$17.3B approved for Public Security Ministry

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan

The budgetary allocation of $17.301B for the Ministry of Public Security was this evening approved by the Committee of Supply after examination.

The money allocated will allow for the Ministry to efficiently and effectively carry out its mandate of protecting citizens.

The allocated sum will go towards the following:

* Policy Development and Administration – $1.125B

* Guyana Police Force (GPF) – $11.913B

* Guyana Prison Service(GPS)- $2.5B

* Police Complaints Authority- $62.273M

* Guyana Fire Service (GFS) – $1.369B

* Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) -$330.866M

Some of the major undertakings by the Ministry include:

* $230M for the Citizens Security Strengthening programme which entails- community crime and violence prevention, strengthening the capacity of the GPF in crime prevention and investigation and strengthening the capacity of the force in rehabilitation and social re-integration

* $100M for institutional strengthening and modernisation of administrative structures of the security sector and skills training.

*$18M for the purchase of two vehicles for the National Anti-Narcotic Agency  (NANA)

* $430M for the payment of retention, completion of band room, armoury, quarters, police stations, fences, barrack, stable, administrative and quartermaster’s building, rehabilitation of Commissioner of Police building at Eve Leary, communication building and ‘E’ division headquarters, rehabilitation of police stations and construction of boat house at San Souci.

* $210M for the purchase of vehicles, motorcycles, ballahoos, outboard engines, bicycles and boats.

* $250M for the provision of 911 service and purchase of ammunition, fingerprint, ballistic, photographic, handwriting, communication, narcotics, intelligence, traffic, crime scene and musical equipment.

* $537M for the payment of retention, completion of prisons, living quarters, kitchen and headquarters and provision for the extension of the Mazaruni prison.

* $80M for the completion of the  fire station at Melanie Damishana and construction of fire stations at Mahdia and Mabaruma, as well as living quarters.

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan was questioned by members of the opposition on the reason for the increased sums for medical supplies.  Minister Ramjattan attributed the  rise  to the increase in the number of police dogs and horses. The animals, the Minister said require treatment, hence the rise in the sum allocated.

Opposition Member of Parliament, Clement Rohee

Further, the Minister was questioned by Opposition Member of Parliament, Clement Rohee on the return of vehicles to Community Policing Groups. Minister Ramjattan responded  that the vehicles would be returned on a needs basis. The reason the Minister noted was due to the fact that members of the GPF needed them more.

Additionally, Rohee also questioned the amount of money allocated for scholarships for members of the GPF. Rohee  said he was concerned with the number of persons to be trained and queried  whether they will be trained overseas or locally. Minister Ramjattan pointed out that the officers will be trained both locally and overseas, 75 and 35 respectively.

A question was also raised by Opposition Member, Juan Edghill over the lack of performance of the Citizens Security Strengthening programme. According to Edghill, the programme under-performed in 2016. The question was also raised as to whether this had an effect on the rise in the crime rate.

The Minister noted that the reason for the under-performance of the programme was due to its late start. However, Minister Ramjattan said that it did not affect the crime rate in any way, and  pointed out that the current crime rate is lower than what obtained in 2015.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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