In wake of the spate of gun crimes that have rocked the city over the past few weeks, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling on the Guyana Police Force to institute a crime fighting plan that will bring results.
Over the past week, there has been an upsurge in the reported cases of robberies and attacks on businessmen and businesses across Georgetown. On Monday, there were five robberies in the city. During one of those robberies on Monday night, a customer was gunned down in a store when gunmen carried out an attack.
In a statement on Tuesday morning, The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) said it is alarmed and unsettled at the number of robberies being perpetrated on city businesses and business persons.
“There is a spike in armed and violent criminal acts that is directed towards the business community in the past few months and which has intensified as of late”, the Chamber said.
According to the statement, there is a need for the Guyana Police Force to respond to the threat “vigorously and effectively by implementing measures to apprehend those perpetrating these heinous crimes and moreover, dedicate additional security resources towards businesses to prevent robberies from occurring and also to respond promptly when crimes are reported to the various police stations”.
The chamber is of the view that the failure on the part of the Police to effectively arrest the crime situation, would only embolden “criminal thugs” to intensify their assault on our businesses.
On Monday morning, a dental clinic in Queenstown was attacked and robbed just as it was opening its doors. Less than six hours later, the Akbar Auto Sales and Furniture Store on North Road, Bourda came under attack by two bandits who made off with $3 Millon. Late on Monday afternoon, the Rubis gas station on Vlissengen Road came under attack by gunmen who snatched $1 Million in the sunset heist.
The Chamber of Commerce is urging all businesses to take precautionary measures to ensure that they have adequate security infrastructure and procedures in place to reduce the likelihood of their businesses being targeted.
The GCCI believes businesses need to consider the use of private security services when transporting huge sums of cash and also for advisory services on the design and implementation of an effective security system and strategy.
The Chamber of Commerce has also announced that it intends to release security advisories aimed at the business community. On August 13, 2013, the Chamber will host a workshop to sensitise the private sector on strategies and best practices on securing and protecting their businesses.
The Guyana Police Force has reported an increase in gun crimes and robberies in the country for this year when compared with figures from 2012.