Inter-ministry teamwork to remove vagrants from Parliament Building environs

Georgetown, GINA, July 12, 2016

The Ministry of Public Security is seeking technical advice on the permanent removal of vagrants who continue to squat around Parliament building.

Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that to effectively remove these persons poses “a huge problem” to the Guyana Police Force.

Ramjattan pointed out that while on some occasions police have had to place some of the vagrants in holding cells, they would always return to the area once they are released.  “We have a huge problem there…when you start taking them and putting them in the lock-ups because we don’t really have space for them,” Ramjattan said.

The Public Security Ministry is part of a committee established by the Ministry of Social Protection to address the welfare management of the homeless, mentally challenged and addicted persons on the streets. The committee also includes representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.

“We have to construct a half-way house, and we’ll have to get the funding to Social Protection Ministry for that purpose,” Ramjattan explained as one solution to address the problem.

Last month, the Ministry of Social Protection had indicated that it had identified a building in Region Five to house street dwellers where they will be evaluated to determine whether some of them can be treated externally, placed in a home or be referred to the National Psychiatric Hospital.

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