The odds cops face

Guyana Chronicle
July 15, 1999

YESTERDAY'S movie-style robbery and street shooting in Georgetown reinforce the odds Police here face in the continuing battle against crime.

Gun criminals are clearly now more barefaced, brazen and brutal.

Any number of innocent people, including children, could have been caught in the bullets the bandits sprayed around Regent Street yesterday morning in the bid to ensure no one attempted to foil the robbery.

The City Constable in an office across the street who was shot in her left arm, could have been more seriously wounded and her injury reflects the reckless nature of these bandits.

The constable said she was standing in her office in the City Hall compound across the road issuing keys and was about to move to allow another rank to pass out with his cycle.

"But before I could move, I heard shots firing...I did not know I was hit until I saw the blood rushing out of my left elbow," she told the Chronicle, adding that the bullet went through her elbow, breaking the bone.

She must be considering her escaping more serious injury a miracle.

Yesterday's attack on the cambio followed the brutal killing by another ruthless gang last week of the young businessman in the eastern outskirts of Georgetown.

What is also alarming is that these gangs have easy access to high-powered guns which they have no compunction about using.

One weapon used in yesterday's robbery was reportedly a machine gun.

Under these circumstances, those who are wont to regularly fly at the Police with allegations of excessive force in confrontations with suspects, would need to be more circumspect in their reactions.

We are not advocating ignoring allegations of brutality or excessive use of force by cops in the execution of their duties but it does seems at times that some of the criticisms against the Police are unjustified and without little regard of the tough odds they face.

Most of today's crime gangs are not toting can openers and house breaking implements and cops confronting these bandits cannot be expected to treat them with kid gloves.

These are clearly hardened characters that the Police face and they must adopt tough measures to bring them to heel.

Spraying machine gun fire on a busy city street is not child's play and the authorities should spare no effort in going after this gang.

The Police Force faces a tough task that requires much more public cooperation and support.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples