Security Minister says Force short 7,000 officers as mining sector raises security concerns

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‘F’ division to be reconfigured

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan said the government will be moving to reconfigure ‘F’ division to help improve security in hinterland and mining regions.

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan

He was addressing members of the mining sector on Wednesday at an inter-ministerial forum at the Marriot Hotel, Georgetown.

Among the concerns raised by sections of the sector representatives were insufficient public security and a high incidence in Trafficking in Persons (TIP).

Minister Ramjattan, according to a Department of Public Information (DPI) release, said there remains a challenge within the force regarding its human resource. Currently, there is a deficit of some 7,000 police officers, however, his ministry is doing the best it can to address the shortfall.

According to the minister, there is a need for more senior officers in ‘F’ division that will incorporate regions one, seven, eight and nine. He said the ‘F’ division was such a huge division; its headquarters was housed at the CID in Georgetown.

With the reconfiguration of the division, Minister Ramjattan said three headquarters, will be established in Bartica, Mabaruma and Lethem and will be manned by Senior Superintendents and Superintendents.

According to the minister, the divisions are currently manned by Commissioners and Assistants. The move, he said, will allow a more detailed positioning of ranks and officers to survey smaller areas and will, in effect, improve the security sector in the hinterland region.

Rehabilitative works will also be done at all police stations in the regions and will include barrack rooms for female officers to address matters sensitive in nature. The ministry will also have to supply more ATV’s for officers to traverse far-flung areas.

In the area of Trafficking in Persons, the minister said there is very little cooperation by some persons and sometimes ranks of the force, who have evidence. He said it is an “extraordinary difficult challenge.”

“We are getting a lot of information but sometimes when we are about to put up the TIPs people to go, there are a few rogue elements in our force that leak the information to these people,” the minister said.

He said no matter what is said, however, law enforcement alone cannot work. He said miners themselves must communicate with law enforcement.

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