Lewis repeats call for others to help reduce `traffic violence'
`...too many people sit comfortably in mini-buses and do not look into the future...'

by Abigail Kippins
Guyana Chronicle
June 7, 2001

POLICE Commissioner Laurie Lewis has repeated his call to civil society and other agencies for their immediate involvement in reducing "traffic violence" on the country's roads.

He said lawlessness on the roads was continuing and passengers and other road users allow it in many cases.

"There are too many people travelling with these purveyors of death and are taking chances".

"...too many people sit comfortably in mini-buses and do not look into the future...", the Commissioner Monday told participants of four training progammes delayed by the March 19 elections and the unrest and disturbances that followed.

Mr. Lewis declared open the training programmes, Developing Middle Management and Supervisory Skills, Special Prosecutors, Station Sergeants, and CID Induction Course, at a simple ceremony at the Officers' Mess, Eve Leary, Georgetown.

He pointed out that everyone has to take responsibility and noted that if passengers are to call out to the reckless drivers of some of vehicles, they will be alive at the end of the journey.

"We have calls about what the Police are doing about the traffic situation and I must say, `What about those who are likely to die? What are they doing about their own lives when they allow those purveyors of death to travel at the rates at which they travel, knowing fully well that the day before there was a situation when a mini-bus turned over and persons died?'"

The Police Force will continue to act and carry out its mandate but others have to work along with the Police to minimise the occurrence of road accidents and deaths, he said.

"Let us all, the Policemen, civil society, the churches, political parties, work on the traffic situation to ensure that the violence that is creating havoc in our society is reduced", he pleaded.

Lewis said the training programmes started late this year due to the recent elections and the following unrest and were affected since those involved had to take up other specific role training to deal with the atmosphere at that time.

"I am happy that we were able to find the time to do training at this time of the year", he said.

The Middle Management and Supervisory course is aimed at enabling inspectors to have a better awareness of their role and to equip them to function with efficiency and competence that personnel resources under their change are within the constraints of other functional decisions.

The 14 being trained as Special Prosecutors will be equipped with the requisite attitude, knowledge and skills.

The Station Sergeants course is designed for officers to be more aware of supervision and to instill in them the knowledge to become competent Station Sergeants.

The CID Induction course will orient the inductees on their role as investigators; assist them in acquiring skills and knowledge in dealing with procedures in criminal investigations and identification offences and enhance their communication skills in the use of English.

Lewis said the training was costly and officers will have to take time off from their jobs but noted that such training was necessary if the Police Force was to develop.

According to the Police Commissioner, the Force has been understaffed, in need of resources and under pressure for some time.

But he stated, "I have taken the position that to develop, one must train and develop skills and cannot develop skills if they do not train and take time off from their jobs for training."