IDB consultants assess security situation
...US$20-30M funding likely
Guyana Chronicle
March 27, 2003

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A TEAM of consultants from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is assessing the dynamics of the local security situation to formulate an acceptable citizens' security project, for which the bank can provide US$20-30M.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon told his weekly news conference yesterday that the presence of the consultants is part of a favourable response to a Government request for support to provide for citizens' security.

"What the consultants are doing is to reach out primarily to Government and State agencies that are involved in the preservation of law and order and the provision of services in the security sector.

"They would also be reaching (out to) communities and community organisations, particularly because of the impact that the recent crime wave has had on specific communities," Luncheon reported.

In addition, he said, they would also be meeting with professional bodies and other mass organisations to have a fairly comprehensive picture of the dynamics of the security situation.

"What we intend to see coming out of the citizens' security project is funding of about US$20-30M that would be used to improve the GPF (Guyana Police Force) and law enforcement agencies in their ability to look at crime comprehensively...

"(this would cover) crime statistics - to address the recording, retrieval and the analysis of data about incidence and prevalence of various categories of crimes in different parts of Guyana," Luncheon said

The project is also intended to provide direct support for the civilian law enforcement agencies in terms of the delivery of training for officers in all aspects of their work and address community concerns, whether at the level of support for community policing or sociological and psychological help for victims or areas under siege.

Commenting on the recent visit here by a team of British security experts, Luncheon said they met State and Government agencies in the security sector and others outside of Government control "to get a feel for what are the gaps and deficiencies."

"My understanding is some subsequent donors meeting, identification would be made as to which areas donors would give support," he said.

Luncheon added that the British Government is giving considerable support to the administration in the area of security and support for reforms of the Police, judiciary and prisons.

"It is an overarching approach with the British administration that allows for this mission to do what they define as a scoping activity to try to ascertain the deficiencies in the entire security arrangement...and to highlight possible areas for the British and other bilateral and multilateral agencies to support," he reported

He explained that it will be a continuation of a fairly robust activity addressing ongoing reforms in the Police Force.

"But now, obviously the efforts are to expand on the scope of that collaboration of support being offered and to pinpoint what would be the ideal sectors or agencies to which such support would be provided," he added.

Luncheon also reiterated the concerns of the Government about the atrocities that continue with the "cold-blooded executions of innocent Guyanese, causing trauma to families and communities."

The Office of the President has noted also, the completion of the report on the fatal shooting of University of Guyana student Yohance Douglas on March 1 last and recognises the present course of the law, Luncheon said.

Responding to the call for a public inquiry into the incident, he contended that having it simultaneously with legal proceedings being pursued by the Director of Public Prosecution, could cause a conflict of interest.

"I suppose it would be impermissible to conduct a proper public inquiry...when legal proceedings are taking place on the same issue," Luncheon offered. - (CHAMANLALL NAIPAUL)

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