Errant drivers taking advantage of lack of Police digitalisation – Road Safety Council chair

…calls for urgent digitalising in Police Force

In a bid to combat rising road traffic violations and improve law enforcement efficacy, Chairman of the National Road Safety Council, Earl Lambert, has emphasised the urgent need for digitalisation within the Guyana Police Force.
During a recent program focused on traffic management, Lambert highlighted the deficiency in technological advancements within the police force, particularly in comparison to other nations. He emphasised the importance of equipping officers with body cameras and technology capable of detecting nearby cameras, citing their effectiveness in deterring reckless driving behaviors.
“We have been pushing for some modern effect to come into play…we don’t have that as yet, and our drivers are taking advantage of it”, he said.
Lambert further addressed concerns raised by police officers regarding undue interference from influential individuals, resulting in leniency towards traffic offenders. He asserted that the implementation of body cameras would mitigate such incidents, fostering transparency and accountability within law enforcement.
Concurrently, Kester Huston, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), echoed Lambert’s sentiments, emphasising the transformative potential of digitalisation.
“Digitalisation in Guyana is one that is needed. It is a big gap that needs to be filled fast. It will make a lot of things more efficient and will raise the bar on how we present ourselves as a nation. Technology will make the dissemination of information easier and access to data”, he said.
Huston emphasised the importance of intentional enforcement measures, advocating for a cultural shift within the police force. He acknowledged forthcoming plans to introduce speed cameras and body cameras but stressed the necessity of accompanying these initiatives with a broader cultural transformation.
“A cultural shift has to happen… the enforcement agencies must be intentional about how they approach things. I think there is a lot of work that has to be done and every single officer has to play a part in that. There is long way to go…the private sector is there to support the police force. We can adopt from other countries, but what is missing is the will”, he said.
Both Lambert and Huston underscored the critical role of digitalisation in enhancing road safety and law enforcement effectiveness, calling for concerted efforts from stakeholders to drive meaningful change in Guyana’s policing landscape.
Earlier this year, a whopping $44.8 billion was approved for the Ministry of Home Affairs, a significant chunk of which will go towards strengthening the capacities of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Fire Service (GFS).
The sum of $30.3 billion was approved for the GPF, for which $1 billion will go towards the procurement of additional vehicles, including motorcycles, boats and engines, to boost the response capabilities of this entity.
An additional $5 billion has been set aside for the rehabilitation of Police stations, while sums have also been budgeted for the procurement of some 300 body cameras for Police ranks.
Moreover, the sum of $1 billion has been allotted to advance construction of the new US$28 million 12-storey Brickdam Police Station, which is envisioned to become the new GPF Headquarters.
Significant investments would also be made in training of Police officers, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn told the Committee of Supply during the consideration of the budget estimates. (G9)