Police looking to partner with private sector in fighting crime – Benn

Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn today explained that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is facing new challenges in fighting crime, both in terms of dealing with seasoned criminals as well as younger lawbreakers.

“We have new challenges in terms of firearms on the streets, younger persons who are riding motorcycles and others, perhaps more seasoned bandits,” the Home Affairs Minister told reporters on the sidelines of an event today.

In this regard, he said the GPF is looking to partner with the private sector to aid in the countrywide crime fight.

“We are looking for a partnership where we would have private businesses put up cameras which would be linked into the Police Force system so that we can review, we can track and we can follow and can have a significant impact in relation to fighting crime in our country,” the Minister explained.

According to the Minister, serious crime has increased. He said from 2020 to date, serious crime decreased by 20% whereas it was previously down by 30%.

On the issue of challenges, Minister Benn said authorities are constantly trying to weed out rogue elements from the Joint Services. His remarks come in light of a serving Guyana Defence Force (GDF) sergeant as well as two former soldiers being involved in a multi-million-dollar heist committed on a Brazilian-owned gold business.

The Minister explained that new recruits go through necessary training which encourage them to desist from criminal behaviours. He noted too that throughout their life in the various disciplined Forces, ranks are reminded of the need to serve with integrity.

“At all level of these Forces, there has always been training, information given, re-enforcement of the integrity, values of those organisations for people to behave properly. You can all have situations seemingly like this one where you have deviant behaviour which brings great embarrassment to a Force and institution such as the Police or Prison Service or the Army. It is the function of the management the top leadership and ourselves too, at the Ministry of Home Affairs and other places who have responsibilities to instill, iteratively, repeatedly, and re-enforce the culture which is required for service in those organisations,” the Minister explained.

He noted too that even though the necessary training is provided, it is impossible to identify all persons who can tarnish the reputation of the various Forces.

“Every person in Guyana is subject to the laws of Guyana and if a person, whatever area, has committed a crime as serious as this one [the gold heist], they have to face the full brunt of the law,” the Minister said.