Gov’t doing everything possible to reduce crime -Minister Ramjattan tells National Assembly

Georgetown, GINA, May 5, 2016

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan told the National Assembly last evening that the government is very concerned about the crime situation in Guyana and is doing everything possible to reduce crime.

“We on this side (of the House) are also very concerned about crime and especially serious crimes. We too grieve for those deaths that have been as a result of robberies and murders of whatever type. We too grieve, our hearts bleed over here too, and so it is important to understand that.”

The Minister was at the time responding to comments made by opposition member and former Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee who laid a motion in the House for the Government to report on all of the measures in place to tackle crime.

Minister Ramjattan advised the House that Government’s concern on the crime issue dates back to the days, while in the opposition.

“We over here have tremendous concerns and this concern was not as a result of being in government, but it was a long time there when we were on the opposite side and when on the opposite we were seeing crime skyrocketing all across this country, but being the minister today, we are doing all that is possible, all that can be done in the circumstances and we are having tremendous results.”

Minister Ramjattan in shutting down the motion, told the National Assembly a number of crime fighting initiatives have been streamlined, and put into action by the Government through the law enforcement agencies. The Minister further stated that these initiatives have resulted in significant reduction in crime over the past months.

Improving the national security environment started some time back and the efforts are bringing fruit. For the period January 1 to April 30, 2016, Minister Ramjattan reported that Guyana recorded a 19 percent reduction in crime, compared to the corresponding period last year.

The Public Security Minister in rebutting statements made by opposition member Clement Rohee that the statistics were manipulated, expressed the view that, these statements were made, because the number of crimes cannot be compared to those under the PPP regime.

Minister Ramjattan circulated a report in the National Assembly showing the break-down in crime statistics as compared to 2015.

As it relates to crimes for the first quarter of this year, there was a nine percent reduction each in reports of murder and gun-related robberies; eight percent decrease in armed robberies; 38 percent decrease in robberies with violence; 38 percent decrease in robberies with aggravation; 18 percent decrease in rape; and 22 percent decrease in break and enter and larceny.

The Minister stated that the reduction is credited to several initiatives taken by the Government and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to manage the crime situation. Most importantly, there has been no political interference. The first among these initiatives  is capacity building in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that is now manifested in perpetrators of high profile crimes being arrested within two to three days of their occurrence.

Secondly, the social crime prevention programme and the force’s anti-crime patrol systems, as well as Government’s policy initiatives are developing the public’s trust and reducing the fear of crime in the Guyanese society.

The Minister told the House that the exposure of ranks to training, both locally and internationally, has served to develop the Force’s ability to deliver at the frontline, management and leadership levels.

At the end of April of this year, 44 road fatalities were recorded. This is nine more for the same period last year, but, the force was keen to note that while there was an increase in minor and damage accidents, there was a reduction in serious accidents.

Meanwhile, as Guyana prepares for its 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, security arrangements are firmly in place, Minister Ramjattan advised.