the Guyana Police Force on Wednesday received a boost to its existing fleet of vehicles as Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan handed over 15 new vehicles.
Among the vehicles given to the Police Force are five Mark X motor cars, eight Hilux Single Cab Pick-up trucks and two tow trucks. The keys to these vehicles were handed over to Assistant Commissioner of Police, David Ramnarine at the Tactical Drill Square, Eve Leary.
Before the handing over, Minister Ramjattan highlighted that this addition to the Force’s resources would definitely boost its efficiency.
“These vehicles will definitely be a bolster to the capacity of the Police Force to get quickly to the scenes of crimes and also to ensure that the transportation for our Policemen and women from one place to another, in performing their duties, is effectively [done] and in a quick as possible manner,” he stated.
The Public Security Minister explained that this move was part of the Five-Point Strategic Plan to enhance the capacity of the Force in order to reduce crime. He added too that the handing over came in time for the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations during which many assets would be needed on deck.
On this note, Ramjattan urged that efforts be taken to ensure that the vehicles were properly used and maintained. He charged Police Officers to take care of the vehicles as though they were their personal property.
“We are to ensure that Policemen don’t be involved in drinking and driving like we have seen in some occasions. That is not going to do justice to the fact that we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on these vehicles, then you go crash them up and we have to spend more money to have them repaired,” he stated.
In addition, Minister Ramjattan disclosed that negotiations were ongoing to procure another 28 vehicles for the Force. These are expected to be delivered later in the year.
In his remarks, Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine expressed his appreciation to Government for boosting the Force’s transportation capacity, which he noted would enhance its operational capacity.
“These vehicles are much needed. I want to thank the Honourable Minister and by extension, Government for realising the needs and many demands that we in the Force have, to serve members of the public,” he stated.
The Assistant Police Commissioner pointed out that the increased vehicular capacity would also go towards improving the Force’s response time to reports, an area it has been struggling with over the years.
“One of the problems we’ve had is our late response, poor response, no response in very important matters within the public domain in particular crime,” he stated, adding that the vehicles will go a long way in aiding the work of the Police over the coming weeks for the Jubilee celebrations.
Additionally, Ramnarine also echoed sentiments of the Minister, urging the Divisional Commanders to ensure the vehicles were maintained in accordance with protocol.
The Police Force is often criticised for the lack of vehicular resources, and in some cases, river transportation, which have been the core cause of ranks often being unable to respond effectively to reports when they are made.
In many instances, citizens are forced to drive to Police stations to collect officers and take them to crime scenes.