Rohee knocks critics over crime fight

Kaieteur News
January 31, 2007

Related Links: Articles on crime
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has said that there is already new thinking by the administration to deal with country's crime situation

The Minister was responding to what he described as “so-called experts on crime” who hide behind editorials and critisise the work of the security forces.

Speaking at Monday's official opening ceremony of the Golden Grove Police Station, East Bank Demerara, Rohee referred to an editorial in one of the country's dailies which he said described police facilities as ‘rickety' and added that there is no sign of significant upgrading of these facilities.

He said the editorial also called for new thinking among the authorities to deal with the situation. “Let me advise those experts who hide behind editorials…that there is already new thinking. What we obviously do not have is thinking along the lines that they would wish us to think. We prefer to think positively than to think negatively.”

According to Rohee at least three editorials have attacked his statements during an interview in which he outlined Government's policies to fight crime. Minister Rohee referred to his comments on criminal activities on the East Bank Demerara corridor in which he disclosed plans to deal with the situation.

He said that the editorial, dated November 23, sought to imply that despite the plans that were outlined, the administration is still not doing enough to deal with crime.

“We don't need an editorial to tell us those things; we know those things. We know that much more work needs to be done and we don't need to get into speculative and hypothetical scenarios when we're talking about fighting crime,” Rohee stated.

He added that too much intellectualising of the fight against crime is taking place.

The Minister said that in one of the editorials, there was a vicious attack on the security forces and more particularly, the Guyana Police Force.

The editorial, he said, referred to the ‘precarious state of the nation's security' and the ‘rudderless state of the ship of security in Guyana ' as well as the inability of the police force to conduct competent investigations and successfully prosecute the criminals.

He stated that quite interestingly, there was a troubling comment in the editorial where it was stated that the trouble-free period that is currently being experienced has nothing to do with the posture adopted by the security forces but rather because the criminal elements have sequestered themselves in friendly communities or are hanging out in neighbourhood bars.

“In other words, the criminal elements choose to take a break… choose to put their action on pause and that is why we are having this trouble-free period in our country right now. It has nothing to do with the posture that the police have adopted; it has nothing to do with the aggressive actions of the crime-fighting forces in our country.

“Cynically it has to do with the fact that the criminals have decided to take time-off, down tools, throw back, have a beer and relax.”

The Minister reiterated that there is no perfect institution and the police force has never boasted to be such. He said that the force is going to strive to achieve a level of perfection.

Rohee noted that there are some persons who want to live in some kind of utopia, feeling that everything is supposed to be calm and quiet without crime and other problems.

“I want to say that as long as you are promoting a free market economy… and all those of us who are social scientists know about the so-called virtues of the free market economy, you are bound to experience the type of problems that we are facing in our country, especially a developing country with such limited resources and not having the kind of wherewithal as other countries have to fight crime and keep it under control.”

“I want to say that irrespective of the shortcomings of the law enforcement agencies, irrespective of the shortcomings of the Guyana Police Force, at the end of the day it is our police force,” Minister Rohee said.