Crime rate down – reports of lost firearms up

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, September 30, 2016

Good law enforcement efforts have been credited for the prevention of an increase in serious crimes over the August holidays.

Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, at a press conference today, said that analysis has showed that serious crimes increase from August 1 to September 15 every year.

Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine

Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine

Ramnarine said this year however, diligent policing by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has resulted in a 28 per cent decrease in serious crimes when compared to previous years. During the same period in 2015 crimes increased by 21 per cent when figures were compared with 2014.

“We are benefiting from and are putting into effect much needed training that we have received recently, resources that we have received and other interests that have been given to the force to make the force better able to respond to the needs of society,” Ramnarine told the media.

Upcoming training to build capacity

Highlighting the human resource development of the GPF, the Acting Commissioner said that for the year a total of a 104 police officers have benefited from overseas training.

Additionally, between October and November, more ranks will benefit from training from four overseas groups at the Police Officers’ Training Centre.

The United Kingdom Border Force will train some 60 managers and other ranks in the immigration department. CARICOM’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security
(IMPACS) will be providing mediation training for 60 supervisors and constables on frontline duty while the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill School of Business will be conducting executive leadership and management training for six senior officers including three Assistant Commissioners.

Training will also be provided by the Justice Education Society (JES) of Canada for 65 CID ranks across the country.

Police misconduct

The Acting Commissioner says there remains zero tolerance for police misconduct. For September, 15 junior ranks, three subordinate officers and 12 constables were discharged from the GPF.

The ranks were discharged for corrupt transactions, robbery under arms, simple larceny and wounding. In other charges of misconduct, five subordinate officers and five constables were reassigned.

“They never conceptualised properly that they took an oath to serve and they must serve in a certain manner…so we had to let them go,” Commissioner Ramnarine said. The Acting Commissioner added that sufficient effort is made in the training environment to let ranks understand their role in the GPF and their role to communities.

Crime remains on the decrease

Meanwhile, the GPF continues to keep serious crimes on the decrease. As of September serious crimes are down 19 per cent across the country with a 62 per cent clear up rate (investigation to prosecution).
• Murder is down 11 per cent
• Robbery under arms with the use of firearms is down by 10 per cent.
• Robbery underarms where other instruments were used is down by 19 per cent
• Robbery with violence is down by 20 per cent.
• Larceny from the person down by 38 per cent
• Break and enter and larceny is down by 28 per cent
• Rape is down by 22 per cent.

Divisionally, D Division(West Demerara, East Bank Essequibo) is reporting a nine per cent increase in serious crimes. Commissioner Ramnarine pointed out that, “some work has been done” to bring it down from 15 per cent two months ago. “It has to come a lot lower than that,” Ramnarine added.

“Some revision has been done, some additional work has been done, and some more manpower has been given to all the Divisions,” the Acting Commissioner said.

The acting Commissioner called for the support of the public, acknowledging that the public has a negative perception to these statistics. “There is a little perception out there but I think some people are taking the perception too far to say there’s a crime situation. It’s not a crime situation,” Ramnarine said.

The Police’s narcotics branch has also recorded impressive performances. Over the last three months a total of 43 kilograms of cannabis with a street value of $22M was seized leading to 196 persons being charged.

During this same period, 122 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $92M was seized leading to 28 persons being charged. The Acting Commissioner said that 90 kilograms of this cocaine were seized from outgoing passengers at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

In terms of eradication efforts, the police destroyed 21,150 kilograms of cannabis stativa plants by burning. This was primarily in the Linden area.

Firearm holders slammed for irresponsibility

The Acting Police Commissioner lambasted licenced firearms holders for their “disregard” in the level of responsibility exercised. Between July and September, there have been reports of nine firearms being stolen from licenced firearm holders.

Seven of the stolen firearms are .32 pistols, one shot gun and one 9mm pistol. Police analysis in recent robberies shows that in 80 per cent of the armed robberies that were committed, a .32 pistol was used.

Ramnarine highlighted six instances where the owners of the firearms were irresponsible with the storage of their weapons. “The irresponsible behaviour of persons who are expected to display a very high degree or level of personal discipline particularly that they have permission to own and use a firearm contributes not only to the challenges that police officers face but contributes to the general endangerment of the society,” Ramnarine said.

By: Tiffny Rhodius



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