Georgetown, Guyana, (November 30, 2015) – President David Granger has said that members of the Guyana Police Force are likely to benefit from increased salaries as part of government’s plan to reform the security sector.
The President also engaged Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), David Cameron on restoring the Security Sector Action Plan which was rejected in 2009 by the previous administration.
Speaking to Guyanese journalists in Malta on his weekly programme “The Public Interest”, the Head of State said plans are in train to overhaul the local security sector. This includes providing better training, equipment and remuneration packages for police officers, most of which will be covered in the 2016 National Budget which is expected to be presented in January.
The President asserted that the prevailing crime situation in Guyana is, in every respect, the legacy of the damage that was inflicted on the Guyana Police Force (GPF), particularly since 1999. He also spoke of the interventions offered by the British Government and the recommendations made by individual police organisations and commissions, and consultancies to address the problems within the Force.
“The previous administration methodically and systematically ignored recommendations for over 15 years. What we are seeing now is a legacy…the police force is badly damaged; it was under-funded, underequipped and its members were underpaid and under-motivated,” the Commander-in-Chief said.
President Granger noted that in recent months there have been positive changes in the operations of the Force, particularly with regard to crime fighting. “More crimes are being solved more quickly …by the GPF,” he said. He pointed out too that the Force needs more assets, such as aircraft for coastland patrols and ATVs for the Hinterland. The president also announced that Commander of ‘F’ Division, Senior Superintendent Ravindradat Budhram is being transferred from Rabbit Walk, Eve Leary to Bartica in an effort to clamp down on crime in the mining districts.
“We are aware of the problems affecting the security sector but if you look at those problems, the murder rate, banditry and piracy, these are problems which we inherited and which we are dealing with,” he said.
With regard to improved remuneration packages for police officers, the President explained that the Commissioner of Police is required to provide a memorandum to the Lutchman Commission, which was appointed to review the salary structure and conditions of work within the public service. He said better wages and salaries will impact greatly on retaining trained officers so that the force could be brought up to its required strength.
The Force, over the years, has been losing manpower due to the fact that low salaries have forced police men and women to pursue more lucrative avenues. “Some parts of the force was paralysed by the previous administration…I am very confident that if the police force is treated better; with less suspicion and less disdain, we will have a more efficient police force,” the President said.