Lead to follow

Guyana Chronicle
March 22, 2000

THE Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association has taken an admirable lead in opening a special fund in memory of Police Constable Allan Higgins who was killed last week by a notorious wanted man in Berbice.

Chamber consultant Mr Ramdial Bhookmohan, said the account to be known as the "Higgins Fund" can be contributed to at New Building Society (NBS) offices throughout the country.

"This fund is a fitting gesture from the business community for the heroic effort of the fallen cop to apprehend (the wanted man Hilton) Rodrigues, who had been terrorising innocent citizens for some time," Mr Bhookmohan said.

He hopes the fund will receive national support and said all the collections will be given to the relatives of Mr Higgins at the appropriate time.

Mr Bhookmohan is urging his business colleagues and the general public to contribute generously to the fund.

This is an initiative we endorse and commend because it is a welcome recognition that the fight against crime is not only the cause of the police and allied agencies.

And other groups should get on board to show too that they are concerned.

As Mr Bhookmohan notes, crime can be controlled if the law enforcement agencies are given the necessary support by the government and the public.

The law enforcement agencies need this kind of support now especially in view of the adverse criticism they have been under from certain quarters in recent times.

Mr Bhookmohan must have had some of these critics in mind when he referred to some politicians who are mindful to use the crime situation for political expediency instead of working for a crime-free society.

Criminals have for too long had the society under fear and the Police Force is the front line defence against them.

We have acknowledged before that the cops have not always come up shining brightly but they have generally stuck to their guns in trying to make society safer for the decent.

Guyana is far from the ideal society most citizens want it to be and there is still a long haul to get it near there.

That journey can be helped when groups like the Berbice Chamber, which carry some weight in society, take time off to stand up and be counted in the fight against crime.

The Police Force has been under a beating from its detractors and gestures like these will be cause for comfort for the devoted in its ranks.

Opening a special fund in memory of a cop killed in the line of duty is, we believe, a signal that civil society is ready to tell the criminal-minded that it will not be silent while the outrage continues.

What is needed is a closing of the ranks in society against its deviants and when all are together in a common cause, it is far easier to bring its allies who at times falter into line.

Hurling abuse at those who are supposed to be on your side does not help much.

And the Berbice Chamber is showing the kind of reaching out that is needed now.