…police report decrease in robberies, more narco prosecutions
ACTING Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent Michael Kingston has reported that while serious crimes have decreased by 2.5 per cent compared to last year, murders this year saw a 35.7 per cent increase over the corresponding period. He however, said that there has a decrease in robberies and more persons have been charged for ganja smuggling.
So far this year, there have been 2,235 serious crimes and 114 murders, said Kingston, who was at the time outlining measures by the Force to ensure the safety and security of citizens during the Christmas season.
This year, 63 murders occurred as a result of heavy drinking in mostly hinterland regions.
“This is one area that is very concerning to us and therefore we are in the process of having work done with other stakeholders to have this done. In 2015, we had a total of 64, so far for 2019, we are at 63,” the crime chief said.
He noted that 21 persons were killed during robberies while 12 were killed during domestic disputes. Some 14 persons were murdered for unknown reasons and four were killed execution-style.
As it relates to robbery, the crime chief said there has been an overall decrease. In 2018, 1094 robberies were committed; only 976 occurred thus far for 2019.
Meanwhile, he noted that the Region Four division accounted for more than 50 per cent of the robbery under-arms committed.
The streets, he said, were the number one location for robberies while there were 112 robberies committed in homes, 41 at business places, two in public transportation and three at sea.
Other areas of serious crime include the seizure of illegal firearms which saw fewer than the 57 cases that occurred in 2018.
It was noted that the firearms are coming mainly from neighbouring Brazil and the US.
Regarding trafficking-in-persons, he said there were 31 reports and 29 cases for 2018 while there are 21 reports and 30 cases this year.
According to the acting crime chief, since the presence of US federal law enforcement agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), there has been a significant reduction in cocaine flowing through Guyana.
For this year, only 10kg of cocaine were seized. The seizure at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport has also reduced significantly since 2015.
The eradication of cannabis has also significantly reduced this year when compared to last year. In 2018, 204.5 acres of cannabis were destroyed; this year the figure was 82 acres.
However, there has been an increase in persons charged with cannabis-related offences. Some 48 persons were charged in 2018 in contrast to 388 charged thus far in 2019.