Nov 24, 2015 News
The Criminal Investigations Department of the Guyana Police Force has not taken too kindly to statements made by newly elected Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Norman McLean, on the current crime situation.
The department is particularly concerned over McLean’s comments regarding the police Integrated Crime Information Systems (ICIS).
Police Policy Analyst on Crime, Louis Dodson, was very forthright in his rebuttal of McLean’s comments. He called them appalling.
During a press conference at the PSC Headquarters on Waterloo Street, last Friday, McLean, said that access to the Integrated Crime Information System (ICIS) was being “denied” by the Police.
This information is important in determining crime fighting strategies.
“We have been denied access to the ICIS data and therefore cannot really help the police on this analytical tool,” McLean said. “Where is the transparency which was so widely touted? That was available at least through the Law and Order Commission.”
“This (ICIS statistics) is not a secret. As our people are being robbed and killed, let’s help and not bury our heads in the sand.
“If you are going into a fight, you must be able to know what your opponent is going to do and how he will operate. That is what intelligence tells you. Where crime is likely to happen, how it is likely to happen, in what numbers,” McLean said.
According to McLean, he has been requesting that data for quite some time from Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud. The last response he got to his requests was that Persaud was proceeding on leave and that he would have to request it from Deputy Commissioner Balram Persaud.
But the police Policy Analyst Dodson refuted McLean’s claims pointing out that it was the PSC that is not being cooperative with the law enforcement agency.
For instance the private sector was meagerly represented at the police end of year conference, where plans to police the city and its environs for the festive season were outlined, and a review of the Force’s crime fighting strategies throughout the year was presented by the crime chief.
According to Dodson, during previous meetings with the private sector, a number of areas of cooperation were outlined.
“The Private Sector never came back with the thing they promised to present, such as a job survey. We want to work with them,” Dodson said.
The Force’s Policy Analyst believes it is unfair for McLean to make the assertions he made since he would have been a consumer of many analyses.
Dodson said that McLean was a member of a high level policy team that included former Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, Captain Gerry Gouviea, the Director of Public Prosecution and the Commissioner of Police. He was party to meetings where all questions on police analysis were answered.
The Policy Analyst explained that the recent successes by the Police Force can be attributed to the analysis done over a period of time.
“Our operations are informed by the analysis and that is the reason for our success. Several crime prevention initiatives are born out of the analysis. The Albouystown social intervention initiative was informed by the analysis we have done,” Dodson stated.
At least he and McLean are on the same page when it comes to how the data should be treated.
McLean had observed that every police station has the capability to record that data, thus, allowing the stations at that level to plot crime fighting on their respective maps and employ anticipatory measures.
Dodson agreed, stating that the force has decentralized its data analysis programme, which he described as Divisional based.
“We have real time analysis. We have daily, weekly, fortnightly and weekly analysis,” Dodson told this newspaper. The Police Force has competent people who could make good use of the analysis, he added.
This is not the first time that Dodson and the Private Sector Commission are not ‘seeing eye to eye’ on the crime situation.
Two years ago during his presentation at the 2013 Christmas Policing Plan, the Policy Analyst had expressed the view that the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) are not as cooperative as they should be. He suggested that improved partnerships can yield significant results in relation to fighting crime.
“The Private Sector Commission is known for hitting the rooftop whenever a crime is committed on one of their business,” he said. “We need more from them… not ad-hoc, selfish and shortsighted … we need more long-term partnership,” he had said.
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