Citizen Security programme complete, evaluation of success ongoing
The Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) which started in 2015 following a US$15 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to address crime and violence in the country has seen incredible success over the years.
Vishraj Singh, Programme Manager for CSSP explained that an evaluation of the success of the programme is currently ongoing. The final report is expected to be completed in a few weeks but already there is evidence of crime and violence reduction.
“We have reached our deadline which is the end of the disbursement period and we have engaged a consultant to do the final evaluation of the programme which shows the baseline data and where we are right now, to show the reduction in the rates of crime and violence,” Singh told the News Room at the closing ceremony of the programme on Friday at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.
“The programme was a success because the results matrix of the project showed indicators and deliverables, and we have met most of those, the ones that we did not meet we are contracted to meet them, we are almost there,” Singh added.
The CSSP over the last six years assisted with legislative reforms, strategic planning, operational improvements, human resource capacity building and cross-border alliances.
Other strategic initiatives include the establishment of community action councils that provided oversight and guidance for the programme, targeting communities with high crime rates and trained 1, 283 at risk youths in computer studies, electrical engineering and other skills.
Under this programme, several major national surveys were conducted including surveys on business victimization, violence against women and crime and violence in indigenous communities. The CSSP was further extended to help reduce recidivism in prisons by rehabilitating prisons and conducting censuses to understand the prison population and the issues faced by prisoners.
Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh posited that as Guyana undergoes this transformative period, institutional reform and modernisation is an important part of the government’s undertaking.
“We don’t want that you for some reason to visit an institution of state and feel like you are stepping back into the stone ages, the transformation is not only about the roads, the airports, the bridges and the hotels.
“A non-negotiable element is a necessity for citizens and visitors to enjoy safety and security of person and property,” Dr Singh said.
And it is for this reason that the government has undertaken the modernisation of the security forces.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, SC, Anil Nandlall during his remarks said the cooperation with the CSSP to improve the Criminal Justice System is working well.
“We have worked well and we are delivering on the objectives of these programmes, I know the IDB is well impressed in the delivery of these projects,” Nandlall said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn said the ministry has been working on programmes to increase the “peace” in Guyana.
He revealed that the country is seeing threats in transnational crime and cybercrime and as a result, platforms need to be in place to address this.
The CSSP also supports the modernisaiton of the Guyana Police Force, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken revealed.
Through CSSP there have been improved police responses to gender-based violence with over 3000 policemen and women properly trained on how to handle these cases.
“Improved police response to domestic violence will increase prosecution,” Hicken noted and related that some 40 new prosecutors will be joining the Police Force.