No need for troops on the streets – Minister Trotman

Georgetown, GINA, Thursday, November 17, 2016

Government does not envision the mass placement of Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldiers on the streets to fight crime.

This was explained to the media today, by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman at the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.

The Minister said that that it is only if the state is under threat, and that threat is as a result of criminal or other violent activities within, that troops would be deployed. Trotman pointed to Chapter 1501 of the Defence Act which determines the use and deployment of military personnel to boost security.

The Minister said that members of the military may engage, in a limited way, joint patrols with police counterparts but, “at this point in time, there is no threat to the state that should see the deployment of the military.” He made reference to the recent joint exercise conducted simultaneously at prisons countrywide. This exercise which netted various contraband items such as knives, cell phones, drugs and other items, Minister Trotman stated, could have posed threats if not handled properly.

Trotman explained that, “The GDF was rightly and properly deployed for that operation, again rightly and properly returned to barracks. The sight or spectre of men and women in patrol, in green, we don’t believe should be a regular feature at this point in time.”

The Minister pointed out that although there was a higher incidence of reported gun-crimes; Government is not of the belief currently, that the use of the military is necessary. The recent report in crimes has prompted some to ask about the placement of soldiers on the streets to support crime fighting efforts by the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

The GPF recently unveiled its Christmas Crime Fighting Strategy which will see increased resources being allocated for patrols and other activities during the next two months.



By: Paul McAdams