Even as Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine on Monday used statistics to dismiss concerns by the private sector that there is a rise in crime, a business place was robbed and a youth broke into the home of the daughter of a prominent citizen in an attempted robbery.
He said rounds were discharged in eight cases of serious crimes in October, 2016 and in five of those incidents persons were shot and in two of them persons were killed. “That is the issue, not that statistically crime has increased. It is the nature of the crime in terms of the occurrence where violence is meted out to victims. That is the crux of the matter,” the acting top cop told a news conference.
The acting Police Commissioner suggested that “violent” robberies were fuelling perceptions of a rise in crimes. “With ten less robbery murders this year so far and with four more cases of robbery-murder in 2016, it cannot be that the statistics say that there is an increase in crime. It has to be that by the violent nature of some of these crimes, particularly robbery under arms involving the use of firearms seems to be the crux of some of the concerns highlighted out there,” he said.
Up to late Monday evening, the Guyana Police Force did not issue a press release on any of those incidents, leading the media to conclude that many serious crimes are not known by the public on a daily basis.
Celltopia, located at Urquhart Mall on Robb and Albert Streets, Georgetown was robbed of GYD$500,000 in cash and mostly high-end smart cellular phones at 11:45 AM Monday by gun-toting bandits. A number of Cuban customers were also robbed of cash and valuables.
Across at the Bel Air Park home of a 25-year old woman, she came face-to-face with a burglar. “He had packed a suitcase with her belongings and had just gone upstairs when he was surprised by her dog,” said prominent Attorney-at-Law, Andrew Pollard.
Fed up with the spate of violent gun robberies, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) said that was not the good life promised by the 18-month old APNU+AFC coalition-led administration and called on President David Granger to intervene. Ramnarine called the PSC’s assertion “preposterous” and suggested that there appeared to be an agenda in some quarters.
The Police Commissioner insisted there is a 17 percent decline in serious crimes over the corresponding period- January 1 to October 29, 2015-, but he did not have specific comparative figures over the corresponding period about attacks on businesses or business persons. He, however, noted that of the eight gun-related robberies for October, 2016.
Overall there were 2,700 reports of serious crimes so far for the year compared to 3,263 for last year. Of that number, there were 638 reports of robbery under arms for this year with the use of firearms compared to 670 for last year and 254 robberies under arms with other instruments this year compared to 310 last year and 79 reports of robbery with violence this year compared to 115 last year. There were also 22 robbery-murders this year, while there were 18 last year.
He said of the 12 recent cases of murder, eight or 65 percent have been solved. “These are acceptable figures. This is a very high percentage,” he said.
The Acting Police Commissioner said investigators have been getting support and cooperation, resulting in the solving a large number of crimes.