Guyana Chronicle
September 28, 2003

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THERE are worrying indicators that the armed and dangerous criminals who have been on a rampage for over a year until the security forces finally managed to gain an upper hand some four months ago, may now be regrouping.

Latest example of this came early last week when the resourcefulness of the Police led to the arrest of a woman and man with a suitcase full of sophisticated weapons and ammunition destined for the brother of the woman, according to the Police.

Prior to that, there have been a number of shooting incidents, with some fatal consequences, armed robberies, the murder of two abducted men, followed by last Wednesday night's murder of a building contractor in the Corentyne for which three arrests were made, including that of a criminal deportee.

Following their success in seizing the suitcase of guns and ammunition, said to be for a wanted criminal who has found sanctuary in an East Coast village, the security forces would be expected to be even more on the alert. And, of course, ready to prevent the recurrence of the nightmare of criminality to which this nation had been subjected for over a year following the prison escape of five fugitives from justice in February 2002.

National Interest
Although severely taxed during the criminal rampage, the country's security forces, some of whose members were also among the murdered and wounded, courageously faced up to the challenges of those with a criminal agenda that, at varying periods, also reflected an interest in creating social divisions and political destabilisation.

More than waiting to make criticisms of expediency against the Police or Army, or keeping silent when they the Police in particular are viciously slandered, it is in the national interest for all sectors and segments of Guyana to be willing to cooperate with the law enforcing agencies.

When the criminals succeed in regrouping and pushing the security forces on the defensive, at times with the help of paid collaborators, it is the society as a whole that suffers.

Currently, Guyana's CARICOM partners like Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, are reeling from the onslaught of criminals, the latter in relation particularly to armed kidnappings for ransom.

As they grapple with their problems, amid all the heartaches, the agonies of families who have lost loved ones, have been robbed, brutalised or forced to fork out millions for ransom, Guyana should be totally united in the anti-crime fight at home and avoid undermining the disciplined forces.