Jagdeo blasts Coalition Govt for failing to tackle crime situation

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Amid mounting public concerns over the increasing spate of crime in Guyana, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has blasted the David Granger-led administration for failing to address the country’s crime situation.

Jagdeo was at the time responding to comments made by the Head of State on crime fighting during a recent interview on the “Inside Sources” podcast. He told the media that the Coalition Government seems clueless in tackling the crime wave as they have not come up with any concrete plans since they took office in May 2015.

“Whilst crime is ravaging the country, [President Granger] has not outlined any measures to arrest this situation,” Jagdeo said at his weekly press conference on Thursday.

According to the Opposition Leader, President Granger touted the Security Sector Reform Report received from British Consultants and the appointment of four Deputy Commissioners of Police that were not there before.

“This is another evidence of him being aloof,” Jagdeo contended.

Weeks after getting into office in 2015, President Granger had summoned his top security officials and laid out a five-point action plan that the security sector would use to battle the crime wave, which at that time, had been rising at an alarming rate. The plan, however, was more of a strategic nature than immediate actions to address the crime wave.

Since then, despite insisting that the crime rate has reduced, the coalition administration had come under heavy criticism for failing effectively tackle the situation.

In fact, when asked during the recent podcast why dealing with crime situation is proving to be difficult when his government is comprised of some former top security officials, including himself being a member of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), President Granger posited there is not a single crime problem but various facets.

“The crime situation is not as bad as people make it out to be… But the one [facet] that catches the public’s attention easily and quickly is interpersonal violence,” he stated, adding that they are aware of the issues and are working on tackling them.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan recently shied away from taking responsibility for crime fighting and instead contended that the public has to secure itself and be more alert.

From the Police’s end, Ramjattan noted that they have to beef up patrols.