By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Security, Khemraj Ramjattan is not budging on his decision to close down bars and nightclubs in Guyana at 2:00 hrs, even though there is still an increase in crime since the implementation of the curfew.
Upon assuming office some four months ago, Ramjattan implemented the 2AM policy as a means of tackling the issue of crime facing the nation, hoping it would serve as a deterrent; however his decision was met with much resistance from the business community, who complained about loss of revenue.
At a post cabinet media briefing on Friday, August 28, Ramjattan told reporters that if he decides to change his mind, it would be to place the curfew for bars and nightclubs at 12 midnight, which is in accordance with the law.
He maintains that there is a correlation between heavy drinking at 2AM and after as it relates to violent crimes and domestic violence, noting that the Ministry of Public Security has the statistics to prove it.
“It is very much correlated; heavy drinking with violence, abuse of women and so on and I am not going to change that. The law is…it must be at 12’ O clock. It’s only the high ranking hotels and so on that can go until 2 in the morning…And if there’s any change that I’m going to make quite frankly, this administration, well at least my Ministerial-ship would like to bring it forward to 12’o clock,” Ramjattan told the news conference.
He believes that young people should not be out “drinking late” and that a lot of wives are grateful for the implementation of the policy, since it ensure that their husbands are at home early.
“We have to set standards here…otherwise we’re going to have young people more out in the streets late at night, drinking and misbehaving… A lot of the wives and women are saying it is a good thing because it has brought my husband home earlier and he got a little more money in his pocket,” said the Public Security Minister.
He believes that in order for crime to be reduced, a number of “unpopular” measures have to be put in place.