Robberies prompt Police Commander meet with residents By Michel Outridge
Guyana Chronicle
March 22, 2004

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WITH the recent gun-related robbery attacks on the East Coast villages of Beterverwagting, Mon Repos, and Triumph, residents have been in close meetings with the Commander of 'C' Division, Mr. Edward Wills, who has since visited the areas. He told the Guyana Chronicle Thursday that the outcome of the meetings was encouraging. Residents expressed willingness to assist the police in forming new policing groups to patrol the village, especially at nights.

On March 8, three youths armed with high-powered rifles and handguns attacked two shops in the village and robbed the proprietors and customers of cash, jewellery and other personal items while forced to lie facedown on the ground.

Again on March 17 the same gunmen reportedly robbed another grocery store at Beterverwagting, carting off with a substantial amount of cash from the store and gold jewellery and cell phones from three customers.

This robbery also left the proprietor, Ralvin Maynard, 24, nursing a gunshot wound to one of his legs.

These attacks prompted residents to call in the 'C' Division Commander, who met with them on several occasions.

On Monday, a final meeting is to be held with the Commander, which will pave the way for a newly formed policing group at Beterverwagting.

Mr. Wills said that the policing group would be backed up by mobile police patrol from ranks during the nights.

The Commander noted that this is a good implementation by residents to help the police in the fight against crime, especially on the East Coast of Demerara.

"I hope that other villages will follow suit and also form policing groups," he said.

Mr. Wills disclosed that the Guyana Police Force will continue to support policing groups and is pleased that they are working closely with the police to help reduce robberies and to ward off any other attacks on residents in Beterverwagting.

The neighbouring village, Triumph, has not escaped the attention of the armed bandits who attacked the Shazad Touchdown Bar, located at Agriculture Road on Wednesday night and forced the proprietor, Shazad Hakim to hand over the day's takings, a substantial amount, at gunpoint then fled the scene in a waiting car.

It was reported, and from all indications, it was confirmed that the very bandits who staged the two robberies in Beterverwagting also perpetrated the robbery on Shazad's bar that night.

It is not certain whether Triumph village has an active policing group functioning but the village Mon Repos has an active functioning policing group.

Villagers in Mon Repos were also victims of violent attacks by armed bandits.

Mr. Wills also promise to ensure that there are adequate police mobile patrols in these target East Coast villages and urged residents to report crimes in their area so the police can act based on the reports and assistance of residents.