President announces ‘safe country’ programme; highest penalty for those caught with illegal firearms


By Kurt Campbell

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Noting that the country has seen an almost 20 per cent decrease in crime in the last year, Commander in Chief of the armed forces and President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali on Friday talked up a ‘Safe Country Programme’ which will see Guyana being connected using CCTV – a major crime-fighting initiative as the President sees it.

Intelligence gathering, an ongoing practice by the police, Dr. Ali said will be bolstered.

“More crimes are caught before they were committed, were cracked before committed because of the proactive work and intelligence gathered,” the Commander in Chief said in an address to the nation.

But Dr Ali believes intelligence gathering can be improved with more cooperation from the public. “it must be community-centred and oriented.”

“That is the strategy, not guesswork,” he said, promising that crime-fighting in the next months will be targeted.

In addition, Dr. Ali said he is currently in talks with Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, to amend laws so that persons found with illegal firearms can receive the highest possible penalty.

Before that happens, he suggested that time will be offered to persons currently with illegal firearms to surrender those weapons after which the government will move forward with its plan.

“Those people with illegal weapons or associated with criminal activity… very soon we will launch programme to bring you in once you want to change your life. We want a discussion with you and give you an alternative pathway to earning income and enjoying a decent life,” he said.

The President also proposed a plan which will see good performance by the police being rewarded.

“Incentivising the police,” he believes will go a far way in the State’s strategy to tackle crime.

Dr. Ali spoke to specific statistics and said Region Four has seen the largest decrease in crime, an area the security forces had “tremendous difficulties with in the past.”

He said similar decreases were recorded in other regions but the government was not stratified and hopes to achieve more on this front.

Addressing criticisms of the police’s work, Dr. Ali said the Guyana Police Force has one of the highest clear-up rates in the region. He said there is currently a 6.5 per cent improvement in the clear-up rate for murder.

Notwithstanding, the Head of State said the country must now build capacity to increase the clear-up rate for rape and robbery with violence, two areas in which the police seems to be failing.


1 Comment
  1. Xhrp2wkb1 says

    The criminals will always get guns. The govt and the police have shirked their duty and left the people to the mercy of the bandits.
    The people are being brutalized by bandits and there is no help. You can’t even buy a gun to defend yourself.
    In the US I can get a gun legally in 3 days. It doesn’t guarantee that I will win against bandits but at least the playing field is more level.
    Here in Guyana we are at the mercy of the bandits and I firmly believe that the PPP govt cares very, very little.
    No wonder I despise almost all politicians.

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