Statistics lie, Felix says
- But promises to address crime
Stabroek News
April 4, 2004

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Because statistics lie, Commissioner of Police Winston Felix says, he does not rely on them and as such does not feel there is an upsurge of criminal activity on the lower East Coast Demerara. Nevertheless, he admits that there is crime and promised to address same.

Speaking to reporters following the opening of a police media workshop at Le Meridian Pegasus on Wednesday, Felix said: "Let me say it clearly to you, I do not like to use statistics when we talk about crime, because in the simplest terms statistics lie. I deal with how people feel about crime.

If they feel unsafe, to that extent the police need to do more to make them feel safe. So I don't want to regale you [the media] with the statistics that are available to me. But there is not an upsurge as such. There is just intensity."

Asked about the robbery that occurred at Lusignan recently where some 15 men attacked a family, Felix said investigations had revealed that this number was not correct.

A release from the Police Public Relations Office the morning after the robbery said that some 15 men were involved and the victims later gave this newspaper the same number.

"...fifteen allegedly, okay, my investigation has something else. Fifteen is a number which is alleged. So don't let's get fearful about 15. If you had done the investigation that we did you would not come to the conclusion that there is 15 or ten. But I say again I rely on how people feel about crime and there was crime and I will address that."

The commissioner added that the force had arrangements in place to deal with crime on the East Coast, disclosing that there was a static patrol, a moving patrol and a number of road blocks. "There are searches and there is the mobilisation of the community policing group, all these are in place to deal with the crime situation."

Addressing the incident at Lusignan, the commissioner said there was a departure from the routes used by the bandits.

"While we are policing the beaten track, the railway embankment and the public road which were the tracks used to perpetrate crime we found that to access that home south of the railway embankment at Lusignan they [the bandits] came through the cane field, and you would recognise the difficulties of policemen being in the cane field whether by day or night."

And while stopping short of saying the home was too far away for contact to be made with the police, the commissioner said where the home was no one heard any shouts or could have been alerted to what was taking place. "While we were about 300 metres away on the railway embankment that was where the first report was made... and they responded; we are still investigating that matter."

Felix said that crime in whatever form or nature is enough for the force to do its best to bring reassurance and security to the general public.