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Guyana outlines stats-based crime-fighting strategy

By Kemol King

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali today outlined the government’s statistics-based crime-fighting strategy during a live Facebook statement.

Just out of meeting with his Cabinet, the president said of the issue concerning many Guyanese, that though statistics show crime has decreased from last year, the government is devoting a comprehensive effort to tackle it.

“One crime is too much. Whether it’s petty, whether it’s major, one crime is too much,” Dr Ali said.

Speaking on the situation the PPP/C Government inherited in August 2020, the President said more than 90 per cent of the vehicular assets of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were out of order. He said nevertheless, that the government invested in replenishing the force’s transportation resources, and acquiring technologies to support crime-fighting efforts.

Moving forward, the government’s targeted strategy will include interventions in regions (hotspots) with high crime rates. For instance, the president said that while crime decreased 19.4 per cent nationally, Region One recorded a 132.4 percent increase in crime.

He noted that there is an increased migrant population in the region, which is leading to social and economic issues for which the resultant factor is crime.

“So, we are now targeting some specific policies and programmes to deal with Region One because if we are to reduce crime by 50 percent in Region 10, then the national crime rate will be further reduced by more than 25 percent.”

On the other hand, he noted that Region Five recorded a decrease of 52.1 percent and Region 4 A recorded a decrease of 43.4 per cent from the previous period, an area with which the Force had tremendous difficulties in the past.

The President said government is also considering implementing incentives for members of the force.

“Where there is good performance, there must be differentiated treatment. You must be recognised for good performance… incentive-based crime-fighting.”

The President noted that statistics show that better results are being recorded in areas populated by cameras from the Smart City programme – Regions 3, 4A, 4B, 4C, and Five. The government hopes to replicate this effect across the country.

Document displayed with His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on the crime rate

“We’re going to have the entire country connected onto CCTV cameras, so that all of the country will be on the watch by the relevant authorities so that we can be proactive in crime-fighting.”

The government, the president said, will also be investing significantly in intelligence gathering.

“More crimes were caught even before they were committed, or were cracked before they were committed because of the proactive work and the intelligence gathering.”

The president committed the government’s efforts to paying more attention to sexual crimes.

“If you look at rape, we had a 55 percent increase, and this is an issue we have to get tough on. This is one of the areas that we have to see tremendous improvement.”

He said the government saw marked decreases of 32.4 percent and 44.7 percent decreases in robberies, underarms and with aggravation, respectively, but an increase in rape.

Though robberies under arms saw a national reduction, the government intends to target Regions Six, Seven and Nine in their efforts to reduce these types of crimes.

Generally, the government will also look to impose stiffer penalties for illegal gun ownership.

“I’ve asked the AG to look at the laws and to apply the highest penalty – to propose an amendment to apply the highest penalty to persons found with illegal weapons because that is a major contributory factor…” 

Persons illegally in possessions of firearms, will be given a period of time to give them up. The president also invited persons associated with criminal activity to approach the government, as it will launch a programme to help rehabilitate persons who want to change their lives, including assisting them to find jobs.

In keeping with the government’s transparency agenda, President Ali provided a statistical breakdown of the crime situation. He said there is nothing to hide; that he promised a transparent government.

“You do not have a president who will hide from any issue. I am going to be upfront in dealing with every issue that challenges the people of this country.”

He said he is committed to working every single day to making his people’s lives better.



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