Crime reduction high on police agenda this Christmas

L-R Crime Chief Michael Kingston, Commander Marlon Chapman and Traffic Chief Linden Isles preparing to field questions from the press on Friday

On Friday morning the Guyana Police Force rolled out a comprehensive plan to address the issues of traffic and crime countrywide and specifically Georgetown where the bulk of activities for the festive season usually takes place.

Commander 4A- Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman, Crime Chief- Senior Superintendent Michael Kingston and Traffic Chief- Senior Superintendent Linden isles made their presentations in the presence of representatives of the Private Sector, Guyana Association of Private Security, senior police officers and the press.

Crime Chief Kingston in his presentation touched on several areas, he was quick to point out that efforts will be focused on crime fighting in all regions but noted that special attention would be given to central Georgetown which falls within Division 4A. The latter is necessary given the high concentration of activities and accounts for 41.3 percent of the overall total number of serious crimes which are recorded countrywide.

Kingston said the main plan for the initiatives of the crime strategy is to minimize and suppress the instances of crime in all regions. 

Serious crimes, narcotics, firearms, challenges and strategies were the areas which were focused on by the Crime Chief’s presentation.

In the year 2015 the force had to deal with a 3925 serious crimes and at present the figure is down to 2235 serious crimes. For Division* 4B- 12.8%, Division* 4C- 4.6%, Division *5- 5.7%, Division* 2- 3.1%, Division* 6- 6.4% and other divisions according to the Crime Chief, recorded minimal percentages.

The diagram used by the Crime Chief during his presentation to depict the percentage and number of serious crimes by regions

He stressed that the total number of serious crimes per month with January 254, February 230, March 213, April and May 230, June- July 199, August 204 while September saw a huge jump to 257. That jump according to Kingston caused the force to return to the drawing board, a move that immediately saw a reduction in serious crimes in October to 208.

As it relates to murders over a five year period the figures are as follows;

Year 2015- 149, year 2016- 142, year 2017- 115, year 2018- 111 and thus far for this year there is 118 murders. The police force feels that by the end of the year, the figure will not shift much for the rest of 2019.

In 2015 there were 11 execution type murders while so far for 2019 only four such murders have been recorded according to Kingston.

Commander Chapman told the gathering his division would intensify policing in his division effective today. He said that there will be efforts to minimize criminal activities to allow a safe and secure environment for those doing business in Georgetown.

The Division 4A which is divided into nine sectors between Agricola and Cummings Lodge. Those sectors would would be manned by an officer or inspector and ranks along with heighten special operations by ranks out of the Criminal Investigation Department, intelligence ranks and other police personnel. 

The target areas would be the hot spots in the various sectors and around the commercial districts. Members of the public are expected to see increased police patrols as well the enforcement of the curfew with some level of flexibility where applicable, Snap roadblocks and searches are also expected to be part of the posture as well, the commander noted.

Traffic Chief Linden Isles while noting that there is a 4 percent decrease in accidents and six percent decrease in deaths, the police is still looking to ensure that everything practically possible is done to preserve the lives of the citizens.

According to the Officer, central Georgetown and Region six will see special emphasis being placed in order to reduce instances of accidents and deaths. Over the last few years there have been several instances of accidents which results in deaths.

The stats for fatal accidents by region for the period 2018 to 2019 as presented by the Traffic Chief

Enforcement and education are among the many implementations which the force’s Traffic Headquarters will roll out across the country in its efforts to bring road casualties and damage as a result of accidents, down.

Cars, motorcycles and foot patrols will be seen in large numbers across the country. The tow truck would be used in Georgetown to remove those who park illegally and at the expenses of those motorists concerned with the vehicle being towed away, the Traffic Chief noted.

There will also be a zero tolerance to the use of hand-held devices while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, overloaded buses and cars, obstruction of traffic and those who continue to use other forms of light outside the headlights which are supposed to be white in colour as required by the traffic act. A number of streets would also be open only to one way traffic, the Traffic Chief noted.