Police team to deal with Georgetown noise nuisance
Guyana Chronicle
March 25, 2002

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OFFICERS of the Police Force last week concluded another successful annual conference and had "frank and meaningful discussions and deliberations" on every aspect of policing, according to an end of conference statement.

Police headquarters said several decisions, including on noise nuisance, were taken in keeping with the demands of a changing society and to meet the forward thrust of the Force.

The conference opened at the Police Officers Mess in Georgetown last Thursday and concluded Saturday under the theme `Work in partnership with the public towards a safer community'.

Prior to the opening of the conference, President Bharrat Jagdeo inspected a Guard of Honour after which he gave the feature address.

The end of conference statement noted that members of the Community Policing bodies and Station Management participated in the conference for the entire first day; while 124 Police Officers attended the three-day conference.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Floyd McDonald, in introducing President Jagdeo at the opening ceremony, took the opportunity to address some areas of concern to the Force while indicating the thrust for the officers conference.

These included crime reduction in partnership with community policing groups and other stakeholders and the enhancement of strategies; traffic management - taking into account legislation for seat belts and breathalyser and the need to solicit the support of the public in instilling an attitudinal change in drivers and other road users; training - the need to improve the training facilities and methods of the Force while at the same time upgrading and increasing the allowances for lecturers.

McDonald also touched on the issue of noise nuisance and the need to deal with this social problem in a more comprehensive manner. In this regard, he indicated that a team will be appointed, and headed by an officer, to deal with noise nuisance in Georgetown.

The Commissioner also addressed concerns regarding the reviewing of applications and granting of permission to play music especially in densely populated areas; enhancement of the Force's Public Relations strategies with the assistance of a Public Relations (PR) Consultant; improving the Force's response time to reports; and a more visible presence of police ranks on the roads.

He spoke on enforcing the regime of discipline in the Force to protect its image and integrity.

President Jagdeo, in his address, noted the invaluable contributions of the Force and its role in ensuring peace and stability in society. He also lauded the Force for maintaining its professionalism and integrity in serious times when threats to national security were imminent.

The President further highlighted a number of critical areas officers should address during the conference and invited the submission of proposals for consideration by the Government.

These included the fight against terrorism and the implications for Guyana on the international, economic and political fronts; increased spending in the area of security at airports and frontiers; intelligence gathering and sharing among security services; review of the name of the force - whether it should be the Guyana Police Force or the Guyana Police Service; support for the Community Policing Groups, whether it is adequate and the general way forward to advance this aspect of the Force's responsibility;

The President also spoke on the issues of wages and salary and conditions of service of the Force; the need for protective gear for ranks; trial of ranks by some sections of the media; and public support for the efforts of the Police in addressing crime and other issues.

The statement said the discussions and deliberations were centred on issues such as the conduct of members of the Force; training, discipline, dealing with complaints of corruption, assault and dereliction of duty by ranks of the Force; traffic problems such as enforcement of traffic laws and legislation, congestion on the roads and prosecution of those caught in breach of traffic laws; the relationship between the Police and the community and the expansion of the Police Public Relations department to function more efficiently and effectively.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon on Friday promised that the Government will be resorting to local and professional help to improve the Force's Public Relations section.

At a regular post-Cabinet news conference at the Presidential Secretariat in Georgetown, Luncheon acknowledged shortcomings in the Police PR Department and said the Government, which should be blamed for failing in the past to boost the section, has resorted to seeking local and professional help to do so.

Addressing the opening of the conference, President Jagdeo had sharply criticised media portrayal of the Force and said it has to strengthen its public relations efforts. He expressed concern about the image being painted of the Force by members of the public and accused the media and other groups, which he said seem to be supporting criminals, of tarnishing the image of the Force.

According to the statement, the Officers also discussed the issue of deportees here and their suspected contribution to the crime situation in Guyana. Maintenance of Police buildings and welfare of ranks, including better allowances, meals and extra duty fees; need for more vehicles and better care of existing ones; protection of assets, with respect to prisoners property, and private and public properties; computer literacy of ranks and the need to computerise critical areas of the Force, were other topics discussed at the conference.

Also discussed were matters dealing with the succession planning and training for higher leadership roles in the Force; corruption and the image of the force; and the enhancement of the quality and calibre of the Force's weapons.

In keeping with the theme of the conference and the forward thrust of the Force to meet the demands of a changing society, and conscious of the fact that reassessments are necessary, the Police statement said the conference made a number of decisions.

These include reviewing the current driver's licence arrangements with a view to making it tamper proof; pressing for urgent addressing of traffic legislation; increase in prisoner feeding and upgrading of facilities in lock ups; co-opting the support of the public and community policing groups in discharging its mandate; and intensifying training at all levels, including refresher courses for special constables and probationers and airport security personnel.

The issue of protection of witnesses on identification (ID) parade and the legal implications of the one way mirror; ranks to be trained in foreign languages especially Spanish and Portuguese; members of the Police Band to be trained with a view of succession in the band; reorganising the Force's literary and debating society; more visits and edifying of junior ranks relative to the court process; tabling of request for duty free concession and allowances for Assistant Superintendents on probation to the relevant Ministry; reviving the current arrangement of repairs and servicing of Force vehicles; and an analysis of globalisation and its effects on neighbouring countries relative to Guyana's position on border and other issues, were also decided on at the three-day conference.

The Police statement said too that plenary sessions were held on the addresses made to Officers by President Jagdeo; Home Affairs Minister, Mr. Ronald Gajraj and Mr. McDonald. The conference unanimously agreed to adopt these addresses as working documents from which strategies and plans will be developed to provide a mere qualitative service to the Guyanese society.

The conference concluded with a Mess Dinner at which 11 Officers were honoured, the statement added.

Among others at the conference opening were Chancellor of the Judiciary, Ms. Desiree Bernard; Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Desmond Hoyte; Chief Justice, Mr. Carl Singh; Acting Chief Magistrate, Ms. Juliet Holder Allen; representatives of the Director of Public Prosecutions Office; Heads of the Disciplined Services, other senior government functionaries; former Police Commissioners; members of the Police Force Board of Training; Impact Advisory; members of Divisional and National Community Policing groups; Station Management Committees and special invitees.