-heartened by tangible results under his watch
Unfazed and perhaps even eager is how Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud is viewing his journey to pre-retirement leave in a couple of weeks. Speaking at what would be his final Police Officers Conference, yesterday, Persaud shared, “I have had a wonderful journey but I do look forward to entering the next phase of my life.”
But even as he prepares to part ways with the Force, Persaud said, “I have nothing but best wishes for the Guyana Police Force [GPF] and for Guyana.”
He reflected on his stint at the helm of the GPF. He said that like every other year, 2018 has brought with it, its own challenges to the GPF.
He, however, assured that the challenges were met by a Police Force that demonstrated nothing but resilience. In fact he did not hesitate yesterday to speak laudably of the work being continuously undertaken by the ranks within the Force.
Efforts in this regard, he related, have produced tangible results, which for this year, have translated to a 23 percent reduction in serious crimes when compared to last year.
The Police Commissioner revealed yesterday that at the end of last year the GPF serious crime statistics showed a decrease of 10 percent relative to the previous year. He said that over the last five years, when compared to the reported statistics of 2013, there was a 29 percent decrease.
“I know that from time to time, this statistics is questioned but I wish to say that [while] there is reported statistics…there [are] always a number of crimes that are unreported [too]. Those are referred to as the ‘dark figures of crime’ and [are] not reflected in our statistics of reported crimes,” said Persaud.
“For several reasons people choose not to report certain crimes. First and foremost, what jumps to mind are those crimes that we refer to as consensual crimes or victimless crimes.”
As he alluded to the various forms of crimes that go unreported, Persaud made it known that even those persons who buy, sell and/or consume illicit narcotics in so doing are guilty of criminal activities themselves many of which go unreported too.
“They are participating in those crimes…” said the Commissioner as he continued by sharing that among the other reasons that some crimes go unreported is because “people measure the utility they will gain from justice against the time they will have to spend in order to achieve that justice….which one weighs out, will determine whether they will report or not.”
The Police Commissioner made it clear that “public trust is a major issue; if people don’t believe that their matter will be treated with professionally and there will be a justified outcome then they will not be motivated to report it.”
Notwithstanding, Persaud asserted that the statistics released by the GPF usually emanates from reported cases. Moreover, when the past two years of GPF statistics is taken into consideration, there was a 19 percent decrease in reports during 2017. There was 77 percent solution rate.
“In countries like ours with a small population, it is extremely difficult to hide murders. Murders get reported…people report; friends, relatives, neighbours report…We are not tolerant of persons killing other persons unlawfully; in Guyana our society is not tolerant of that so it gets reported.”
The Commissioner noted that based on statistics, break and enter and larceny are the two most frequent serious crime reports the GPF is usually faced with.
He, moreover, noted that while gun related robberies reflect a 13 percent decrease, break and enter and larceny between the past two years showed a 17 percent decrease.
In relation to traffic, he said that there was an overall 13 percent decrease in road accidents and those included a 15 percent decrease in fatal accident, 10 percent decrease in serious accidents, seven percent decrease in damage accidents and seven percent decrease in minor accidents.
Regarding capacity building throughout 2017, Commmissioner Persaud said, “We have recruited and trained and deployed 471 recruits, 572 ranks benefitted from in-service and overseas training and this included training conducted by the Justice Education Society with funding from the US Embassy.”
The Commissioner also revealed that the Police Force was able to acquire 140 vehicles via a grant from the Chinese Government and 170 bicycles from the United States government.
To properly undertake bicycle patrol, he noted, the US Government facilitated training for ranks.
These measures, according to Persaud, have positioned the police force to realise greater impact on crime prevention, crime detection, traffic control and response time.
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