Major success unfolds as CSS programme marks 6 years in Guyana
Six years after the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) was launched in Guyana to address crime and violence in the country, major successes have been recorded.
On Friday at the Exit Workshop for the CSSP, it was announced by CSSP Programme Manager Vishraj Singh, that so far, it has accomplished almost all of its targets, and is on the cusp of completing the others.
He opined that while a final report is being compiled and is expected to be completed in a few weeks, so far, they have identified a reduction in criminal and violent activities.
“…those which we have not accomplished we are moving in the right direction. We are not there yet, but we are moving in the right direction.
Singh said of the $15 million loan granted by the IDB, every cent was expended towards the reduction of crime.
Over the last six years of the programme being in Guyana, the Government has undertaken several initiatives to strengthen the security sector, aiming to reduce crime and improve citizen security nationwide.
These initiatives include legislative reforms, strategic planning, operational improvements, human resource capacity building, and cross-border alliances, among other strategic initiatives
Other accomplishments from the programme include 20 community action councils being established, 1283 youths being certified in vocational training, 60 job readiness and job placement training workshops, entrepreneurship training programmes geared towards reducing unemployment, training on domestic violence, parenting skills to prevent child maltreatment, mentoring programmes and rapid impact projects.
Also, under the programme, several national high-quality surveys were carried out on business victimisation, violence against women, and crime and violence in Indigenous communities.
The CSSP was further extended to help reduce recidivism in prisons by rehabilitating prisons and conducting censuses to understand the prison population and the issues faced by prisoners.
Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh in his address stated that Guyana has embarked on a transformation like no other in the hemisphere, and it is important that we have broad-based economic growth beyond the oil and gas sector.
He said it is important that we build a modern Guyana.
“…we don’t want… that you for some reason to visit an institution of the State… and feel like you are stepping back into the stone ages… the transformation is not only about the roads, the airports, the bridges, and the hotels… a non-negotiable element is a necessity for citizens and visitors to enjoy safety and security of person and property,” he said.
Meanwhile, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC, during his time at the microphone, explained that the collaboration with the CSSP to improve the Criminal Justice System is moving in the right direction.
He said that they are delivering on the objectives of these programmes, and he is cognisant that the IDB is well impressed in the delivery of these projects.
Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, on the other hand, said that the Home Affairs Ministry has been working on programmes to increase the peace in Guyana. “In respect of increasing peace, we can only use the information from the research that has come out of his effort…”, he said.
He revealed that the country is seeing threats in transnational crime and cybercrime and as a result, platforms need to be in place to address this.
In addition, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken revealed that the CSSP is in full support of the modernisation of the country. He said so far, they were able to improve the Police’s responses to gender-based violence, by training over 3000 policemen and women on how to deal with these cases.