GPF to foster more community relations this year

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn Monday said his ministry will continue to pursue the government’s manifesto promise of ensuring and promoting safer communities by reducing crime in 2024.

During a televised interview on the ministry’s Facebook page, Minister Benn disclosed that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has seen a consistent reduction in crime and other deviant behaviours.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn (left) and Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken (right)

“These figures are very critical for our country, given the fact that perhaps we are now more attractive in relation to the questions of economic growth, and in relation to the opening up of new industries and new undertakings,” he stated.

Moving forward, the GPF will be more intentional about collaborating with civil society and the general public and the force has already begun making good on this intention.

The GPF has partnered with more than 17 non-government organisations (NGOs), several government ministries and agencies, and even faith-based organisations, in an effort to achieve its mandate.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken explained that

these partnerships will continue to be extended to the grassroots level, empowering communities to contribute to the shared goals.

“When we are moving, we are moving as a body. When we are going to the communities, the cooperate sector, they’re coming with us, and so I think we are doing policing from a more contemporary perspective,” the top cop noted.

He stated that the force also intends to strengthen marine capacity, noting that there will be an acquisition of 17 state-of-the-art boats, which will serve a myriad of needs while serving at a moment’s notice.

“We have all the structures in place now. What we’re going to be doing is ensuring that the CCU (Cooperative Communications Unit) moves into every department, every division, [and] interview the man in the street. Feedback is critical for us,” Commissioner Hicken stated.

Additionally, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary (PS), Andre Ally believes that the GPF’s 2024 budgetary allocation of $30.3 billion will continue to equip law enforcement to cater to the needs of communities countrywide.

The PS, who was also among the interviewees, stated that some of the funds will go toward continued infrastructural development, by rebuilding, renovating, and constructing various policing facilities.

Director of Prison, Nicklon Elliot and Chief Fire Officer, Gregory Wickham were also present.