By Kristen Macklingam
As the nation awaits interventions by the government to tackle the current crime wave in Guyana, which many believe is spiraling out of control, former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee on Wednesday evening blasted the Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, for his failure to effectively address the situation thus far.
Rohee stated that serious crimes are on the increase in the country regardless of what the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the administration is touting with the use of ‘statistics’ that are deemed to be inaccurate.
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament (MP) argued that irrespective of what ‘spin’ is given and statistics being published by the government in relation to the crime rate, and comparisons between the last two years, this will not act as a deterrent to the criminal activities being planned and executed.
“We’re talking about life…statistics must be approached with caution and in context…if you poll 1,000 Guyanese, 1,000 Guyanese can’t be wrong, they will say they are not satisfied with what government is doing (with crime),” he posited.
Rohee recalled that in the APNU+AFC manifesto, the coalition had promised that it would develop innovative strategies to enhance and support the current police efforts in order to better serve the security needs of Guyana.
“APNU+AFC, with the help of friendly foreign agencies like the FBI, Scotland Yard and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will provide leadership and support to the Joint Services to further develop the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime. APNU+AFC will provide resources to reduce the opportunity for criminals to corrupt the Joint Services,” he pointed out.
However, many citizens and supporters of the coalition are now questioning if the present ineffectiveness of the government is the change which they voted for, Rohee declared.
The former Home Affairs Minister elaborated that certain crimes go unreported for various reasons; crimes such as rape, sexual abuse, child molestation, and although they are not reported to the police, villagers, communities and others are aware that they have taken place.
He told the National Assembly, with this in mind, the statistics being published by the administration which indicate that there is a notable decrease in crimes for a specific period this year in comparison with the same period in 2015, is inaccurate.
According to the former Home Affairs Minister, every day in Guyana, crimes are being committed with impunity and emphasised that the present administration already has in its possession recommendations which can help the crime situation in Guyana.
He questioned what is preventing the Cabinet from allowing those recommendations from becoming a policy.
The PPP MP added that there was the establishment of a National Security Committee (NSC) which was to replace the Central Intelligence Committee. The NSC was tasked to hand out general orders as well as give direction to the police and not the Public Security Minister.
Rohee also stated that the nation had been informed that there was a five-point anti-crime strategy being developed but that this plan was never crafted and implemented. It was being sent back and forth between the Ministries of the Presidency, Public Security, the GPF and the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) and is yet to bear fruit.