COI to be conducted into hinterland security

─ Natural Resources Ministry to conduct COI

─ hinterland security “is one which we pay keen attention to” – Min. Harmon

full investigation underway into recent alleged shooting death of miner by police rank

 restructuring of GPF done to ensure greater accountability by officers

Aircraft and Corps of Wardens to boost surveillance capabilities

DPI, Guyana, Monday, August 16, 2018

The welfare and security of persons who live and work in the hinterland communities remain a primary concern of the government. This was reiterated by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon today at his post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.

The minister reminded the media today, that the expanse of the borders with neighbouring countries presents a challenge to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks tasked with securing the areas. Minister Harmon added that hinterland security, “is one which we [the government] pay keen attention to.”

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

The State Minister referenced the recent alleged killing of a Brazilian miner by a police rank as an aberration rather than the norm. “The police force provides security for our citizens and that includes miners.” This, he noted, is supplemented by the private security units hired by several mining operations but ultimately the responsibility for hinterland security rests with the Guyana Police Force.

Minister Harmon explained that once a life is lost unnaturally, there must be an inquiry. The move comes after a call by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) for authorities to urgently investigate not only the recent shooting incident but also reported alleged abuses by law enforcement officials in hinterland mining communities.

The government has acquired several fixed-wing aircraft and is considering the use of drones for surveillance operations over these areas. The capacity of law enforcement has also been expanded with the Corps of Wardens, via the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Paul McAdam

Image: Kawise Wishart

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