Crime: Ramjattan says country not in ‘real bad state’
Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan Friday said Guyana is not really in a bad state as it relates to robberies and murders when compared to neighbouring states.
“There are going to be in certain periods – spikes in robberies and murders and so on – but sometimes this thing is emblazoned across the front pages of newspapers as if we are, as compared to other countries and so forth, in a real bad state. It is not really true,” the Security Minister said.
He was addressing media personnel at a press conference held at the Alliance For Change (AFC) headquarters on Friday.
The News Room has already reported on four murders and several robberies over the past three days.
On Tuesday, a man was shot dead at Parika, East Bank Essequibo; on Thursday, two murders were reported –those being where a 56-year-old man of Port Mourant Berbice was beaten to death and an Albouystown, Georgetown woman was strangled to death in her home while her husband was tied up.
Additionally, the police on Friday reported that a 23-year-old man was stabbed to death at Karasabai in Region Nine.
There have also been several robberies, one in which the perpetrator was killed.
The Minister sought to debunk allegations made by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo that majority of the criminal offences are not reported due to a lack of trust in the Guyana Police Force.
“That’s not true,” Ramjattan said, adding it is “minuscule and minor offences” that are not reported.
“When it is serious offences, everybody will report. They pick up the phone and they call and you have a genuine reflection of what is crime in your society,” the Security Minister said.
He noted that the Police are doing their work with increased patrols. Ramjattan lauded the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for capturing perpetrators.
“We are onto it…to the extent of catching them and also doing the patrols to avoid that which could have been [instead] of 15 per 100,000 to 20 per 100,000 (population).”
He pointed out that the majority of the murders are domestic-type murders. As a result, he issued a call to the University of Guyana and regional universities to work towards getting to the root cause of such incidents in society.
The Minister said while the good work of the Police Force needs to be commended, he is looking to increase the qualifications and level of background checks needed for new recruits into the Force.
“I prefer more CXC [subjects],” he noted, but added that for now “we have to live with what we have because a number of people with a higher amount of subjects do not want to join because of the salary scales.”
The Minister is hoping that with the incoming oil revenues, the Government will be able to pay Police officers better and thereby attract more qualified persons.