Ramjattan holds to police crime stats; says payment of taxes will help situation
By Leroy Smith
Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan is of the view that public perception of an increase in crime is driven by the prevalence with which the issues are being reported.
During an interview with News Room on Thursday, the Minister stood by recent police statistics which show a significant decrease in serious crimes.
“Well you know as against last year, it is a reduction this year, but it is on the press all the time; and I am a supporter of freedom of information, freedom of the press, the truth is that there is a reduction as against last year but we are doing everything possible to further reduce that. I still am short of about 1000 policemen” Ramjattan said.
He noted that he is pleading with businessmen to use less cash and “start going plastic” and also to put up more surveillance equipment in an effort to decrease robberies. The minister further highlighted that works are being carried out in communities to ensure greater collaboration with the police.
According to Ramjattan he believes that a better economy is also going to help with the reduction of crime, but to improve the economy, the Minister said persons have to pay their taxes; something that he said is not being done by all.
He lashed out at those who constantly sit on the fence and criticize the security sector without looking to be part of the solution.
“A lot of people feel that we must put policemen at each and everybody house and a lot of them who talking that, they don’t want to join the police force but they would like to call the police and say they’re under attack…a lot of them in the PPP and want to call and say ‘police station, wuh you tek so long for?’ but plenty of them don’t pay their taxes so you can buy more vehicles” the Minister said.
The Guyana Police Force reported a 21 percent reduction in serious crimes at the end of September, 2016 relative to the same period last year.
These statistics claim a 9% reduction in reports of murder; a 5% decrease in gun-related robberies; a 17% decrease in armed robberies where other instruments were used; a 15% decrease in robberies where no instruments were used; a 25% decrease in Robbery With Violence; a 4% decrease in Robbery With Aggravation; a 33% decrease in Larceny from the Person; a 19% decrease in Rape; a 13% decrease in Burglary and a 21% decrease in Break and Enter and Larceny respectively.