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9 percent hike in serious crimes for the first half of 2015

Police on Saturday announced a nine percent increase in serious crimes for the first six months of 2015 compared to the same period last year.

At the end of June 2015 the Guyana Police Force recorded a 9% increase in serious crimes in comparison to the same period in 2014.  

Among the serious crimes policed by the Force are murder, robbery under arms, robbery with violence, robbery with aggravation, larceny from the person, break and enter and larceny, burglary, rape, and kidnapping.

A total of 79 murders were recorded at the end of June 2015 in comparison to 69 murders at the end of June 2014, an increase of 14%.

Unto the 10th of this month, July 2015, one other murder has been recorded.

At the end of June 2015 robbery under arms overall has decreased by 6% in comparison to the same period in 2014. The statistics indicate a decrease of 9% in the number of armed robberies involving the use of firearms; while the number of armed robberies where instruments other than firearms were used by the perpetrators is almost similar.

There has been an increase of 74% in the number of reports of rape with 207 reports at the end of June this year compared to 119 for the same period last year. Break and Enter and Larceny and Burglary have shown an overall increase of 9%.

Unto the end of June this year, a total of 61 illegal firearms have been recovered by the police comprising 1 sub-machine gun, 35 pistols, 14 revolvers, 4 shotguns, 6 rifles and 1 pen-gun.

The Police Force is continuing in its efforts aimed at crime prevention through its police-community partnership programme,along with social crime prevention interventions in the Policing Divisions, with special emphasis on empowering youths.

During last month in “A” Division (Georgetown/East Bank Demerara) two more Youth Clubs were established in the Division at Golden Grove, EBD, and Soesdyke, EBD, comprising 59 youths and 45 youths, respectively. With the support of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) the police donated hundreds of pairs of shoes to students of schools in the Albouystown area including the Selma Fraser and Albouystown Nursery Schools; and ranks conducted a cleanup exercise around the Kitty Market and the Shaheed Boys Orphanage.

Also, the Police Division, with assistance from the Guyana Football Federation, held a one-day Under 15 Football Tournament for members of the Police Youth Groups with the aim of creating social cohesion among them.

In “B” Division (Berbice) the police in collaboration with the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, the Region 6 Ministry of Education Department and Edward Beharry Company Limited launched a campaign entitled “Say no to drugs/suicide and yes to education/sports” which targets youths from various Primary and Secondary schools with the aim of assisting them to lead a more productive lifestyle.

The Police and the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club also, in a joint project, donated school bags to a number of less fortunate students and members of the Force were involved in a community cleanup exercise at Hopetown, West Coast Berbice.

The police in “D” Division (West Demerara/East Bank Essequibo) through their community outreach C-PETS Project (Creating Positive Environments Through Safer Communities) has enabled over one hundred youths to become enrolled at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Training Centre where they will be pursuing skills training in several areas including plumbing, welding, information technology, carpentry and auto mechanic. The police are also assisting some of the youths with their transportation arrangements.

“E” Division (Linden/Kwakwani) exposed a number of youths attached to the various police youth clubs to a workshop which focused on educating them about drug addiction and the harmful effects of illegal drugs as well as cooking classes.

A Youth Club was launched at Agatash/Dogpoint Village, Essequibo River, with some 38 youths in “F” Division (Interior Locations) and in collaboration with the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Bartica the police were involved in a workshop for youths of the community where areas such as teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, and child abuse were dealt with.

In keeping with this thrust the Guyana Police Force will be conducting Medical Outreach Programmes in the communities of Albouystown, Georgetown, and Bath, West Coast Berbice, during this month as it celebrates its 176th Anniversary.

During June 2015 there was a total of eighteen interventions supported by the religious community in the Cops and Faith Community Network which treats with juvenile first offenders for minor crimes as a preemptive intervention to the New Opportunity Corps.

Since the launch of the Cops and Faith Community Network in September 2013 and unto June 30, 2015, there has been a total of 174 such interventions. In all cases the youths were counseled by the religious leaders and following the involvement of parents/guardians, and the victims where necessary, the majority of them were warned and sent away.

In relation to the Family Liaison for victims of serious crimes and domestic violence project, which is also under the Cops and Faith Community Network, there were interventions by members of the religious community in response to several cases of serious crimes including armed robbery and murder where the affected persons, victims and relatives, were counseled.

In relation to traffic 56 road fatalities from 45 accidents have been recorded at the end of June 2015, in comparison to 57 fatalities from 52 accidents for the same period in 2014.

There have been decreases in all other categories of road accidents – serious, minor and damage.  

Pedestrianshas been the main category of road users affected so far in road fatalities with 17 such persons having lost their lives at the end of June2015. In addition 5 pedal cyclists, 16 persons in motor vehicles, 8 motor cyclists, 8 drivers, 1 pillion rider and 1 person who was being towed on a bicyclealso lost their lives.

Speeding has been the major contributory factor to fatal accidents, having been the cause of 22 of the 45 fatal accidents unto June2015.    

Traffic enforcement by the police has resulted in a total of 26,390 cases being made against errant motorists at the end of June 2015; of this total 11,168 cases were for speeding, 770for driving under the influence of alcohol, 328 for using cell phone while driving and 764 for failing to wear seat belt.

To date there have been 2 road fatalities for July 2015.

The Guyana Police Force is taking the opportunity to caution motorists who drive close behind other motor vehicles on the roadways (tailgating) and which has resulted in a number of accidents. Remember to apply the principle of thinking distance and braking distance – the faster the rate of speed, there is the need to be further away from the vehicle ahead. Motor cyclists and pillion riders are reminded to wear their safety helmets at all times.

Parents and guardians are also reminded to be extra vigilant in ensuring that children use the roadways carefully and that they do not play near to or on the roadways, especially during this school holidays period.