Public support needed

Stabroek News
October 30, 1999

In recent times the police have engaged in a number of initiatives, among them the onslaughts on noise and traffic. They have moved in on some noise nuisances and charged them, they have tightened up on defective vehicles and more recently they have, in co-operation with the Guyana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals apprehended the owners of dray carts, some of whom are notoriously brutal to their horses or donkeys.

These are all commendable actions and the police deserve public support and co-operation. This can be given in several ways. In the first place, citizens should report offenders to the police and if necessary be prepared to give evidence if there is a prosecution. The more this happens, the more persons are prosecuted and fined, the more pressure there will be on other offenders not to continue. It is the present lax atmosphere that tends to give disco proprietors, traffic offenders and cruel cartmen the feeling that anything goes, that they can do what they want and that there will be no consequences. Secondly, citizens can get involved in a bit of self help, for example if someone throws litter on the road they can ask them politely not to do so in future or perhaps pointedly pick up the litter themselves and dispose of it in the nearest rubbish bin. In other words, they can seek to exert some moral pressure on persons not to do things they shouldn't, though this must be done with a proper sense of discretion and in a certain manner as it can lead to altercations or worse.

We did not arrive at the present situation of lawlessness overnight. It is the result of a long process, the accretion of many things. The police are making a public statement by trying to draw the line and reverse some of the abuses. It is a brave effort and should be fully supported by all who are totally fed up with what has been going on, the silent long-suffering majority. So ring the police, give them the details, stand up and be counted. It is the duty of all citizens to help reclaim their rights and to give Commissioner Lewis and Traffic Chief Paul Slowe and his men the moral and practical support they deserve.

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