Gov’t to criminals: “We are coming after you”
“We are coming after you.” This is the message that the new Administration sent out to Guyana’s criminal underworld yesterday following a high-level meeting to address the recent escalation of violent crime. President David Granger convened the meeting, and initial discussions for the development of a broad-based strategic crime fighting approach, that will deliver short and long term goals, were conducted with Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, Minister of Social Cohesion Amna Ally, Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Colonel Khemraj Persaud. A release issued yesterday stated that “the clear message coming out of this initial meeting is that the Administration intends to move swiftly and vigorously to arrest violent crime in Guyana.”
According to the release, more details of the meeting and information on further engagements will be made available to the public shortly, as the Government intensifies its efforts to tackle the escalating crime situation. Statistics compiled by Kaieteur News for the first six months and six days of this year, show that there have been at least 80 murders during this period. Twenty-eight of the victims were shot dead, and of this number, 14 appeared to be clear-cut execution-style killings. Many of these cases remain unsolved. The police and the new Administration have come in for criticism for the recent rise in violent crime, even though statistics released by the Force and compiled by Kaieteur News indicate that crime was on the rise from the beginning of this year. Aside from murders committed by robbers and execution-style killings, disputes and ‘crimes of passion’ accounted for most of the homicides. Fifteen women have been slain for the year, including four young females aged 19, 18, 17 and 14, and three elderly women aged 73, 67 and 68. Of this number, six were killed during confrontations with male associates; three (including two of the senior citizens), were slain during home invasions, two were found battered in remote areas; one was the victim of an execution-style murder, one died from burns after her home was set alight, one was allegedly stabbed to death by a female friend, and one of the elderly women is believed to have been slain by persons who tried to make it appear as if she was a rape/robbery victim.