Murders on the rise, largest cannabis seizure recorded in 5 years – Crime Chief

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As of November 13, 2023, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has recorded a total of 133 murders, reflecting an 18 per cent increase when compared to the 108 murders recorded for the same period last year.

This disclosure was made by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law Enforcement), Wendell Blanhum, who said there was a reduction in every other category of serious crimes from January 1 to November 13, 2023, except for murders.

Disorderly murders are the most prevalent followed by domestic-related murders. It should be noted that of the 133 murders for the year thus far, the Mahdia tragedy accounts for 20 following that devastating fire that destroyed the school dormitory.

“Countrywide, 64 of the murders committed during 2023 were disorderly in nature. Despite there being a reasonable decrease when compared with the previous years, it has been the most prevalent type of murder for this period,” Blanhum said.

Out of the cases, 69 per cent of the victims were males while 30 per cent were females.

Overall, Blanhum noted that the Police Force has recorded a 17 per cent decrease in serious crimes.

During his presentation at the launch of the Guyana Police Force annual Christmas policing plan on Wednesday, Blanhum further noted that the force seized 1,425 kilograms (3,141 lbs) of cannabis, the largest quantity confiscated within the past five years.

Out of these seizures, he said a total of 188 persons were charged and placed before the court.

“Cannabis seizures were due to daily operations conducted targeting known drug blocks, check points and choke points and this led to the highest cannabis seizure in five years,” Blanhum said.

There were no reports of kidnapping or piracy.

In addition, Blanhum said 14 police ranks were charged for various offences including corruption, simple larceny, conspiracy to obstruct the course of justice, assault and trafficking in narcotics.

The decrease in serious crime has been attributed to the various policing strategies adapted over this period such as intelligence led policing, capacity building, use and handling of confidential informants and importantly, the utilisation of CCTV monitoring room.

“We continued with our roadblocks at strategic locations across Guyana, we continued to actively engage members of the public and also we receive feedback from them as to how we can improve our service delivery,” Blanhum said.

He added, “We have our anti-crime patrols on a 24 hours basis, we have deployed ranks based on our analysis…the command centre has been able to provide real time information to our patrol ranks and investigators.”

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