first_imgAs law enforcement officers in Berbice map out a plan to put a halt to robberies in the county, two security guards at M Ali and Son Service Station at Strand were on Tuesday night tied up and robbed.Reports indicate that the perpetrators used a screwdriver to stick up the guards and then bound them. They were relieved of an undisclosed quantity of phone cards and ,000.Also on Tuesday night, two men armed with cutlasses robbed a Port Mourant businesswoman. Reports indicate that the masked men broke into the home of the businesswoman and took ,000 from her.Less than 24 hours before, two armed men, also masked, attacked a businessman two doors away, and relieved him of a quantity of cash and jewellery.Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Ian Amsterdam addressing the issue of crime on the Corentyne said there was a criminal group which operated out of Free Yard, Port Mourant.He said the group had been active in March but had gone dormant. His comments came as he addressed concerns of residents in Rose Hall Town, at a meeting on Wednesday evening. “There is no way you ought to accept what is happening in your community,” the Commander told residents.He explained that there was another gang which operated out of Rose Hall, “And they bring people into Rose Hall. They operate in twos or in threes to commit robberies.”Recently, a man known to the Police disarmed and shot a Police Officer hitting his bulletproof vest.One resident at Wednesday’s meeting who witnessed the incident said the act was puzzling. “The officer was begging his colleague for his firearm. The second Police refused to give the first one the gun and I believe that if he had actually handed over the gun to the other Police the criminal would have been shot, but for reasons unknown the gun was never handed over.”According to the Commander, the Police are not having an easy task even after placing persons before the courts. “Now the Magistrates are not inclined to remand prisoners based on what happened at Camp Street, so we put them in and they come back out to do the same things again. They don’t mind, the criminals would find money for a lawyer and money for bail. They go in and they come back out and we start the same cycle all over again. The community has to help Berbice,” he said.Meanwhile, Head of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir Humanitarian Mission Skills Training Centre and Counselling Centre at Port Mourant, Pandit Surish Sugrim noted that the way Police Officers in Georgetown handle crime was different from the way officers in Berbice handle crime.He said there was need for more Police vehicles because of the long distance between police stations on the Corentyne. “Police alone cannot solve crime, as a community, we need to work together.” He suggested that there be more frequent Police patrols in the community.Sugrim, however, questioned why all Police Officers were not equipped with firearms and handcuffs as in some Caribbean states.Assistant Commissioner Amsterdam said if Police Officers used their guns in an indiscriminate way, there would be consequences they would have to face: “We are arming our ranks while they are on duty and there are some ranks – depending on where they are stationed – [who] have personal firearms,” he said.According to the Commander, more vehicles are expected to come to the Division shortly. However, he could not promise that the Rose Hall Police Outpost would be getting its own patrol vehicle.One resident, who is a budding social worker, questioned the reason for not having in place a programme to reform prisoners. “They need help and I believe that some of them can change their attitude if they get the right help that they need… When they do come out [from prison] is there a follow-up check to see what they are doing?” she questioned.Most of the armed robberies committed along the Lower and Central Corentyne over the past three weeks have targeted the business community.last_img

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