Travelling public seeks freedom from uniformed, muted terrorism

first_imgDear Editor,A section of the media editorial on July 24, 2018 was captioned, “The mistreatment of police vehicles”; then we have the frequent writings of a local columnist on the excesses of our Police traffic ranks, and the  Guyana Times article dated July 28, 2018 that refers to Tactical Services Unit ranks being charged for accepting bribes related to a traffic office. These all speak to a muted terrorism of the Guyanese travelling public.It seems that Guyana’s more paved roads are overrun with Policemen seeking to be spongers, moochers and fleecers smartly attired in uniforms and sporting flashy Police vehicles, big sticks and/or guns. In short, we have some freeloader cops taking away precious freedom from Guyanese – a freedom that obtains in the rest of the Caribbean Community.If forty percent of these traffic ranks are transferred from non-traffic divisions, and focus on carrying out their specified duties in other divisions, our country would be blessed with a significant decline in criminal activities, and our countrymen and women would enjoy the freedom of driving on our highways and byways.Over eighty years ago, Jews were being stopped and arrested for persecutory reasons only. In Guyana, the purpose is financial: breach of traffic light, whether the light is working or not; driving up a one way; overtaking on a double-lined road; vehicle lights not working. Matters not, it’s pay day.The bribe is not only for the cop on the beat, but also for some of the chair-bound senior officers, who budget the necessary daily takings that need to be extracted from the humiliated travelling public that is stopped.Drivers of motor vehicles, motorcycle riders, and pedal cyclists; exemptions appear to be made for oversized sport utility vehicles (SUV), normally black in colour. The non-exempted drivers are asked to stop, and then are directed to park for an indeterminable period, while the Police rank subjugates more victims.As the terrified, sweating and frustrated driver awaits his imagined and/or real ill-fate, he or she is already calculating how many dollars will have to be served up to enjoy his freedom. The loss in productivity, or the weather conditions, or the urgent mission the driver is pursing are of no moment or meaning to the extracting cop.Passersby and other travellers may see the cop signal the harried driver to follow the traffic vehicle. Don’t be deceived into thinking the driver is being taken to the Police station; no-no, the destination is a relatively remote area for the handover.From the early dewed morning to late in the night, you have some odious traffic ranks infesting our highways and by-ways like charlatans with a winning hand. These charlatans disgrace other Policemen who act in a fit and proper manner to ensure a component of the good life for Guyanese.Trafficking in fear and abusing the freedom of Guyanese is terrorism.Many Guyanese are so plagued and programmed with fear and trepidation of the bogus stop-and-search by the traffic rank that a few thousand dollars are already placed within their vehicle’s travel documents, which the rank will inevitably demand.The new recruits into the Guyana Police Force have a preference to be in the Traffic Division and stop vehicles…With all the non-traffic crime taking place in Guyana, the Guyana Police Force is able to have an excessive amount of traffic cops, and other Policemen acting as traffic cops, operate on a 24-hour basis to stop drivers for undetermined and imagined offences by snatching riders off their motorcycles and bicycles, stopping all types of vehicles, and pretty much creating an oppressive environment for the travelling public.The freedoms that Guyanese should be allowed — as is the case in Antigua, Trinidad, Barbados, Suriname, and Jamaica — are suppressed by some of our ambitious and devious traffic ranks via abusive and “skullduggery” tactics.These rock-star ranks use, in many instances, nonworking speed testers, set up witless traffic checkpoints that convert a ten-minute drive into an hour of wasting one’s little time in life, with the use of plain capricious stops; and some of the beat cops have the gumption to request a birthday present, offer a ticket sales for a barbeque being held in Region 1; or both.Now with vehicles and motorcycles galore for the Police Force, granted to the Police by China and other international donors for a good cause, this has led instead to our freedom to ride and drive in peace being obstructed and oppressed.I write this short note to ask the ruling administration to ensure our Police and traffic ranks desist from this repressive situation by making a special effort to curb this abuse of power, which has resulted in an harassing environment for the Guyanese travelling public.Sincerely,Nigel Hindslast_img read more