Guyana heightens security at hotels for CWC
• bomb squad to be deployed at airport

Kaieteur News
March 26, 2007

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Security has been beefed up at the country's major hotels expected to host a number of visitors for the Guyana leg of the Super Eight round of the 2007 Cricket World Cup which commences on Wednesday at the National Stadium, Providence.

The move comes at the request of the regional security body following the murder of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer in his hotel room in Kingston , Jamaica a week ago.

Speaking on the television programme ‘Law Enforcement and You', Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene said that the local law enforcement body has requested of Guyana to screen persons who enter and leave the venues where teams, officials and other guests are staying.

“Those who ought to be screened will be screened,” Greene said.

The acting commissioner stated that while much of the focus will be on the playing venues and hotels, emphasis is also being placed on securing the various ports of entry to Guyana .

Acting Crime Chief, Heeralall Mackenlall, speaking on the same programme, explained that ranks from the Police Bomb Squad will be deployed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport , Timehri.

Mackenlall said that his department will monitor the hotels where teams and officials are staying, adding that there will be regular checks on vehicles transporting team members and officials.

Nightspots which are expected to be frequented by the visitors will also be under tight security surveillance.

“I am confident that any investigation will be carried out expeditiously,” the acting crime chief assured.

Senior Superintendent Steve Merai, who is in charge of the police patrols, assured that units have been deployed in most of the vulnerable areas in and around the city.

Merai said that along the East Bank of Demerara, patrol units have been assigned to work in specific areas and in the case of areas that can be described as hotspots such as Agricola, two units have been detailed to operate there.

He appealed to members of the public to report the commission of criminal activity promptly, adding that the response time of the police patrol is integral to apprehending the perpetrators.

“Once the information reaches the police in a timely manner, within minutes we can reach the scene,” Merai said, adding that all patrol vehicles are adequately equipped with radios to facilitate quick response.

The heightened police activity during the cricket world cup super eight period will be supplemented by office ranks who will be deployed along with their beat duty counterparts.

According to Assistant Commissioner Paul Slowe, the entire force will be in-lying during the period.

He however assured that there will still be ranks at the various police stations to respond to domestic matters.

The heightened security activities will not be limited to the city and the East Bank of Demerara.

The East Coast and West Coast Demerara divisions will also see heightened police activity.

On West Demerara , Acting Commander Balram Persaud said there will be 24-hour anti-crime patrols along with constant road blocks.

In addition, the Demerara Harbour Bridge will be strictly monitored especially on match days.

And with the Ogle Airport officially open to regional traffic, Commander Leroy Brummell has outlined strategies to deal with the expectant increase in traffic in that area.

To this end there will also b regular patrols and roadblocks aimed at curtailing criminal activity.

Meanwhile, police in the city believe that the recent robberies are being perpetrated by no more than two gangs of thieves.

Speaking to this newspaper, a senior police officer said that judging from the style of the robberies committed within the past month, investigators are focusing on two or three groups of criminal elements.

However, the officer said that while intelligence has shown that the gangs are not much, the identities of the members are posing a problem.

He said that in most cases the bandits use motorcycles which make their getaway much easier.

It is believed that one of the gangs struck last Friday night on Mandela Avenue , robbing a pool shop owner of cash and other articles.

Kaieteur News understands that at around 20:45 hours, Sheliva Adams was playing cards in front of the shop when two men rode up on a motorcycle.

The pillion rider held Adams at gunpoint and relieved him of the articles.

In the process, the bandit struck Adams on his head with his gun, causing a round to be accidentally discharged.

• Fortunately no one was injured by the stray bullet.