Home Affairs going after hefty fines, penalties for harbouring criminals By Mark Ramotar
Guyana Chronicle
April 23, 2007

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THE Home Affairs Ministry is moving to institute hefty fines and penalties against anyone who knowingly lodges or harbours thieves or reputed thieves and criminal elements whose photographs have been publicly displayed by the Police as wanted criminals.

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee last week announced that committed efforts are being made to take the Summary Jurisdiction Amendment Bill to Parliament and have a ? new section” inserted into the Principal Act.

“There will be hefty fines or penalties in respect of monetary as well as prison terms (and) this is a new section we are introducing in the Summary Jurisdiction Offences Act,” Rohee said.

He said this will be applicable to anyone found to be knowingly harbouring thieves or reputed thieves and criminal elements.

Rohee also announced moves by the Government to establish ‘Holding Centres’ for those juvenile delinquents who are or may be in jails and prisons across the country, mingling with seasoned and hardened criminals.

In this regard, he said the Juvenile Offenders Amendment Bill will soon be taken to Parliament.

has to do with the establishment and the recognition of Holding Centres for juveniles. Recently, I was informed of a case where a 14-year-old was involved in a criminal activity and is in prison. "I am not saying that this is a pattern" the Minister said.

Rohee also said the Firearms Act will be amended and anyone found either purchasing, acquiring or possessing any firearm or ammunition without a licence or in violation of a licence, will face the full force of the law.

He said this offence will be “non-bailable”.

&With respect to firearms, we are going to be introducing four amendments into the present Firearms Act and one new section,” the Home Affairs Minister said.

He noted that at the level of the Commission for Law and Order, “a recommendation was made that maybe we need to introduce another amendment treating with Amnesty, that persons who have illegal firearms - to give them sometime to hand over these before they are subject to prosecution”.

&I am supportive of this suggestion and I have informed the Attorney General’s Chamber that they should look at it and maybe have that also included in the draft bill,” he said.

He also highlighted other crime-related pieces of legislation that will be taken to Parliament, including those dealing with hijacking and piracy of fishing vessels, stray animals, traffic offences, the use of cell phones whilst driving, and increasing of fines for persons found with illegal explosives

Rohee also said efforts are being made at regularizing internet cafes popping up across Guyana.