Budget 2017- security sector allocated $29.1B to restore public confidence
GINA, GUYANA, Monday, November 28, 2016
The government will be strengthening the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and other security agencies’ capacity, as part of efforts to restore public confidence in the security sector.
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan said that Budget 2017 has allocated a total of $29.1B for the security sector as part of maintaining crime prevention and reduction strategies. This is $4.5 B more than last year’s allocation.
“The safety of our people and property and maintenance of public order remains priorities of our government,” Minister Jordan said during his budget presentation in the National Assembly today, at Parliament Building, Brickdam.
The allocation will see several measures being undertaken to boost the capacity and ability of the GPF to fight crime. These include:
- Increasing police recruitment by 20 percent to boost police presence
- Procurement of vehicles and specialised equipment to improve mobility and response time to reported crimes
- Expanding patrols in key areas to deter crime
- Expanding surveillance utilising closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at both airports and in the city
- Strengthening the Office of Professional Responsibility to deal with rogue cops
Additionally, the government will enhance the police’s ability to gather intelligence by expanding the Integrated Crime Information System in 2017. This year, $42M was expended to procure related equipment and network infrastructure to enhance the connection of police stations.
Minister Jordan said that the Integrated Crime Information System will be strengthened “to ensure sister agencies such as GRA, CANU and NANA share intelligence to enable the police to coordinate, intercept and detain criminals.”
In 2017, Minister Jordan said that 30 police stations in Regions Three, Five, Six and 10 as well as the Georgetown and New Amsterdam Prisons will be connected to the Integrated Crime Information System.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) has been allocated $77.5M for the construction of three new fire stations in the communities of Mahdia, Region Eight, Mabaruma, Region One and Melanie Damishana, Region Four.
Provisions have also been made for the procurement of a fire boat for Port Georgetown at the cost of $250M. The island communities of Leguan and Wakenaam, Region Three will benefit from fire tenders in 2017 at the cost of $49.4M.
Budget 2017 has also made allocations to address overcrowding at the Camp Street Prison, Georgetown.
The sum of $3.96M has been allocated for the expansion of the Mazaruni Prison. Minister Jordan noted that works include “the expansion of offices, inmates’ living facilities, staff and family living facilities, training facilities, as well as the construction of a school, day care centre and places of worship.”
By Tiffny Rhodius