National support for security plan to deal with crime in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, February 29, 2008 – Government and civil organisations in Guyana have agreed to support a national security plan to deal with the escalation of crime in the country.

Consensus was reached at Wednesday’s national stakeholders meeting on crime, which included all parliamentary political parties, law enforcement and other government agencies, religious organisations, women’s groups, human rights groups, the private sector and other representatives of civil society. 

According to a joint release issued by the stakeholders, they also agreed to meet again in two weeks to examine recommendations which were presented on Wednesday.

The security plan includes the setting up of an anti-crime unit to analyse crime data and focus on high profile crimes as well as a specialised police unit with specialised gun training and equipment to deal with situations like the recent massacres at Lusignan and Bartica.

President Bharrat Jagdeo who described Wednesday’s consultation a success, suggested that while the plan is not completely new, the increased support was a significant step.

“We agreed that we will focus on a review of the Government’s security plan. A lot of people were not familiar with what we were doing, so many of the suggestions that were coming in were things that were already being pursued and part of the national plan. What we have been asking for is additional suggestions to add to what we are already pursuing so we presented the security plan,” he said.

“We spoke about intelligence gathering, traffic management oversight, a whole range of things and those 11 priorities were approved since last year and we have been receiving assistance from the British government since then to put these things in place. Since Lusignan, we have seen an acceleration of the help,” the president added.