Gajraj tells media not to speculate

Stabroek News
October 30, 2002

Related Links: Articles on media
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj is appealing to local media houses not to speculate when reporting on criminal activity and described reports he had flown out of the country on Monday as wicked.

In a statement to the media yesterday at the Office of the President shortly after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Gajraj said the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Guyana Police Force strongly subscribe to the fact that the media can play a positive role in the fight against crime while fulfilling its obligation to provide fair, impartial and accurate reporting to the public.

He said the police always seek to provide information to the press once it does not place innocent civilians or members of forces at risk. Speculation on filling gaps in stories, he said spreads confusion and makes the work of the police more difficult. Noting that this could lead to unjustified criticisms of the police, he said the press was aware that members of the force have come under attack in recent times and many have lost their lives.

Some media houses, he said, glorify suspects and criminals and adjudicate on their innocence without the evidence to support their conclusions. Irresponsible reporting, he said can work more in favour of the criminals than to law and order.

Gajraj condemned reports that he had left the country yesterday morning, saying these were wicked, malicious and irresponsible. He said a simple check at the immigration department, ministry or even with himself would have clarified where he was.

Stating that the police have been working day and night to bring the country to an acceptable level of security, safety and well-being, he said they have spared no effort and left no stone unturned in dealing with criminals and criminal activity.

He said some sections of the press, particularly, those who align themselves with the opposition may want to vilify the police force and himself, but he added that the police force will continue to deal in a condign fashion with criminals and to bring the crime level to an acceptable level.

He apologised to his neighbours in Lamaha Gardens for the trauma they experienced on account of the Monday morning shoot-out and hoped they would be able to understand the challenges and the risks the police face. He called on the wider public to continue to support the police.