More assets, programmes to improve security sector − Min Benn

─ 20 per cent reduction in serious crimes between 2015−2022

The Ministry of Home Affairs will be investing heavily in procuring assets for agencies in the security sector, as well as rolling out programmes aimed at promoting peace nationwide.

Minister, Robeson Benn made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2023 National Budget debate on Thursday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn

In fire prevention, Minister Benn informed the National Assembly that the government will continue to procure more assets to aid the Guyana Fire Service (GFS).

“Just recently and even now, we’re working on bringing in other than those which we brought in last year, seven new fire assets to fight fires along with three modern ambulances,” the minister highlighted.

Some $500 million is also earmarked in budget 2023 to procure vehicles for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to increase its fleet.

The government is also looking to roll out a programme called ‘increase the peace’ in 2023.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Prison Service has seen a 14 per cent increase in the prison population, hence the government is working to improve infrastructure at the prisons.

We’re talking about putting in the new prison infrastructure that we’re building at Lusignan school, a new health centre, women’s prison …. We’re talking about having education for them, we’re talking about a release programme called ‘fresh start’ to enable them to move to gainful employment, rehabilitation in society and with their families,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Minister Benn told the National Assembly that there has been a 20 per cent decrease in serious crimes between the period 2015 to 2022.

He attributed this decrease to government’s support to the GPF.

“It has a lot to do with our support to the Guyana Police Force, with the provision of new vehicles, with new training, with new efforts in crime and violence,” he noted.

There was also an increase in seizures of narcotics by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) for 2022.

Some $58.6 billion has been allocated in budget 2023 to bolster the security sector.