President says Govt “doing its best” to tackle situation

… claims media making a “frenzy”

In light of the recent spate of crimes in Guyana, President David Granger said crime is actually on the decline

President David Granger
President David Granger

but the media frenzy is making it appear otherwise.
Speaking on the weekly televised programme – The Public Interest, the Guyanese Head of State pointed out that contrary to the media frenzy, the country’s current crime situation is not in such a bad state as is being portrayed.
“I do regret that the media frenzy seems to have bowled people over, they feel that things are getting worst but things are actually getting better,” the President said.
Granger explained that while he and his Administration are concerned about the frequent occurrence of criminal activities in the country, some of them are entirely out of their control.
“If a woman hires a hitman to kill her father or if a man hires a hitman to kill his wife, these are interpersonal disputes which the State cannot be held responsible for… If a security guard at a gas station or a hotel allows persons to come in and conduct a robbery, it is difficult to blame the State and asking what is the State doing about it,” he pointed out.
Nevertheless, the Head of State noted that his Administration is doing its best to have crime under control and has since taken a series actions of such as training of investigators and increased deployment of ranks especially in the hinterland region.
He remarked that Commander of the hinterland division (F Division – Interior locations), Senior Superintendent Ravindradat Budhram, who has responsibility of Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo), is now stationed in Bartica as opposed to being at Police Headquarters, in Eve Leary, Georgetown; thus being able to more efficiently police the division. He also mentioned plans to have those divisions further sub-divided so that there are strong Police divisional commanders in each one of the administrative regions.
The President went on to talk about the increased deployment of Police in Region Nine, particularly the Rupununi area. He added too that plans are afoot to augment the strength of the Police Force overall, which is currently said to be some 20 per cent under strength.
In addition, he noted that the strength of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has been boosted, so there are now more and better trained detectives, highlighting the fact that a lot of serious crimes are not only being solved but being solved more quickly than ever before.
Another measure the Head of State said was put in place by his Administration to curb crime is aerial patrols on the coastland, which he noted has contributed significantly in protecting the country’s fishermen from piracy attacks.
“There have been small incremental changes and… so all of these measures have been introduced over the last seven months and they are supplementing Operation Dragnet, which will continue to June 1st at the end of the 50th anniversary celebrations,” Granger said, while noting that even though these measures are in place, it may be too early to see any results.
Furthermore, the President reminded that when his Administration came into office almost a year ago, it inherited a certain situation throughout the security sector. This, he added, has affected what is happening in the prisons, the Force’s ability to investigate crimes and it has even affected the upsurge in crime of recent.
Over the past weeks, there has been an alarming increase in the number of murders and armed robberies occurring throughout the country, causing stakeholders such as the Private Sector Commission (PSC) as well as business owners and farmers, who seemed to be targets in most of the cases, calling on the Administration to strengthen its crime fighting strategy.
Only Thursday last, former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, faced off with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan in the National Assembly over the crime situation. Rohee had tabled an emergency motion on the issue.
However, the Guyana Police Force earlier this week released the monthly statistics for April 2016, in which it stated that crime is actually down by 19 per cent when compared to the same period last year.
According to the figures given for last April, there were 50 murders, 23 robberies, 188 robberies with firearms, 111 robberies with the use of other weapons other than a gun, 28 robberies with violence, 20 robberies with aggravation, 72 burglaries, 437 breaking and enter and larceny cases, 37 larceny from persons, 63 cases of statutory rape and 22 forcible rapes cases.