Georgetown, Guyana – (November 18, 2015) President David Granger said that the interventions that the Government has initiated to address the crime situation is already showing some positive results. “I am seeing a lot more criminals being arrested very soon after the commission of the crimes… I am seeing faster response from the CID,” the President said.
Speaking to reporters after the Consecration and Trooping of the Colours ceremony at Base Camp Ayanganna, President Granger said that he continues to engage the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, the Army’s Chief of Staff, the Commissioner of Police and other members of the Defence Board weekly and he is confident that the instructions he has given to both the police force and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) are in the best interest of the country.
He added that despite some improvements, the transformation needed in the security sector will take time but Government is working diligently to ensure that the crime situation is brought under control. “I am fully aware of what needs to be done in order to deal with the defence situation that Guyana finds itself in at present and also the crime situation… I am sure in a short period of time, maybe half a year or so, we will be on top of the crime situation,” the Head of States said.
The President said that the country is dealing with problems which have developed over the past 23 years, which his administration is now trying to rectify. He noted that the police force has been seriously degraded and the security reforms which were agreed to with Great Britain were never implemented.
Part of the medium term approach to crime fighting by this administration, the President said is ensuring that the police force is strengthened by putting a lot of emphasis on equipment and training, ensuring the police officers are well-paid, deploying more police ranks to the hinterland, and more patrols in vulnerable communities such as the Rupununi.
Additionally, the Government is in the process of setting a national anti-narcotics agency which will be headed by Major General (rtd) Michael Atherly, which has been heading the task force on narcotic drugs and illicit weapon under the previous administration.
President Granger said that this agency is expected to bring narco-trafficking under control and this will in turn help to control gun-running and other forms of transnational crimes. Moreover, the Government is moving to modify the implement the National Drug Strategy Master Plan by mid-December.
“We are very confident that the plans that we have put in place for both the defence force and police force will make Guyana a safer place in the short and middle term,” the President said.