Tamperproof driver's licences and upgraded facilities in lock-ups sought
Stabroek News
March 24, 2002

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Making driver's licences tamperproof, and upgrading the lock-ups, were two of the decisions reached at the conclusion of the annual Guyana Police Officers' Conference yesterday.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) conference was held from March 21-23 and President Bharrat Jagdeo addressed the officers at the opening ceremony, urging the security forces to beef up their intelligence gathering.

The President also called for the public to support the efforts of the force in addressing crime and other issues.

One hundred and twenty-four officers attended the conference.

In a statement issued yesterday on the conference by the GPF's public relations office, it was stated that other decisions made were:
* Reviewing the present arrangements for driver's licences with a view to making them tamperproof;
* Pressing for an urgent review of traffic legislation;
* Upgrading the facilities in the lock-ups and increasing the quantum of food for prisoners;
* Co-opting the support of the public and community policing groups in discharging the force's mandate;
* Training ranks in foreign languages, especially Spanish and Portuguese;
* Training members of the GPF band with a view to continuity in the band;
* Re-organising the force's literary and debating society;
* Arranging more visits to educate junior ranks relative to the court process;
* Tabling requests for duty-free concessions and allowances for Assistant Superintendents on probation to ministries;
* Reviving the current arrangements for the repair and servicing of the GPF's vehicles;
* Undertaking an analysis of globalisation and its effects on neighbouring countries relative to Guyana's border and other issues.

A decision was also taken to examine the issue of protecting witnesses on identification parades and the legal implication of the one-way mirror.

Plenary sessions were held on the addresses to the officers by President Jagdeo, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, and Police Commissioner (ag) Floyd McDonald.

The conference used the addresses as working documents from which strategies and plans were to be developed to provide a more qualitative service to the society, the statement said.

The conference was held under the theme "Working in partnership with the public towards a safer community."

Officers took time to discuss the conduct of members of the force in respect to training, discipline, dealing with complaints of corruption, assault and dereliction of duty by ranks.

Traffic problems, including enforcement, congestion and prosecution were also on the agenda.

Police-community relations came in for discussion, with issues such as the police public relations office's possible expansion and the image of the force being given attention.

Deportees and their contribution to the crime situation in Guyana and the enhancement of the quality and calibre of weapons in the force were also examined by the officers.

The other issues raised were:

(a) The presentation of cases in court--investigation, preparation, witness protection, dismissals, and problems in prosecuting.

(b) The successful planning and training for higher leadership roles.

(c) The computer literacy of ranks, and the need to computerise critical areas of the force.

(d) The maintenance of police buildings and the welfare of ranks, including better allowances, meals and extra-duty fees.

(e) The need for more vehicles and the better care of existing ones.

The conference concluded with a dinner at which eleven officers were honoured.