British High Commissioner Gregory Quinn believes improving infrastructure and conditions for Police ranks should be priority areas.
Quinn made these remarks during a press conference at his Bel Air, Georgetown residence on Friday.
While he pointed to ongoing Police station construction, the Diplomat acknowledged concerns about the slow implementation of reforms in the security sector.
Another acknowledgement was that there are obvious areas which need more work, including training, improving Police conditions and recruiting more women.
Quinn stated that while accomplishing this will cost money, there will be long-term benefits across the board for Guyana’s security sector.
“I think we’re moving forward, maybe a bit slower than some people would want, but in a way that’s deliberate because we need to make sure that (things are) done properly. (We need) to ensure that Police ranks have got the proper terms and conditions and the barracks they live in are suitable, the training they get is appropriate, there is an appreciation for the need to bring more women into the Police and to improve the ability for women to come in.”
Delving into these issues, Quinn spoke on the issue of training. According to Quinn, it is a fundamental fact that the way ranks are trained determines the basis of their time in the Force. He noted that work remains to be done in this particular area… work which would have an obvious impact on ranks.
“There’s also infrastructure. You’ve seen the IDB/CSSP building new Police stations. There a new one in New Amsterdam. There’s another one going up. I think there’s an understanding that the Police infrastructure is not always as good as it should be. And some of the barracks the ranks are living in are not as they should be. You have to treat the ranks and the officers properly. And I think that’s work which can be done very quickly and easily.”
“It’s going to cost some money. But by doing that you will see improvements across the board… you’ll see better training, better living conditions, a happier and more effective Force. I accept that there hasn’t been a big bang of changes, but I think it’s a slow and deliberate process. But progress is being made and from what I’m being seen, benefits are coming through, though not as obvious as people would like,” the High Commissioner said.
Back in January, British security expert, Colonel Russel Combe had handed over a number of recommendations for security reform. Receiving the report, which focuses on reforms within the Guyana Police Force, was President David Granger.
There are also measures included to address issues plaguing the prisons and the fire services as well as the Guyana Defence Force’s Coast Guard. While this specific report has not been released to the public, another report emanating from the British-funded programme was released.