GUYANA: Private Sector Commission presses Gov’t to publicly acknowledge crime problem and urges President to intervene

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Private Sector Commission of Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana(October 29th 2016):- The Commission said the first step in addressing the crime situation is for the government to publicly acknowledge that there is a problem with crime in Guyana.

The Private Sector Commission joined citizens and other stakeholders on Friday to register its concern over the “inability” of the state to protect citizens from widespread gun inspired crime.

The PSC said citizens now feel threatened, regardless of where they happen to be, because of the belief that they are under threat from violent gun related crime.

The Commission said the first step in addressing the crime situation is for the government to publicly acknowledge that there is a problem with crime in Guyana.

Major General (retired) Norman McLean, the Vice Chairman of the Security Committee lead the PSC’s charge and called on the President, Government Ministers and all stakeholders to send a strong signal to criminals that crime will no longer be tolerated.

“We would like to encourage all stakeholders, including the Government, police, judiciary and civil society to review the sentencing of persons charged with armed and violent robberies, to ensure that these charges are not subject to bail and that they are subject to appropriate sentencing which should be handed down by all magistrates. In this light, we believe a collaborative approach is needed,” the PSC said.

The Commission wants the President to publicly give the orders for men and women in uniform to bring order and control with respect to criminal gangs and individuals terrorizing the Guyanese community.

“While we commend the Minister and the Commissioner of Police for the recent reduction in serious crime, our country, nevertheless, remains unprotected from guns flowing across our borders into the hands of violent criminals virtually without restraint,” a statement noted.

The PSC said citizens are traumatized by the fear of almost every day having a gun pointed at them with criminal intent. “Our businesses, our banks, our tourism industry and our everyday lives are under threat. This is not the good life. It is time that our President intervene.”

Two weeks ago, on 12th October, the Commission met with the Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, to express our concern.

It was conveyed then that there has been a 16% reduction in serious crime this year compared with last.

The Commission still believes that the 911 national emergency call system, essential for a citizen under criminal threat to be able to request a police response, is simply not functioning.

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