The APNU+AFC government knew full well what it was getting into when it promised a solution to the high rates of criminality inherited from the PPPC. The APNU+AFC coalition was under no pretensions as to the gravity of the task it faced and what it needed to do.
The coalition accepted that it inherited a society of increasing and violent crime and robberies, and with an extremely high murder rate. It described Guyana, under the PPPC, as the crime capital of the world
But if its diagnosis was tainted by exaggeration, at least the new government was realistic about what was required to reduce crime. It knew that this was not a task for the government alone, and therefore it proposed to involve stakeholders in the fight against crime.
It promised other things which have not seen the light of day. Where are the innovative strategies promised in order to support the police? Where are the Special Victims Units which it said it would immediately be established in every police station to deal with violence against women?
Where is the specialized committee that was to include national stakeholders, and which was expected to develop a comprehensive public security plan? This committee was expected to pay special attention to the high incidence of armed robberies?
As part of its 100-day plan, the APNU+AFC coalition said that it would establish task forces on crime, security and road safety. Four years have passed and the public is wondering what have become of these promises.
APNU+AFC promised also to confront serious crime. It said that it would arrest the spread of organized gangs. The coalition gave a commitment to improve public and personal security.
Four years have passed and serious crime is still a problem. Gangs of youths are robbing citizens on the streets and no one feels any safer than they did in May 2015.
The government has failed the people when it comes to its approach to crime. Given the importance of confronting crime, this failure can be seen as disastrous.
It is one thing to make promises, to implement those promises and find that they have not solved the problem. It is another thing not to even have tried to do what was promised.
The public would be more understanding if they saw what they believed was a genuine effort to deal with crime and shakeout the corrupt elements from the Guyana Police Force. However, what the public has found is that most of the commitments which APNU+AFC made in its manifesto about crime have not even been attempted, much less tested to see whether they would succeed.
The APNU+AFC coalition has been sleepwalking in the security sector since May 2015. And the blame cannot be laid totally at the feet of the Minister of Public Security. He obviously must accept a great deal of the responsibility for the failures in the security sector, because he holds the portfolio of public security. However, his responsibilities were reduced when the critical immigration portfolio was carved out from his Ministry and placed under the Ministry of the Presidency.
Secondly, the said Ministry of the Presidency, quite strangely, is administering the reform of the security sector. In any other part of the world, it would have been unacceptable for there to be a Minister of Public Security, whose Ministry is not responsible for the reform of the very sector over which he holds parliamentary responsibility.
But the problem is much deeper. The Police Force has been demoralized, first by a most controversial Commission of Inquiry, the crude treatment given to one Commissioner of Police and the forced retirement of the person who was put to act in his place.
Taken collectively, the Minister of Public Security was given a basket to fetch water. It is therefore not at all surprising that the sector is enjoying such poor public ratings.
The crisis of public security, however, should not be confined to the confused system of political responsibility. The crisis is about the personal safety of the people. People are not safe in their homes, at school, on the roads, or in their businesses. Guyana is not a safe place to live in. It is very dangerous place, where life is fragile.
No wonder people continue to leave in droves. What sense does it make to stay to enjoy the benefits of the oil money when the criminals can take it all from you in one strike? Why stay when the criminals will make you poor anyway? People are getting out, because no one wants their children to live in a society in which you cannot walk the streets in peace.
The government has to get its act together. Its management of the home affairs/public security sector has been confusing and chaotic. If the left foot cannot predict what the right foot will do, then the body will become unbalanced and fall over.
Sep 16, 2019Winston Missigher showed that his first win in the Courts 10k road race last year was no fluke after successfully defending his long distance title when the event concluded yesterday on Main Street....
Sep 16, 2019
Sep 16, 2019
Sep 16, 2019
Sep 16, 2019
Sep 16, 2019
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]