President refutes claims that Police cannot arrest criminals
Guyana Chronicle
May 14, 2002

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PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has refuted claims that the Police Force is incapable of arresting criminals and those abetting them in executing criminal activities and hiding from the Force.

The Government Information Agency (GINA) said that in an interview Sunday with Prime News Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Adam Harris, Mr. Jagdeo said that the Police have been active in exploring links leading to criminals and where possible arresting criminals.

"There was a series of arrests. At one stage they had about 30 persons. They took them in, and I think out of that a number are being charged. These are people who are helping criminals, supplying them with guns and other logistical support," GINA reported the President as saying.

On February 23, notorious bandits Troy Dick, Mark Fraser, Shawn Brown, Dale Moore and Andrew Douglas escaped from the Georgetown Prison, Camp Street, killing one Prison Officer and shooting another in the head. The prisoners remain at large.

A series of criminal activities have been linked to them since their escape.

"I understand the public feelings. I live here. I know about the high tension in the society.

"I know about the fear people have...I wished as the President of Guyana that I could assure every single Guyanese that they would not be harmed. But what I can say to them is that we are working every day to control this situation," GINA quoted the Head of State as saying.

All efforts to control the recent spate of crime and to recapture the five escapees cannot be made public, the President said.

"The Police and the Army are strong bodies that are working together...The Army is involved at the intelligence and operations levels. They are already on patrol on the East Bank and they will expand their patrolling.

"The Army will probably get more involved as the situation evolves," stated President Jagdeo.

According to GINA the President said that in this fight against criminal activities, the silence of the main Opposition People's National Congress/Reform is surprising.

"Some of these criminals get cover. They are capitalising on the political situation, that is why I find it very strange that the Opposition has not come out and condemned the wave of crime and criminality and disassociated themselves from these criminals," the President said.

He added: "There is always some half-hearted statement from time to time and it lends itself to a lot of suspicion that it is giving cover to criminals. This may not be so, but it lends itself to that suspicion."