Serious crimes down by 15 per cent – Top Cop  

Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken today, declared that serious crimes in the country are down by 15 percent as he reported that this development was credited to the Guyana Police Force’s (GPF) recently implemented 2022-2026 strategic management plan.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn hands over monetary awards to several police ranks

The Top Cop made this disclosure during the force’s annual awards ceremony held at the Tactical Services Unit Drill Square, on Thursday.

He said this achievement calls for officers to continue to perform their duties in a professional manner as outlined in the strategic plan, noting that those who behave unprofessionally will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn hands over monetary awards to several police ranks

“Our mission is to improve our service to the public, and of course, we’re going to extend our arms to achieve as much partners that we can… and so we can work together to move in one direction of transparency, accountability and professionalism for this noble organisation, the Guyana Police Force,” the Acting Commissioner said.

In this vein, Hicken encouraged the ranks to go beyond the extra mile to execute their duties by partnering with residents to create a police-friendly environment.

This, he said, will boost the number of reports made at the respective police stations.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn hands over monetary awards to several police ranks

“We can take reports from those who are not coming to the station, and that is important so our data would not be questioned up as there is a lot of talking about the accuracy of the data…this new initiative of going into communities will create transparency,” Hicken added.

This direction will complement the force’s effort to improve its service to serve and protect the Guyanese people.

Initiatives such as the establishment of the command centre, procurement of more vehicles, and training of officers in Regions Two, Four and Six to satisfy the force’s inadequate staffing are being undertaken.

This includes partnerships with several private and public agencies.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken

Hicken’s statement of a 15 percent reduction in crimes follows President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s warning at the Annual Police Officers’ Conference in March this year where he said that the GPF’s work is linked to the nature of the economy, and the country’s rapid development and transformation.

President Ali had said the force must adapt to future security requirements.

This is critical. The work of the force is linked to the nature of the economy and the development that is taking place, and we are seeing rapid transformation of the country not only from a physical perspective, but from an economic perspective, too. If you look at the sophistication of the investors who are coming, it demonstrates to you where Guyana is positioned today.”

The Head of State had also emphasised that given the rapid pace of transformation, the GPF does not have the “luxury of time” to gradually climb to what is required. The changes, he added must be made, today.

We have to make those changes today, we have to create the environment today for what is required in 2030, and we have this responsibility to ensure that we do this,” he opined.

He said too, that notwithstanding many positive developments over the last year, it can no longer be business as usual when it comes to policing. He urged those present to recognise the importance of moving away from the policy of gradualism, which finds comfort in incremental improvements in crime-fighting.

President Ali noted that “We cannot continue on the same trajectory.  There must be more rapid improvements in the work of the force.”

Awards and Incentives

During the award ceremony, officers were recognised for their bravery, and professionalism in the conduct of their duties, among other achievements.

Monetary awards amounting to over $88.5 million will be disbursed to several ranks from various departments and regional divisions between July 14 -15.

The cash incentive marks a three-fold increase compared to what was presented to officers, last year.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mae Toussaint Jr Thomas and other officials were in attendance.

Some $27.8 Billion will be used by the home affairs ministry to conduct its 2022 work programme.

The sum of $5.2 B was budgeted for the Guyana Prison Service (GPS), $214 million for the General Register Office (GRO), $17.5B was earmarked to the GPF, $2.7B for Guyana Fire Service (GFS), and the Customs Anti-Narcotics was allocated $524 million.

Several police stations across the country are also slated for rehabilitation and construction, through the provision of $1B.