Police Commander wants end to “cordon and search” exercises

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Cognisant of cries from the public that cordon and search exercises are considered to be a breach of their privacies, a senior Police official has expressed a preference for more intelligence-led operations.

Khali Pareshram, Commander of Regional Division 4C – which deals with the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) – said this is the posture he will be adopting for his district.

He made his position known during a recent interview organised and produced by the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

“As it relates to police operations in the division, we are no longer doing cordon and search operations like we used to do in the past, instead, our operations are more targeted and intelligence-led,” the Police Commander noted.

Cordon and search exercises are a routine practice employed by the GPF and has proven successful in unearthing illegal activities. In fact, throughout the years, these operations resulted in the discovery and seizure of illegal drugs and weapons, among other illicit items.

In 2021, the Police Force reported that cordon and search operations, along with other policing activities, led to a 22.7 per cent reduction in serious crimes countrywide for the first half of the year, when compared with the same period in the previous year.

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Dr Irfaan Ali has already charged that the use of technology is essential to the future of the GPF. The Head of State had contended that as crimes change and become more sophisticated, so must the nature of policing.

President Ali had said the Government will be investing in technology such as facial recognition and licence plate scanners; a countrywide implementation of CCTV cameras and enhanced forensic investigative capacity. “I have seen the results of intelligence-led Police reporting,” Ali had declared at the Annual Officers’ Conference in March 2022.