Having recognised that most perpetrators of criminal activities are young persons, acting Top Cop David Ramnarine said the Force will continue to work diligently with youths as part of its Social Crime Prevention programme.
He made this comment during a press briefing in his Eve Leary Office, where he spoke about the investigation into the grenade attack on Kaieteur News’ Publisher Glenn Lall, highlighting that many of the suspects in the matter are young persons.
“If you look at our prison population, the majority of persons are of a tender age, whether they are adults or not they are pretty young and are incarcerated for lengthy periods,” he said.
Ramnarine noted that one of the factors that impacts crime in Guyana is the fact that the country has a youth population that is bent on having things instantaneously without wanting to put in the work to acquire those things.
“They are not being guided, they are not being supervised, they are not being taught in very strong ways that if you need something you have to work for it and make the sacrifice to earn it. It is evident that many young people want something and want it now and that’s where the challenge lies,” he pointed out.
To this end, the acting Police Commissioner pointed out that this issue needs to be dealt with from a prevention standpoint, something which all sections of society need to play a part in.
“Forces across the world and here in Guyana it’s no less, the thinking and the belief and the actions all surround the fact that the traditional approach to solving crime – that is, arrest and prosecute – is no longer sufficient because it’s a social problem and it has to be dealt with in a social manner,” he stated.
On this note, he outlined that the Police is basically a microcosm of the wider society and therefore, the other support systems within society have their parts to play. In this regard, Ramnarine lauded the efforts of the Divisional Commanders in working with youths and older members of the community.
Only last week, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan posited that the country is going through some bad economic times which resulted in increased unemployment, especially among youths. This situation, he noted, has led to high criminality rates.
A 2015 study conducted by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) found that Guyana’s unemployment rate was at 40 per cent and based on a quantitative assessment, the cost of excess youth unemployment runs into millions of US dollars for Government.