– Commander Lyndon Alves
SERIOUS crimes in Berbice have dropped 41 per cent but incidents of statutory rape have increased by 35 per cent during the periods January 1 to May 31, Divisional Commander Assistant Commissioner Lyndon Alves has reported.
Among the categories of crimes which recorded reductions when compared to the corresponding period in 2017 were murder (50 per cent), robbery under arms, in which instruments other that firearms were used (67 per cent), robbery (50 per cent), robbery with violence (44 per cent), larceny from the person (50 per cent), break and enter and larceny (64 per cent) and burglary (14 per cent).
Robbery under arms in which firearms were used increased by 23 per cent, and during the period examined, a five-year-old nursery school pupil and an 85-year-old bedridden widow were raped in the Ancient County.
Commander Alves attributed the decrease in the crime rate to effective, intelligence-led operations which were a result of information being shared by the public, as well as roadblocks and regular stop-and-search exercises being carried out at specific locations.
Aside from these, there were 16 fatalities from 15 accidents, Commander Alves noted and expressed concerns over this rising trend that is eroding Guyana’s human capital.
Serious accidents recorded a 20 per cent increase, damage accidents a 35 per cent increase and minor accidents an 11 per cent reduction.
During the period under review, six pedestrians and four pedal cyclists were killed on the Berbice roadways.
“What is worrying, is that pedal cyclists [sic] which is a poor man’s mode of transportation, have not been complying with the relevant regulations. It is observed that 90 per cent of the cyclist [sic] is not fitted with lights, nor reflectors. Also, the riders prefer dark-coloured clothing at night,” the commander observed.
Alves is appealing to the public to desist from riding their bicycles without the requisite fittings, including brakes and light-coloured clothing.
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure has been engaged to reactivate non-functioning lights in a bid to reduce traffic incidents in the Berbice division.
Another worrying trend in the division is the increase of speeding and driving under the influence in which 4068 and 224 cases were recorded respectively.
“This is worrying. It tells us that both young men and women are driving under the influence. A special operation targeting persons during specific times of the night will be held as we recognise that persons leaving their place of employment will stop to consume a beer or two or a quantity, then they leave those locations to find their way home after 10 pm. And, there are persons riding motorcycles without the required safety helmets,” he observed
Other major issues faced by the Traffic Department are derelict vehicles parked along the Corentyne Highway, even though discussions were made between the owners and the police to have those vehicles removed, along with unregistered grain carts.