More street cameras, staffing of forensic lab. among plans to tackle crime

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Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, on Friday, expressed concern with the crime situation in the country, assuring that the government has taken steps to tackle the problem that has caused disquiet among citizens.

During a press conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Dr Jagdeo said “there is a whole plan being rolled out to tackle crime.”

Providing brief details on the plan, Dr Jagdeo said the government was looking at resuscitating and expanding the smart city surveillance programme, which will allow for the recording of activities in several areas across the country that will be monitored through a command centre.

Dr Jagdeo said with some 265 cameras already mounted across the Capital City, Georgetown and its surrounding communities, the plan is to increase the capability by taking it across the country.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo [Photo: News Room/October 2, 2020]
“We may have to pass new laws about privacy but it is a crucial tool in law enforcement,” he added.

The Vice President also said that the government intends to ensure that the local forensic laboratory at Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, is fully staffed to support the police, offering a boast to its investigative capabilities.

He said the government anticipates that persons will access the 20,000 scholarships being offered by the government to study Forensic Science being offered through the Online Academy of Learning (GOAL).

The Vice President also announced that come next week, some 40 new vehicles will arrive in the country for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) even as the government moves ahead with plans to train ranks and staff of the GPF and better equip police stations.

“We are also working aggressively with our international partners on drug enforcement and transnational crime,” he added.

Dr Jagdeo said the government has asked the police to share the statistics on crime with the public, through the media, on a regular basis.

He hinted that although the latest figures do not show an alarming increase in crime, the government remains concerned.

On April 21, 2021, Police Headquarters in a statement said its intelligence-led strategies and constant operational activities have led to an overall decrease of 29.8% in serious crimes for 2021 when compared to the same period last year.

There has been a 38.4% decrease in armed robberies where firearms were used by the perpetrators and a 47.7% decrease in armed robberies where other instruments were used.

Murder has seen a 22.9% decrease with 37 to date this year compared to 48 for a similar period last year.

Countrywide operations by the Force’s Narcotics Department also, have resulted in a total so far of 111 kilograms 11.4 grams of cannabis Sativa (marijuana) and 267.2 grams of cocaine being interdicted, the statement further added.

On narco-trafficking, Dr Jagdeo said there has been more enforcement since the PPP/C came to government in August 2020. He said he is pleased with those enforcement actions with three of the largest busts in the last few months.

“I believe that there were some forces under APNU that were closely aligned to protecting people. Drug dealers. I believe that sincerely,” Dr Jagdeo said.

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