Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hidden Agenda!

Community involvement in policing needs strengthening – Presidential Adviser on Governance

Georgetown , GINA, January 29, 2008

Strengthening the fight against crime in Guyana and imbuing confidence in Guyana ’s security capacity call for more participation at the community level. This is the view of the Presidential Adviser on Governance Gail Teixeira who was speaking on the Lusignan murders and its implications for Guyana during a television programme on the National Communications Network (NCN).
“The Community Policing groups whilst there have been many attempts in the past to resuscitate them by providing vehicles, uniforms and boats in some cases, the system has to be much stronger than it is right now,” Teixeira noted.
Following the call by Head of State President Jagdeo in 2006 for community policing groups, Teixeira who was then Minister of Home Affairs was part of a countrywide recruitment campaign for community police officers.
She noted that the response from other communities, such as Essequibo and Berbice, was encouraging but for the East Coast of Demerara it was comparatively low.
She added that those who were successfully established benefited from training and have been active in their campaign to date. She made reference to the Annandale policing group which has played a significant role in the community since its formation two years ago.
“We have to fall back on the community and be more vigilant and organised, either through policing groups or community development councils, to be able to monitor strangers and strange activities in their communities,” Teixeira explained.
President Bharrat Jagdeo during his meeting with East Coast Demerara residents on January 27 stressed the need for more community involvement to boost security.
In 2006 over $8B was spent on the security forces. That year there was also collaboration with the British Government and the establishment of the Security Sector Reform Plan which came out of consultations with the wide cross section of society including Parliamentary Opposition parties.
The plan which highlights the long-term interventions to improve capacity of the army and police was recently tabled in Parliament and will be placed before a special select committee.
Teixeira also alluded to several community concerns such as the high demand for police stations in every village.
“Physically it is almost impossible, especially with the resources we have available. We have to look for other methods and until we are able to come up with new ideas, the community policing groups are still the alternative… they are the eyes and ears of the community,” Teixeira said.
Calls have also been made by government for more recruitment in the Guyana Police Force (GPF) force which is crucial to the protection of society.


Thoughts: Ever so often the government through its mouthpiece, would seek to root its hidden agenda. There is no doubt that the Government lacks confidence in the security forces to hunt down the crimminals, but why not confront the problem? They are not. Instead, they continue to push the formation of and arming of policing groups which are being established mainly in Indo-Guyanese communities. So its more guns , and more guns in the society. The PPP/C is doing exactly what the PNCR did when it faced threats to national security...that is to arm their supporters. It is hardly likely that any policing group would have prevented the massacre at Lusignan. The Government has provided weak leadership to the security forces and that is the problem. Comprehend!

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