Two-day symposium to strengthen police practices, foster public confidence

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is hosting a two-day symposium with relevant stakeholders, with the aim of mitigating challenges and strengthening its practices and partnerships while fostering public confidence.

The symposium themed “Improving Police Performance through Stakeholders’ Approach”, will accommodate discussions centred on key issues that have been challenging the law enforcement agency.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn

Priority issues include domestic violence, the Juvenile Justice Act, Human Rights in Policing, Noise Nuisance, the Impact of school dropouts on Crime, Mental Health as a public safety issue, Trafficking in Persons, Cybercrime and Traffic Management.Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken, in his opening remarks at the Police Officers’ Mess Annexe, Eve Leary, explained that this important event derived from the agency’s Annual Officers’ Conference which was hosted earlier in the year.

The conference identified key issues which required a stakeholder approach to addressing these challenges.
“Additionally, our symposium is pursuant to the GPF’s strategic plan 2022-2026 specifically under the pillars of partnerships and performance, as it is paramount that we use this platform to come together and explore innovative strategies, foster collaboration and strengthen our policing practices”, the police commissioner stated.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken

He said it will also provide a platform for all police officers to present their innovative solutions and strategies for responding to current challenges.

“More so, utilising this symposium to address these challenges would vastly improve our performance and reinforce our commitment to the oath of office, service and protection,” the top cop expressed. Following the exercise, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), protocols and regulations will be revised or amended to meet the contemporary needs of law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn, in his feature address, reminded the audience that the police force is at the helm of ensuring peace and security in the country.

With challenges arising in the new Guyana, the minister commended the hosting of the symposium.

A section of the police force’s symposium which opened on Thursday

“We have to recognise that our country, we have come from a history where we were taught to abuse each other and now we have to recognise that we move into a new era of respecting each other, of enhancing diversity, of paying attention, to understanding … in respect of our multifaceted culture,” the minister expressed.

He urged the police force to be bold enough in addressing some of the issues that will be highlighted during the two-day symposium. They were also reminded to conduct their duties in keeping with integrity and professionalism.
Meanwhile, although there has been reduction in serious crimes, the minister noted that there is more to be done.

“We perhaps still have to consider that there is a far way to go and that we have to ask ourselves if are we best suited for the job, are we willing, able and capable to do the job,” he emphasised.