Georgetown, Guyana – (November 06, 2015) Minister of State Joseph Harmon has promised improved efforts to combat the drug trade with the formation of the National Anti- Narcotic Agency (NANA).

This is even as the Government of the United States of America, through its Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, has committed to working closely with the Government of Guyana to tackle crime as well as to lend support in the area of enhanced training for the Guyana Police Force (GPF), during a meeting with Minister Harmon today at the Ministry of the Presidency.

The Ambassador also took the opportunity to advise that the work of the agency must be clearly defined. Minister Harmon assured the diplomat that the Government has taken all issues into consideration and is still in the process of finalising plans for the proposed NANA.

“In our restructuring of the CANU, we will bring additional state resources to ensure that the focus is better and that the training and capacity of the individuals that will be working in this Unit is brought to a higher level of strength. There was some concerns that we were trying to diminish the importance of CANU but that is certainly not the case,” Minister Harmon assured.

According to Ambassador Holloway, while he cannot provide an overall assessment of the crime situation, since he has only been in Guyana for a short time, concerns about in country’s security have been expressed to him. To this end, he said that the Government of the United States, through its Embassy here, is willing to work with the Government of Guyana to provide support for crime fighting agencies.

Minister Harmon welcomed the offer of help since he said that the administration was serious about reducing the incidence of violence and deaths in the country and is assiduously working to ensure that this goal is achieved.

“Every week we analyse the statistics and the President chairs a Committee, that is the National Security Committee, and the Commissioner of Police is required to provide a comprehensive report on what is taking place, what the Force is doing and all related matters… What I am saying is that now, we have a greater level of intelligence coordination, which we can work with,” Minister Harmon disclosed.

Further, the preservation of crime scenes and evidence, was discussed, with both of the officials agreeing to work together to enhance the Force’s capacity in this area. “No matter what experts we have, we need to protect crime scenes so that we can increase the level of convictions,” Ambassador Holloway said.

To this end, the operation of the Forensic Laboratory was highlighted and the Minister of State, promised that this will be looked into as soon as possible.

Minister Harmon in welcoming talks with the Ambassador, said that Guyana and ABC (United States of America, Great Britain and Canada), have always shared a close and frank relationship and this will continue.

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