$11.9B budgeted for the GPF in 2017
The budgetary allocation of $17.301B for the Ministry of Public Security was on Tuesday evening approved by the Committee of Supply after examination.
The bulk of the sum was allocated to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to the tune of $11.913B. According to subject Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, the monies will be used to purchase vehicles and other supplies to aid in the Force’s crime fighting strategies.
The Police Complaints Authority was allocated $62.273M, the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) was allocated $1.369B, the Guyana Prison Service (GPS); $2.5B, Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU); $330.866M and Policy Development and Administration was allocated $1.125B.
Additionally, $80M was budgeted for the completion of the fire station at Melanie Damishana and construction of fire stations at Mahdia and Mabaruma, as well as living quarters and $537M for the payment of retention, completion of prisons, living quarters, kitchen and headquarters and provision for the extension of the Mazaruni prison.
$430M was allocated for the payment of retention, completion of band room, armoury, quarters, police stations, fences, barrack, stable, administrative and quartermaster’s building, rehabilitation of Commissioner of Police building at Eve Leary, communication building and ‘E’ division headquarters, rehabilitation of police stations and construction of boat house at San Souci.
$230M was approved for the Citizens Security Strengthening programme which entails- community crime and violence prevention and strengthening the capacity of the GPF.
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Bishop Juan Edghill questioned the Minister over the lack of performance of the Citizens Security Strengthening programme. According to Edghill, the programme under-performed in 2016. The question was also raised as to whether this had an effect on the rise in the crime rate.
The Minister noted that the reason for the under-performance of the programme was due to its late start. However, Minister Ramjattan said that it did not affect the crime rate in any way, pointing out that the current crime rate is lower than what obtained in 2015.
$210M was approved for the purchase of vehicles, motorcycles, ballahoos, outboard engines, bicycles and boats.
Further, the Minister was questioned by Opposition Member of Parliament, Clement Rohee on the return of vehicles to Community Policing Groups. Minister Ramjattan responded that the vehicles would be returned on a needs basis. The reason the Minister noted was due to the fact that members of the GPF needed them more.
$250M was provided for the provision of 911 service and purchase of ammunition, fingerprint, ballistic, photographic, handwriting, communication, narcotics, intelligence, traffic, crime scene and musical equipment.