Vast Police manpower behind President while ordinary citizens at mercy of criminals

first_imgDear Editor,A man was murdered on Saturday night sometime after 21:00h, on the bridge which leads to the Office of the Leader of the Opposition. I saw media reports which indicated that the victim ran to the security hut at the office and one can only imagine his last thoughts as he saw the unarmed, female Guyana Police Force special constabulary rank – who was probably without a radio set, cell phone or baton – also fleeing for her life as the murderer closed in on them both.Responsibility for the security of the constitutional office of the Leader of the Opposition rests with the State; it would appear that there is great laxity in the present arrangement. In stark contrast, while this murder was in progress, caretaker President Granger was on his way to Georgetown from Number 73 Village with his personal contingent of 62 armed policemen. This is in addition to the ranks deployed at every intersection on the East Coast Demerara public road – hundreds of policemen and women, fully armed and deployed in the service and protection of an individual who faces no known threat to his life.Editor, the weekend of October 11-13 saw an upsurge in robberies, murders, and piracy throughout Guyana. There were 10 murders in a three-day span. Region One was rocked by the brutal torture and gunning down of two brothers., Region Six saw four fishermen murdered by pirates. Region Four saw a 67-year-old grandmother strangled with a mosquito net and the aforementioned murder on Church Street. The petty crimes are too numerous to mention.As I type this letter, there are media reports of three persons being shot, with one being killed, during a robbery at one of the country’s top gold dealers.On Sunday an NGO staged a protest against the President at the SVN School in Cornelia Ida. They were met with aggressive Police response. Protesters gathered peacefully behind barriers erected by the GPF but were then subject to physical assault as the policemen and women were instructed to keep moving the barricades further away. Four protesters were dragged from behind barricades and detained; three of these were women who alleged that they were manhandled.Some Police ranks were upset too. It was raining and by 4:30 pm the ones who had to stay outside the venue were drenched. Police roadblocks started from Leonora to Hague. There was also a handful of ranks on the road from Stewartville past Pouderoyen.This week, a thirty-four member entourage of APNU/AFC candidates will descend on Region One. They will no doubt, be accompanied by a formidable Police Force contingent.Editor, I’ve outlined above how the vast resources of the State, particularly those tasked with “serving and protecting” our citizenry are being used selfishly to protect the ego of the caretaker President and his officials, albeit, from a non-existent threat. The GPF is also being used to suppress the right of citizens to peacefully express dissent. This is being done while the ordinary citizens of this country are at the mercy of rampaging criminals who are acting with relative impunity. The Guyana Police Force is already over-stretched and understaffed, therefore, this expanded mandate must be having serious effects on its crime-fighting ability.That Church Street robbery victim could’ve been alive today if a jeep load of those 62 ranks accompanying Granger were on patrol duties in Queenstown instead, who knows. Who knows how many other crimes could’ve been prevented if the large contingent of GPF ranks deployed at Cornelia Ida to shield Granger from embarrassment were instead on crime-fighting duties at various locations across the country.It is we the ordinary citizens who are suffering, but I’m sure Granger remains “unbothered”.Yours faithfully,Anson Paullast_img

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