President to announce menu of crime fighting measures By Neil Marks
Guyana Chronicle
June 6, 2002

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`It does seem (that) there is something organised and there is a calculated effort (to) deflect law enforcement interventions' - Dr. Roger Luncheon

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo is to announce "very soon" a "menu of measures" to deal with the upsurge in crime, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon reported yesterday.

The President met the top brass of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force on Tuesday to discuss his proposals and to seek their interventions, Luncheon said.

The Office of the President said the meeting with the Police Officers "examined and explored a number of additional initiatives to deal with the current and changing crime situation in Guyana and the Caribbean, in the short and medium terms".

At his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing, Luncheon said "Cabinet discussed in great detail the evolving crime situation and the menu of measures that is proposed by the President".

He said that Cabinet's review of the proposed plan of action thrown out by the President took place in the context of his (the President's) commitment to an "all out campaign against crime in Guyana".

The implementation of the measures is "considered necessary for the handling of the crime situation," Luncheon said.

He added that the President will host a media conference soon that would "dedicatedly address this issue".

Luncheon, also Cabinet Secretary, dismissed concerns that the Army has reservations about engaging in joint activity with the Police and debunked rumours that Army and Police personnel are resigning given the attacks by criminals on the law enforcement ranks and Police stations.

Meantime, Luncheon said that the timeliness of the Police response to Saturday's robbery/murder in Regent Street, Georgetown, might have been hampered by specific efforts to "misinform and deflect the attention of law enforcement agencies".

The Commerce House Cambio was robbed of millions of dollars in local and foreign currencies and the 44-year-old cashier, Ramnauth Persaud was shot dead, while the owner, Kennard Gobin sustained gunshot wounds for which he is still hospitalised.

Luncheon said that in this instance, the Police received "three or four" hoax calls to check out disturbances at other locations simultaneously with the call of the incident at the cambio.

According to him, "it does seem (that) there is something organised and there is a calculated effort" to "deflect law enforcement interventions" and for the Police in one particular locality "to respond unifiedly to the scene of an actual incident."

Luncheon accused the main Opposition People's National Congress/Reform of "stoking" the upsurge in criminal activities directed against Policemen and said that the party should "desist" from such behaviour.