PPP, President share similar sentiments on Vigilantism
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) believes that persons seeking to protect their communities from criminals should get themselves organised and do so in a law-abiding manner.
Following recent cases of vigilante killings, General Secretary of the PPP and former Minister of Home Affairs (now Ministry of Public Security), Clement Rohee encouraged persons to join Community Policing Groups.
“The whole idea was to encourage persons who wanted to exercise their rights to protect the community and to protect each other to join…Community Policing groups and so on in order to deal with this issue in a more organised, in a more legal, law-abiding way and of course in conjunction with the Guyana Police Force (GPF)” Rohee said during a Press Conference on Monday.
He highlighted that this was the basis for forming those groups to “capture that exuberance and enthusiasm on the part of public-spirited citizens who want to do or wanted to contribute to addressing crime and criminal activities.”
The Former Security Minister shunned conclusions that this has developed into a pattern. He said, “obviously you will have challenges from time to time and among those challenges, you will have sporadic events of the type we have witnessed over the past couple of days but I do not believe that it is developed into a pattern so far, from my own judgement.”
On Sunday evening, following the launch of Mining week 2016, President David Granger also weighed in on the issue.
The Head of State warned against the practice of vigilantism, saying that not only is it unacceptable, but can lead to serious problems in society.
“We can’t tolerate that. We accept that citizens have a right to protect their properties and so on, but we expect people to be organised in Community Policing Groups. But we can’t tolerate vigilantism, especially when it results in the injury or death of anybody; it can get out of hand” he told reporters.
Last week, two bandits were severely beaten by residents in North Ruimveldt, Georgetown after they attempted to rob 37-year-old Roger Lovell.
Additionally, police revealed that 21-year-old Seon Clarke, a resident of Old Road, Land of Canaan, E.B.D., was killed in the Pearl Village, E.B.D. at about 22:30h on Saturday by residents of the community while his friend was severely beaten.
In both instances, the men were then handed over to the police.