Communities’ increased trust in police keeping crime down

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The sustained efforts by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) in reducing crime have been credited largely to increased public trust.

The GPF reported that serious crimes at the end of July were down 17 percent. Murder, gun related robberies and even armed robberies all recorded a decrease.GOG Poster - Basil Williams

Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan credited this to increased patrols and information gathering by the police.

“It is largely the increased patrols in areas and the information gathering mechanism from within the communities, and even in the city and that has come about because of more trust in the Police Force by members of the community,” Ramjattan told the Government Information Agency (GINA).

The Minister noted that, “better administering of crime” across all the divisions has put a “spotlight on those who are the suspected criminals in the areas and clamping down on them.”

Minister Ramjattan added that there is an on-going effort to eliminate rogue cops in the GPF.  “We still have some rogue cops; we still are getting allegations of cops beating up people, robbing them sometimes. Once we get the information we are managing to investigate that,” Ramjattan added.

Meanwhile, the 2016 USAID report assessing Guyana’s Democracy, Human Rights and Governance noted that the Police Force remain the least trusted institution in Guyana.

The report cited the Latin American Opinion Public Project (LAPOP) 2014 poll which showed citizens had little confidence in the police response to crime.

However, the report was using a  poll that has not taken into consideration the many measures that government has since implemented to address crime.

However, the USAID report did indicate that government has been actively combating this negative image. The GPF has been actively cooperating with the US Government. The Police have also received training, equipment and other support from the US in the fight against drug trafficking and gold smuggling.

Ramjattan said government will continue to implement new measures and initiatives to further reduce the incidences of crime.

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