Communities in Region Three and Region Six will feel safer and protected as the government’s ‘Safe Country’ initiative is scheduled to roll out in the regions by year-end.
As part of the programme, the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is integrating information and communications technology (ICT) into its crime-fighting capabilities to enhance surveillance nationwide.
The initiative will see the entire country being connected to closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. CCTVs are designed to increase formal surveillance by making it easier for security agencies to monitor potential criminal activities and deter crime by increasing the risk of detection.
To complement this new development a contract to develop an electronic identification (Eid) system was signed earlier in 2023, and is on schedule to produce the first Guyanese Citizenship Identity Card by 2024.
According to the Ministry of Finance’s Mid-Year 2023, command centres are being constructed in Regions Two, Three, Five, Six, and 10 which will be operated by civilians and police officers in the respective regions.
Meanwhile, $468.3 million was expended in the first half year to advance construction to these centres as well as the Criminal Investigations Department, Special Constabulary, and Tactical Service Unit Headquarters.
Other developments for the GPF include advanced works on the rehabilitation and construction of living quarters at Beterverwagting, Cove and John, and Lethem; police stations at Baramita, Tuschen, Den Amstel, Vreed-en-Hoop, Mocha, Sparendaam, Rose Hall, Imbaimadai, Eteringbang, Annai, Lethem, and Karasabai, as well as the ICT Training Complexes in Regions One, Four, Five and Nine.
In the first half year, the police force also received 30 double cab pickups which will aid its capabilities to respond efficiently to criminal activities.
Meanwhile, to increase active community participation in the prevention of crime, some $38.1 million of the budgeted $111 million was exhausted in half-year towards the formation of 37 new Community Policing Groups (CPGs). An additional 53 groups will also be formed by year-end.
To enhance its human resource pool, $70.4 million was spent to train 714 ranks who participated in local and regional courses, of which 22 ranks participated in 16 crime prevention-related courses.