People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Prime Ministerial Candidate, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips on Sunday said that safer communities were needed for Guyana to attract foreign investors.
According to Phillips, for this to happen there needs to be an expansion in use of modern technology and intelligence in the fight against crime throughout Guyana.
He made these comments at the Party’s Bath Settlement, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) rally, where he assured supporters that the Party would make communities safer when it resumed office after the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
“We will provide more equipment and training for the law enforcement personnel. We will improve the investigating and forensic capabilities of all the law enforcement agencies. We will expand and use modern technology and intelligence in the fight against crime throughout Guyana. We will expand intelligence-gathering and processing capabilities in all of the law enforcement agencies in order to promote intelligence-led policing throughout Guyana,” Phillips told the thousands of supporters.
He said the PPP/C would ensure greater accountability by the Police in solving crime in Guyana.
“We will provide better renumeration and conditions of service for persons in the security forces. We will decentralise crime-fighting resources and capabilities across Guyana,” Phillips added.
Security capabilities in the hinterland will also be improved, Phillips said, adding that the Party would support Amerindian communities as well as the forestry and mining sectors.
The Financial Intelligence Unit and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit are also to be strengthened as part of the crime and security strategy.
“We will increase international cooperation in the fight against the smuggling of narcotics. We also need to look at road safety.”
To this end, policies will be implemented to make the roads in Guyana safe for pedestrians and all other classes of road users. He also noted that a PPP Government would improve the prison system and prisoners would be put to work.
“They will have to learn a trade. We will rehabilitate them and most of all, we will return the bonus paid to the hard-working men and women of all the Joint Services,” he reiterated.
The Party’s Prime Ministerial Candidate noted that more money must be spent on the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) so that the country would be able to ensure its borders are secure. Hence, it will have to be equipped with the necessary vessels and equipment to patrol Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Phillips also took time to address issues affecting Guyanese under the current administration. Among them are the extensive spending by Government and the economy.
Phillips noted that US$1.3 trillion was spent by the Government since it took office in 2015. While noting that there was not much to show for that money, Phillips recalled that many persons supported the coalition back then owing to the concrete promises made in 2015.
“I went to Maria and a friend told me that they had a lot of concrete promises, but they only gave us concrete roads,” the retired Army Brigadier related.
“The people are starving,” he said, “and have to contend with 200 new taxes implemented by the coalition Government and to add insult to injury, they took away the $10,000 ‘Because we care’ Grant for schoolchildren.”
Referring to the coalition, Phillips said it lacked vision, as he was still to see a strategic plan for Guyana developed by the coalition Administration.
Thirty thousand jobs have been lost since the coalition took office. Many householders are not making enough money to cushion the impact of a rising standard of living which is being triggered by increased taxes, including VAT on water, medical supplies, education and electricity.
All these, Phillips said, will be removed when his party takes office after the March elections.