbery. For the year, or to date, we are having a 13.4% decrease…we have also had robbery-under-arms an 11.7% decrease. With robbery-with- violence, we have had a 70.9% decrease…,” he explained.
According to the Commander, knowing that for years the vicinity has been known for robberies, for this month, the Police have deployed six foot patrols and five bicycle patrols in that area. He added that that is in conjunction with their motorcycle and vehicle patrols.
“Recently, I also had a meeting with the City Constabulary, where we are planning joint patrols between the Police and the Constabulary to deal with all the markets in Georgetown. We are dealing with the issue, but I wouldn’t say there is an increase in robberies, based on our statistics reported,” McBean has said.
Mc Bean also said there might also have been cases where robberies were not reported, hence why their statistics show a decrease. He has assured that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is tightening up security in Georgetown. (G9)