Upping the ante on crime fighting Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
January 24, 2004

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THE three police ranks awarded for busting a carjacking ring also deserve the praise and support of the general public.

Their feat, at a time when public endorsement of policing isn't as high as it could and should be - thanks to a wave of opposition to the apprehension or taking down of fugitives and crime suspects by the policemen - has done not only the Guyana Police Force proud, but also for the interest they took in enforcing law and order in the line of duty.

A ceremony at Force headquarters on Wednesday honoring the three cops came a day before the first anniversary of a shooting spree in Ketley Street (Wednesday, January 22, 2003) by about six gunmen that took the lives of two persons and injured eight others, including an off-duty policeman.

One of the dead was a businessman, one of the persons whose investments Guyanese rely on to eke out a livelihood, and which the country as a whole relies on for revenues for nation building.

The Ketley Street incident, of course, was one of scores that tore into Guyana's social fabric, as those bandits and many like them, described in some quarters as "freedom fighters," wrecked havoc in the country for more than a year-and-a-half.

As happened so often during that period, carjacking provided the bandits with the means of transportation to or as a getaway from the scenes of the crimes they perpetrated virtually with impunity - until a better-armed police, the army and civic-minded individuals waged a multi-front offensive on crime.

In this issue also is a story about police ranks apprehending two young men minutes after they had robbed a citizen who had just withdrawn money from a city bank.

These ranks also deserve appropriate commendation by the administration of the Guyana Police Force. After the verbal battering they've gotten from partisan interest groups, the members of the Guyana Police Force can do with every bit of incentive as a token of our recognition and appreciation of the hard work they are executing under trying circumstances, and of our support for the work they yet have to undertake to keep crime as low as it can get.

Guyanese are encouraged by initiatives that are being explored by Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, to expose police ranks to regional and international training, assured by Guyana's ties with the United Kingdom and greater Hemispheric cooperation among countries of the Americas.

The robbery in Camp Street yesterday also underscores the need for people generally to be far more security conscious than they have been.

Some people say that what they have is theirs. They are right, but the so-called 'opportunity' criminals out there don't feel that way.

So, while policing is the responsibility of the police, it is also requires the cooperation and support of every member of society.

It is the job of all of us, then, to up the ante on crime fighting.