Jul 08, 2011 News
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has dismissed as inaccurate, certain contents in the recently published US State Department report on crimes and safety in Guyana.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Rohee said that while he is still studying the document, there are aspects that he has already noted that the Guyana government will be responding to in the not too distant future.
“I think that there are certain things that have been over dramatized, I should say over exaggerated. I think that the comparative analysis between Guyana and the United States leaves much to be desired. And those would be my original comments at this time until we formulate a more precise response that would reflect our position,” Rohee stated.
In its 2011 report on crime and security in Guyana, the US State Department said that the murder rate in Guyana is three-times higher than the murder rate in the United States, and criminal activity in the capital city of Georgetown continues to increase, particularly violent crimes against people and property.
The report noted that foreigners, in general, are viewed as targets of opportunity. Serious crime, including murder and armed robbery, continues to be a major problem.
According to 2010 crime statistics, the report noted that there were approximately 710 incidents reported to the Regional Security Office (RSO), of which there were 140 murders, 108 shooting incidents, and 143 armed robberies.
The report recommended that U.S. citizens maintain a high level of vigilance, consider security issues when planning activities throughout Guyana, and avoid travelling at night, when possible.
“Local police in Guyana have resource and manpower limitations that inhibit their ability to deter or respond to criminal activity. Police patrols are rare or nonexistent. There is an emergency telephone number “911” for police, fire, or rescue. The fire department generally provides a timely response, while a police response, especially during the night is less dependable. The police response to emergency calls is often too slow (15 minutes or longer). When the police do respond, they have a limited amount of authority to act on their part, and at times, attempt to solicit bribes, as officers are not compensated well,” the report stated.
According to the US State Department, corruption is widely perceived to be commonplace within the Guyana Police Force and overall government in Georgetown.
It was stated that “Many police are reportedly paid off by criminal elements and are alleged to work with the criminals by either assisting or protecting them.”
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