The crime situation
The armed robberies and the domestic murders seem to be continuing at an even more frenetic pace causing people to talk about a spike in crime. The statistics would show that indeed over the past two months there has been a spike in what the police call disorderly murders. These are murders that result from two people having a misunderstanding and one of them resorting to deathly force. Then there are the execution-type murders. So far there has been one with the killing of Travis Rudder. Just before the elections, an ex-policeman was shot dead in a minibus. More recently, there was the attempt on Bevon Chung which was listed as abduction. But there were the armed robberies, more in Berbice than anywhere else. Just two days ago, gunmen entered the home of a woman and shot her in the head. She is now fighting for her life. But just a few days earlier, gunmen stormed the home of Ganesh Ramlall, the owner of the Multiplex on Regent Street. They killed him and caused the business community to sit up and take notice. Before the week was out, gunmen stormed the home of Land Court Judge Nicola Pierre and proceeded to beat her and her husband. This clearly highlights the extent of lawless that now stalks the land. Guyana is not known to be a country where criminals attack officialdom. Of course officials have been attacked and robbed. In one case gunmen entered the home of a serving Magistrate and in addition to doing whatever they did, proceeded to rape her. During the crime wave of a decade ago, gunmen stormed the home of a government Minister and killed him and others who were in the house with him. We had another case of a Magistrate being attacked in her car but such attacks on people in authority are seldom. What is happening today seems to be orchestrated on the larger scale. Indeed there are the petty criminals who are jumping on the crime bandwagon. For example they rob people who have little or nothing. One young man on a bicycle attacked and robbed a newspaper vendor in an East Bank Demerara community early Friday morning. This is merely an extension of the trend that sees very young men on bicycle seeking easy target, sometimes coming away with little more than $2,000. But it is the bigger picture that is worrying. The Minister of State on the Ministry of the Presidency said that someone has to be providing the getaway vehicles and the guns. These are also the people who identify the targets. A man leaves a commercial bank and immediately a gunman latches on to him. Someone in the bank, could be an accomplice of the gunman, is keeping tabs on people going there to do business. If it is an accomplice then the bank is careless to allow people to loiter in the bank to observe the dealings of the customers. But then again it could be a teller passing on the information. This has long been suspected but never proven. The police may wish to check the phone records of tellers in the wake of a robbery. We may find that such attacks may come to an end. When people were robbed coming from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport it was thought that there was assistance from the people in the airport. Such robberies came to a screeching halt when the police arrested some of their own who once patrolled the East Bank Demerara corridor. But it is the mastermind, a leading businessman who has information about his colleagues. When there is an attack such as the one on the home of the Land Court judge, one must ask to whom the victim talked when he purchased a quantity of foreign currency. Who buys the stolen jewellery and fences them? The police have their work cut out for them yet with enough cash to lure informers many of these criminal acts could be halted.