– Pickups, ATVs, buses, motorcycles among gifts
Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency Mr. Cui Jianchun yesterday handed over several vehicles and other needed equipment to the Government of Guyana on behalf of the People’s Republic of China, which will be soon commissioned to the Guyana Police Force.
The handing over ceremony took place at the Guyana Police Force Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary.
Inclusive in the US$2.6 million donation was 56 pickups, 35 All-Terrain-Vehicles (ATVs), three 21-seater buses, 44 motor cycles, 100 bullet proof vests, helmets and riot shields, 10 tactical ladders, 200 police flak jackets, 20 bulletproof shields, 20 anti-riot suits, 30 laptops, 40 desktop computers, 10 copy machines, 30 sound lever meters, 5 diesel generators, several spare parts and battery backups.
The vehicles and other equipment are to be used in the transportation, traffic and communication sectors of the force.
While addressing the audience, President David Granger said despite the fact that threats to the security sector are increasing, the Government will do all it can and seek support to ensure that Guyana Police Force (GPF) is sufficiently supplied with all it needs to confront and overcome the challenges it faces, both in the communities and nationally.
While admitting that the country’s security infrastructure is insufficient to meet the country’s geographical challenges, as well as the several threats it faces, the President promised that the budget as well as international partnerships have prioritized the GPF to make it more equipped and modernized.
“We do not have enough aerodromes. We do not have enough bridges, highways and stellings. Yet, the Police Force must cover this entire country. How will it do so? The vast areas, long distances, and limited communications and transportation assets available to the Police Force, restrict its ability to effectively enforce the law everywhere in Guyana.
We cannot have a secure country if our borders and our territory are being violated by criminals…transnational crime. An efficient, well-equipped and well-trained Force is needed to confront these threats to human safety. Our country must be secured against local and transnational crime and interpersonal violence.”
Well aware of these issues, it was disclosed that the government, with the aid of the British High Commissioner, is seeking to restart the Security Sector Reform Project. It will be implemented through a formal department in the coming year to execute the recommendations that are currently being drafted.
The GPF will adopt a divisional structure similar to that of the structure of the 10 Administrative Regions in Guyana, as part of the project. This will permit every divisional commander to be able to relate to a Regional Democratic Council and every capital town will be the headquarters of a police division; putting an end of a system where one commander has responsibility for three interior regions as currently obtains.
According to the Head of State, “One region, one division, one commander – that is how it is going to be. The Force’s efficiency will be improved further through improved management, training and the provision of more and better equipment.
Your Government is committed to ensuring that the Force is given the tools to do the work it is required to do, and it is in that context, therefore, that the equipment being presented today by the People’s Republic of China to the Guyana Police Force, recognises the need to enhance the spatial deployment of the Force to every region in addition to respond to the specific threats to human safety”.
Prior to this donation, an initial gift of 30 handheld radio sets, 12 motor cycles, 48 body pack cameras with accessories, four portable power packs and two helmet mounting kits totalling some US$60,000 were handed over in November 2014 under this same programme of cooperation.
The President said, “I welcome the donation of communications, transportation and electricity generation equipment, which will improve the Force’s efficiency. The computers will reinforce the communications network between stations and headquarters; the vehicles will improve the ability of law-enforcement officers to travel to crime scenes and to conduct patrols.
The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana thanks the Government of the People’s Republic of China for its assistance over the years. The Government and the Force are deeply grateful for the provision of equipment and machinery”.
Meanwhile, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who is currently performing the functions of Minister of Public Security, pointed out that this donation must be viewed within the context of the five-point plan, which was outlined by President Granger in July 2015.
The five points are improving police administration, re-organising and enhancing training, effective deployment of ranks throughout the country, improving communication, and the acquisition of assets and equipment. The overall objective of this plan was to strengthen the Force’s capacity and capabilities to fight crime and make Guyana a safe place to work and live.
Harmon said, “The acquisition of assets and equipment by the Guyana Police Force today is, therefore, most welcome, as it will enable the Force to be adequately deployed in all the regions of Guyana and in all neighbourhoods and communities, and to respond in a timely manner to reports of criminal activities or requests for police action”.
Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, who also made reference to the five-point plan, noted that under the policy, the Force has seen a significant increase in overseas training for ranks of the GPF. The officers from the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU), the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Strategic Planning Unit, are all benefitting from specialised training.
As it relates to the advancement of the force, the President said some ranks were recruited during the period and this process is continuing.
China’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Jianchun, in his remarks, spoke of the cordial relationship between Guyana and China, and said that yesterday’s handing over is much cause for celebration, since the two countries share 45 years of diplomatic ties.
Speaking of the paramount importance of maintenance of national security, he said that the GPF needs much more resources if it is going to guarantee protection to citizens and preserve the way of life in society.
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