CARICOM crime and security strategy discussed in Guyana

The event attracted a number of top security personnel, including Deputy Commissioner of Law Enforcement, Seelall Persaud, Head, Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU), James Singh, Chief of Staff, of the Guyana Defence Force, Commodore Gary Best, Secretary to the Defence Board, Dr Roger Luncheon and Director of Prisons Dale Erskine.

Luncheon, speaking on the state’s outlook on the issue, stated that, while crime is a way of life, emphasis being placed by the government is to ensure that it is managed and in the near future eradicated. 

He emphasised that, while much has been done in this regard, the workshop comes at an opportune time when law enforcement officials gather to focus their attention on what more can be done as the importance of being comprehensive and evidence based cannot be overstressed. 

Luncheon stated that while the strategy pays more attention to the regional rather than the national level, it however presents clauses with what’s best for the country. 

“If we are to address this scourge, considerable effort will have to be made both at the regional and national levels,” he said.

Luncheon stated that for a country to oversee the development of the regional crime and security strategy, top priority concerns of member states must first be highlighted and addressed. 

“For those strategists who think and accept the comprehensiveness of crime as a way of life and have looked and examined the sociology, considerable work has been and continues to be done… for us in Guyana here we are examining the strategy thoroughly rather than adopting for adopting sake,” he said. 

While adding that Guyana will continue to demonstrate where its financing is injected, Luncheon stated that, after 19 years, it is clear that the administration has and continues to place enhanced emphasis on the social sector as was demonstrated within the 2012 National Budget. 

The workshop addressed issues as: strategic security environment and the regional security apparatus, legislative infrastructure and justice sector improvement, tackling crime, enhancing border and port security, disaster management and the modernisation and strengthening of prison management. 

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, while stating that the workshop has brought together representatives of the disciplined services to examine the document, noted that it also reflects national realities, as heavy emphasis was placed on citizens. 

“At the national level, the government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), signed an agreement which seeks to beef-up citizen security, while at the hemispheric level UNASUR has also been doing the latter… Here we are at the national level already implementing a programme aimed at improving citizen security,” he said.

Rohee stated that at the conclusion of the workshop, the reality of Guyana’s crime level should be identified so as to better tackle it. 

At the international level enhanced focus is being placed on the proliferation of illegal guns, which have had a significant impact on the escalation of crime, along with the issue of human trafficking and money laundering. 

“At the end of the day, you (a country), would have a whole raft of strategies, and would also have to have the necessary resources to implement those strategies, if crime is to be tackled effectively,” he said. 

A structure has already been established by CARICOM heads of government in respect to regional security where commissioners of police and military chiefs meet on an annual basis to discuss the way forward. 

The Council of Ministers responsible for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) at its fifth meeting mandated the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) to develop a regional crime and security strategy.

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