The situation demands more decisive action Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
May 28, 2002

Related Links: Articles on Mashramani Day Jailbreak
Letters Menu Archival Menu

GUYANESE are daily growing more frustrated and concerned at the failure so far by the authorities to end the rampage by the gang of bandits that have terrified many since the five criminals escaped from the Georgetown Prison on February 23 last.

The five are still at large more than three months after they fled the jail, killing a prison officer and shooting another in the head.

Since then, two Police officers have been murdered, business people have been attacked and robbed, some killed, and now Police patrols are being attacked with impunity.

Police officials and spokesmen of the Government have said that the escapees are being supported by others who have their own objectives in mind and that this has compounded the bid to recapture the gang and their accomplices.

The Police Force is the law enforcement agency responsible for the security of citizens - society looks to the men and women of the force for protection, comfort and a range of other services.

The Police clearly suffer from constraints and need help from community policing groups and others in civil society, but citizens cannot help but feel a sense of despair when criminals show that they can openly and brazenly attack the guardians of the law as they Saturday night did at Coldingen, East Coast Demerara.

From all accounts, the criminals took aim and opened fire on the patrol, wounding four Policemen - as if to send a message of mockery at society that they can operate as they like without fear of being caught.

The criminals seem intent on stirring more and more fear among the population, particularly on the East Coast Demerara, and this cannot be allowed to continue.

There have been calls for the Army to be more involved in patrols and other public security measures with the Police in this situation and the Government has to respond to these growing concerns.

Security of the nation is all important and people want to feel safe in their homes and when they are out on lawful business or for pleasure.

It is time for the administration to pull out all the stops and throw all the resources behind catching the gang of escapees and their accomplices or keeping them on the run and at bay.

It just would not do for the criminals to be seen to have the upper hand over the law enforcement agencies.

If partial or full curfews, sweeps and searches for arms and ammunition, roadblocks and other steps are required in some areas to try to flush out the gang, then these must be taken with the Police acting in concert with the Army and other agencies.

People are not satisfied with assurances that the search is continuing - they want to see patrols out and on the go; they want to be reassured that no stone is left unturned in taking the fight to the criminals.

It is a battle citizens want to see taken to the criminals threatening their safety - not the criminals seeming to hold the upper hand.

And that calls for more decisive action by the authorities.