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Amid accusations of political interference, bribery and nepotism, President Irfaan Ali last week said the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has a responsibility to show positive results, so that there could be a change in the public perception of the organistion.
And he also detailed that members of the Guyana Defence Force Special Forces unit and officers of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit will make up the shadowy Regional Security Unit his government is setting up.
Delivering remarks at the presentation ceremony for a computer training centre at the Cove and John Police Station on Thursday, Ali said the Force must show that it has the ability to alleviate crime by empowering well-trained professionals to employ good intelligence gathering techniques. “This by no means suggests that we are naïve…. We understand very clearly that the nature of crime is changing globally. We understand very clearly that the nature of crime will change locally. More prosperous countries become targets for more sophisticated criminals.”
President Ali said the Government is considering establishing regional centres to help the Police in their crime fighting work. He said regionalisation is part of the security strategy for the next decade. “You will see people who are trained special forces. You would see specialised Police officers. You would see persons from CANU being part of that regional hub, that regional unit that we want to create because in dealing with today’s criminal and criminal type activities, a variation of skills is required.” The President expects the Force to lead by creating new and improved learning environments, where recruits could unlearn unproductive methods to make way for newer methods, utilising access to technology and people-centered policing.
“Part of leading is to have a change in attitude and mindset. Attitude and mindset have a lot to do with the environment in which you work and you live. That is why the Government too has a responsibility to invest in improving the environment in which our men and women in uniform operate from because a positive environment would also create a positive mindset.” Ali explained that part of creating that new environment involves creating a Force that is driven, not just by salaries, but by other opportunities, such as owning their own homes, being trained, being granted scholarships, and learning new skills.
“These are all things that drive you. Opportunities to get onto scholarship programmes to pursue studies. These are all things that help to thrive the human resources,” the President said.
He said the Police Force should not only be about crime-fighting, but also molding people’s minds and creating a positive living environment. He said that may involve educated police officers volunteering to teach the youth, based on their areas of expertise. Ali said further, the best way to fight crime is to have as many people as possible supporting the Police. In this regard, he noted the Government’s efforts to involve the private sector in the crime-fighting effort. “We throw out the challenge to the private sector that the Government is willing to give duty-free concessions on vehicles, and the Police Force is willing to put people in those vehicles to do 24-hour surveillance, and 24-hour monitoring of specific centres.
I’m happy to report that one business entity has taken up the challenge so far. And you’ll have vehicles along Kingston, Main Street, Carmichael Street.” Ali said businesses have to understand that if they have a more secure environment, they are providing a service to their customers. Of recent the Guyana Police Force has been at the centre of several scandals. In recent weeks it was accused of rigging an internal election, several of its senior members are before the courts on corruption charges and other issues of nepotism and backbiting have surfaced. (DPI)