…says crime still high, many cases unreportedDespite the repeated public statements that there has been a decrease in crime in Guyana, there is still a lot of criminal activities taking place in the county of Berbice, most of which are not reported to the police for various reasons.Regional Chairman David ArmoganThis is according to Regional Chairman of Region Six, David Armogan, who told Guyana Times in an interview that Berbicians continue to complain about their homes being broken into and also of physical assault cases but they are reluctant to turn to the police for help or justice.“The Minister of Public Security keeps saying that crime has been on the decrease but it is the same way here… a lot of people thieves go at and it does not get coverage by the newspapers or anything so it looks as if things are bright and beautiful but it is not. Then people stopped, they don’t even go and report because they don’t get any of the results,” the Chairman said.He acknowledged that the shooting to death of three bandits that were hiding out in the Black Bush Polder two months ago did put a dent in the rate of armed robberies for the year, however, crime continues to spiral in different forms in Berbice.The Regional Chairman noted that the data/statistics on the crime rate are retrieved from cases that have been reported but that a large number of thefts and robberies continue to occur without victims making reports in Berbice because they have lost confidence in the police.“They don’t have that confidence and then the thing is when you go to make a report at the police station, it is like you are the one who did the crime. For example, the amount of questions that you have to answer and the amount of time you got to spend at the station. People are now really hesitant to report a matter,” he explained.Just last month, Guyana’s Police Commissioner, Leslie James, declared that there is no spike in crime in the country, despite repeated daily reports that persons and businesses are being robbed.James had instead attributed the perception of increased crimes to “sensational” media reports. At a press conference in June, he assured the Guyanese diaspora and visitors that crime is not on the increase. “I wish to advise very, very clearly that there is no upsurge in crime in the State of Guyana.”At that time, when he was asked to respond to the reaction by the public that claims of low crime figures are a “joke”, the Police Commissioner said he was relying on “our numbers” that reflect no hike in crime.However, in the month of May, the US Department of State had sent a stringent warning to all its citizens, urging them to exercise caution when visiting Guyana due to the evident spike in the country’s crime rate.In a statement on its website, the Department had stated there is a frequency of violent crimes, commonly armed robbery and murder. It specifically highlighted that the police network is hindered to effectively alleviate these incidents due to the lack of resources.“Violent crimes such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Local Police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents,” the notice stated.In Guyana’s Crime and Safety Report for 2018, which was created by the State Department, Georgetown was assessed as “a critical-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official US Government interests”.The report categorised local criminals based on their choice of weapons and targets, some of whom are American citizens. However, Police officers are also victims in some cases.“Criminals may act brazenly, and Police officers have been both victims and perpetrators of assaults and shootings. Criminals are increasingly willing to resort to violence while committing all types of crimes. Criminals are often organised, travel in groups of two or more, and conduct surveillance on their victims. Criminals generally will not hesitate to show multiple weapons as an intimidation tactic during a robbery,” the report stated.