May 30, 2016 News
– celebrations were largely incident free -Commander Hicken
Commander of the ‘A’ Division Mr. Clifton Hicken said that through the efforts of Operation Dragnet, the activities for the Golden Jubilee celebrations were largely incident free; an accomplishment that the Force is extremely proud of.
Guyanese have just celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Nation’s Independence. With several major events and large visitor arrival numbers, the Guyana Police Force ramped up security measures.
It was important that people felt safe as they participated in the Jubilee. Additionally, Operation Dragnet, which was launched in December 2015 and extended until the end of the celebrations, has assisted in the overall reduction of crime. Dragnet is a joint security initiative between the GPF and the Guyana Defence Force and was formed to tackle national security threats.
Due to the influx of tourists and the plethora of activities, which attracted large crowds, the GPF had the arduous task of ensuring that these events were observed with little to no incidences of crime. Moreover, as Guyanese and visitors traveled to and from and converged at different venues throughout the country, efforts to ensure that they were safe were also implemented.
Commissioner of police Seelall Persaud explained that added security and patrols were implemented along the East Bank Demerara route and within villages along the way. For special events and places of entertainment strict security measures were put in place to ensure that patrons felt safe during the celebratory season. The Commissioner said that increased security presence was also made available for the extended curfew hours.
Expanding on the measures put in place to tackle crime at this time, Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent Wendell Blahnum, explained that regular foot and mobile patrols were deployed within all Divisions. He added that there was also 24-hour surveillance of key areas around the city, at the Demerara Harbour Bridge and around the Camp Street Prison via CCTV cameras. Additionally, he stated that crime tips were publicised for sensitisation purposes on how persons can protect themselves. “Our duty is to serve and protect the members of the public, so we must ensure that all measures are put in place that would enable us to carry out our duty,” he said.
Like his colleagues, Commander Hicken noted the increased participation of the public in assisting the police.
He added that the increased access given to the public to Commanders and other senior officers has also assisted in this process.
“I don’t think the prevalence and access members of the public are getting to the Commanders and Sub-Division Officers was realised before. Now at every police station the Commanders and all senior officers’ numbers are on billboards at the stations, so any member of the public can have access to them and it’s working because it’s expected that when you have access, your problem will be solved and that is building confidence now too,” he said. Commander Hicken assured that the Police Force is committed to honouring their duty of keeping the public safe.
It is with this mandate in mind that the Guyana Police Force assures the nation that they can go about their business with confidence in their safety and with the knowledge that the police are on high alert and stand ready to clamp down on crime. And while there is more work to be done, at this time it is safe to say that Guyanese are nonetheless in good hands. (Ministry of the Presidency)
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