There has been a surge in criminal acts and activities in recent days and Guyanese Head of State David Granger has sounded the alarm that this is in fact a part of a coordinated effort to embarrass the Government and Guyana Police Force (GPF).
Granger made this pronouncement on Thursday, when he met with members of the local media corps for his ‘Public Interest’ television programme and said: “I am suggesting that the pattern of crimes that we have seen is part of a campaign.”
The President conceded that there has been a decline in the rate within which ranks of the GPF not only respond to reports of criminal activities but also in their apprehension and prosecution of suspects.
The President told media operatives, “I am very suspicious about the fact that the Police are reacting very slowly.”
He used the opportunity to draw reference to two robberies committed on Wednesday last, one at the home of former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee and another at the home of the son of prominent Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram.
The President was adamant that these crimes “cannot go unnoticed.”
According to the Head of State, “I get the impression that these crimes….they are almost to embarrass the Police Force, to embarrass the Government.”
He suggested that the perpetrators of the attack against the former Home Affairs Minister could not seriously be expecting to walk away with any large haul of loot, “but it certainly made the headline news.”
The President was adamant that “we have to be very careful that people are committing crimes because of some ulterior motives… Maybe it is to show that the Police Force is weak or the Government is weak.”
“We don’t know for sure what is taking place but many of these crimes have their origins in the weakening of the Police Force,” the Guyanese Head of State posited.
This weakening of the Police Force, according to Granger, obtained during the period he recently described as the troubled period in Guyana, adding that there are some persons who seem hell-bent on repeating or continuing the lawlessness that prevailed during that period.
“We have a very serious problem on our hands,” according to Granger, as he pointed to Government’s resort to resuscitating the Security Sector Reform Project with the assistance and funding of the British Government.
“Some of the actions taking place,” according to Granger, convinced him that the Police Force has to be reformed.
Expanding on his revelations, the President reminded that Government inherited the Guyana Police Force in its current state, namely a state of affairs where there was an erosion of its capacity and capability.
During that ‘troubled’ period, according to Granger, the Police Force was weakened, coupled with the fact that more Police were murdered during that period than in any other period in Guyana’s history.
“We had rampant criminality, the murder rate was much higher, executions were much higher… drug lords were driving about.”
According to the President, the Police Force was present during that troubling period and this is compounded by the fact that many of the ranks that were witnesses to and a party to activities of that period are still in the Force.
“We have not purged the Police Force so there are still some elements in the force and in society who were involved in those problems.… certain high profile crimes we are noticing now seem to be hold overs from that period and I am very suspicious about the fact that the Police are reacting very slowly.”
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