Police to launch recruitment drive
Indictable crimes down, armed robbery up last year
Stabroek News
May 3, 2002

Related Links: Articles on the police
Letters Menu Archival Menu

The Guyana Police Force is expected to launch a massive recruitment exercise shortly since it lost some 375 ranks last year and only saw a net inflow of 90.

Commissioner of Police (ag), Floyd McDonald, speaking at a press conference yesterday said the force was concerned about what he described as the "wastage rate" for last year. The commissioner addressed a number of issues at the press conference including, the traffic situation in the country, crime and recruitment.

He said that of the 375 persons the force lost last year, 38 retired, 64 withdrew and the services of the others were terminated for a variety of reasons.

According to him, over the last three years there has been a steady increase in recruitment with the largest number taken in last year.

At the moment, a total of 165 persons are in training in Georgetown, 48 in Berbice and 25 at the Chateau Margot Annexe, while another 30 recruits are expected to commence training at the Richard Faikall Training School at Anna Regina within the next two weeks.

McDonald said that a total of 560 persons were tutored locally last year at the Felix Austin Police College and 72 were trained overseas. It is expected that the force will place emphasis on human rights and humanitarian and unarmed combat for this year.

The top cop disclosed that in 2000 there were 10,215 indictable crimes, while last year 9,233 cases were recorded representing a ten per cent decrease.

The number of other crimes last year was also lower than that for 2000.

However, the commissioner said the police were concerned about the number of reports of robbery under arms recorded in the year 2001 compared with 2000. In 2000, 809 reports of robbery under arms were made, while last year 1,005 reports were made. And reports of robbery under arms at the end of March 2001 were 221 compared with 220 at the end of March this year. There was also a slight increase by five in the reports of murder made last year compared to the 74 made in 2000.

The commissioner told reporters that at the end of March last year the total number of reports of violent crimes stood at 487 but at the end of March this year there were 439 reports representing a ten per cent reduction.

Addressing the issue of traffic, the commissioner said that the situation continued to be of concern to the force.

He reported that for the period January to March last year there were 38 fatal accidents compared with 40 for the same period this year. Forty-seven persons were killed for the same period last year compared to 53 this year. There has been a decrease in the deaths of children for that period. Eleven children were killed compared to three this year.

"Too many lives are being lost. We must bring a halt to this situation," the commissioner asserted.

He reported that the police have been continuing their enforcement exercises countrywide. A total of 19,321 traffic cases have been made so far for this year.

"Speeding has been one of the major contributory factors to accidents," the commissioner said, adding that with the anticipated acquisition of more radar guns this year the police would be more active on the roads.

The force is anxiously awaiting the introduction of the necessary legislation to enhance enforcement capabilities but in the meantime it is using the existing legislation to ensure that road users comply with the law.

"We all have to be more traffic conscious," the commissioner admonished.

He revealed that as a result of concern over the skills of mini-bus drivers, the police have enhanced the level of supervision of the tests being done in the various police divisions. According to the commissioner, a significant number of candidates are now finding it difficult to pass the practical test.

The commissioner also told media representatives that they have been contributing significantly to law enforcement even though it was in an indirect way. "The revelation of deficiencies in aspects of our operation contributes to better performance by our members," the commissioner acknowledged.

He said at the administrative level, the police took notice of and sought to correct any fault that was brought to their attention. "You are part of the ears and eyes of the public," he said to the media.

And briefly touching on community policing groups, the commissioner said that these played vital roles in crime prevention strategies. At present there are 326 active community policing groups spread out in the various police divisions. (Samantha Alleyne)