Police to develop better strategies to deal with kidnappings

Stabroek News
May 2, 2003

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The Guyana Police Force is to develop better strategies to deal with the increase in violent crimes and the new phenomenon of kidnapping, even as it plans to push for counselling for its ranks.

This disclosure came on Saturday, at the end of a two-day Annual Officers' Conference, which was held at the Police Officer's Mess under the theme 'Staying Together in the Fight Against Crime'.

Other decisions made at the conference include medical assistance for ranks; the continuation of financial and other assistance for dependent relatives; better equipped patrol vehicles; improved communication at stations; security of crime scenes; strengthening of the relationship between the force administration and the Police Complaints Authority; and insurance coverage for members of the force.

According to a release from the Police Public Relations Office, the officers were extremely heartened by President Bharrat Jagdeo's expression of confidence in them.

"In his address, [the President] noted the invaluable contributions of the force in ensuring peace and stability in society. He also lauded the force for maintaining its professionalism and integrity under the most challenging circumstances. The conference was heartened over His Excellency's expression of confidence in and support for the force, when he said that he would continue to defend the force," the release said.

Prior to the opening of the conference, President Jagdeo reviewed a Guard of Honour parade on Young Street, in front of the Police Officer's Mess, after which he delivered the feature address.

The release said the Commissioner of Police (ag) highlighted a number of critical areas of concern to the force, which include the need for more support for the force in the light of the threat of violent crime; the need for the force and stakeholders to continue the partnership in the fight against crime; the deliberate targeting of policemen; the escalation in the use of illegal firearms; the development of a plan of action to counter kidnapping; concerted efforts to counter attempts to demoralize ranks of the force; irresponsible press reporting; the implementation of stronger measures to deal with the safe haven for bandits on the East Coast; the welfare and conditions of service members of the force; intensification of training at all levels; and the existing vacancies in the force and the need to fill them urgently.

"[The] conference also expressed confidence that the Minister of Home Affairs will deal expeditiously with increases in prisoners' feeding, extra-duty fees, allowances by government for feeding of recruits while in training college, the legislation governing the use of radars and lamination of driver's licences to make them tamper proof," the release stated.

It said for the duration of the conference, officers were engaged in discussions on every aspect of policing, among which were devising improved strategies and plans to deal with violent crimes; training of ranks for the role; image of the force; safety of personnel on and off duty; principles governing the use of force; human rights and humanitarian laws; and road accidents and traffic congestion.

Among those present at the opening ceremony were Chancellor of the Judiciary Desiree Bernard, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gaj-raj, Acting Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen, Chair-man of the Police Complaints Authority Cecil Kennard, Leader of PNCR Robert Corbin, Heads of the Disci-plined Services, other senior government functionaries, former Chancellor of the Judiciary Aubrey Bishop, former Commissioners of Police, retired senior officers, members of the Police Training Board, Impact Advisory, National and Divisional Community Policing bodies, and Station Management Committees. A total of 98 police officers attended the conference.

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