Crime-fighting anywhere in the world is not a one-man job or a lone government approach, it requires instead a unified, all hands on deck, firm stand. It is not for a lack of strong, insightful and proactive management of the crime portfolio that has got us to this point. In fact, the Government of Guyana has been steadfast in its efforts and actions to strengthen the national security apparatus.
The Guyana Police Force has reported a more than 40 per cent decrease in serious crimes over the past year, although there has been an increase in the number of murders. Our President has given the commitment of the Government to further strengthen and develop the Police Force, whereby key training programmes will be unveiled as part of the plans to retool the Guyana Police Force maintaining that the goal has to be efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness which requires clarity of vision and not a mixture of vision. There must be one common vision and one approach.
Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn was charged with the responsibility to improve systems, manpower, attitude, reliability and use technology by revising Police training programmes, improving attitude collectively and individually, improving reliability that allows the Police Force to become people-oriented and unlearn existing habits and improve integrity which involves the community and support their initiatives to build trust and harmony while breaking the barriers of division.
With this new approach, it is evident in some communities the Police have built intelligence capacity and networking with key organisations which allows them to become proactive rather than reactive, setting goals proactively instead of merely reacting to the levels of crime.
A string of investments has been undertaken to upgrade several existing Police stations and, in some cases, reconstruct others. Additionally, millions of dollars are being spent to leverage technological solutions in crime-fighting. These are being complemented by upgrading the fleet of Police vehicles to enhance the mobility and responsiveness of the Police.
Through an improved policy mechanism, the Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn has embarked on the wholesome transformation of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) into a force for good.
Although there are positive changes seen through the effective work of members of the Guyana Police Force bringing charges against several criminals, disrupting the unlawful activities, creating a safe space for good, law-abiding citizens to live and enjoy their families, there is still the worrisome matter of a murder rate that runs counter to our established Christian and religious values.
The Government of Guyana and the Guyana Police Force remain fully invested in crime-fighting efforts and endeavour to add further investment and other necessary resources, including manpower. We must acknowledge that we are in this together. We have a unique role to play in ridding our communities of those who perpetrate crime and violence and those who bring notoriety upon our family’s good name.
All crimes, in particular murder and shooting, are a blight against the decency and goodness in us as Guyanese. We must learn to disagree without turning to violence to settle our differences. It is full time we return to being neighbourly and caring people.
In this moment, we need to look inward and staunchly reject that which is bad, indecent and cruel. Let us be sincere, kind and helpful. If it’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, it is that we are indeed our brothers’ keeper and, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, let us come together and live as one people.