Sobering crime stats for 2006150 homicides, 1,119 armed robberies, 141 firearms seized

Guyana Chronicle
December 29, 2006

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After dropping for three consecutive years, Guyana 's murder rate rose in 2006, along with the rate of armed robberies.

According to statistics compiled by Kaieteur News, 150 people were murdered between January and December 25, 2006, eight more than were slain in 2002, when the crime wave began.

At least 37 people were victims of execution-style killings, with 24 of these killings occurring between January and April, 2006.

In contrast, there were 120 murders during the same period in 2005, 131murders in 2004, 206 in 2003, and 142 in 2002.

The sensational murders this year included the Agricola/Eccles massacre of eight people in February; the slaying of Minister of Agriculture Satyadeow Sawh, two of his siblings and a security guard; the murder of five Kaieteur News pressmen and two others, and the gunning down of a couple outside their Duncan Street residence.

Reports of armed robberies also rose dramatically this year.

According to the statistics, there were some 1,119 reports of armed robberies between January and December 25, 2006, in contrast to 955 such reports in 2005.

The heightened presence of members of the Joint Services resulted in the seizure of 141 firearms between January and December 25, 2006.

Among those recovered were 13 of the 30 AK-47 assault rifles that had mysteriously vanished from the Guyana Defence Force's Camp Ayanganna base earlier in the year.

Some 129 firearms were seized during the same period last year.

In contrast, there has been a decrease in the number of reported rape cases.

Police investigated 111 rape cases between January and December 25 in comparison to 144 similar reports during the same period in 2005.

Police can also take comfort in the fact that they managed to either capture or kill several wanted men.

Those slain included Troy Dick, the last of the 2002 prison escapees, and notorious rapist and killer Neil Bovell.