Rohee stands by size of community policing funding despite criticism

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has defended the proposed $413 million allocation for community policing groups for vehicle use and building maintenance, which is almost twice the funds proposed for the police force.

Since the reading of the government’s proposed 2014 budget, many have criticised the allocation for community policing groups for vehicles and building maintenance, while pointing out that the Guyana Police Force has been allocated almost half, $220 million, for the same purposes. Various critics have expressed concern that the police force is in need of new vehicles countrywide and instead the government has chosen to supply community groups with funding that could have been better used to improve the actual police force.

Clement Rohee
Clement Rohee

In his address on the 2014 budget, Rohee stated that to have a former commissioner of police—APNU’s Winston Felix—criticise the efforts of the community policing groups was ill advised.

Felix, during his presentation, had stated that the $413 million going to community policing groups was starving the joint services of much needed increases in remuneration.

He also stated that there has been no real audit on the various community policing groups and that while some function, others are delinquent and various complaints have been lodged by citizens within the various communities. Felix indicated that it was well known that group vehicles were used by individuals and kept parked at private residences, instead of being utilised for the use of community policing.

Rohee said the groups needed to be provided with funding because they provided vital police services in areas without large police presence.

It was noted that the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) was allocated $92 million, less than a quarter of what was budgeted for the community policing groups. Rohee praised CANU and Guyana’s ability to crack down on drug trafficking, which was met with a loud uproar from the opposition side of the house when members shouted the various items used to smuggle drugs out of the country, including most recently pastries and awara. Opposition members also asked Rohee about the large drug busts on shipments originating from Guyana on a regular basis.

Rohee, however, maintained that “wherever they hide it, we will find it.” He said too that the opposition need not mock the narcotics branch of the police, but instead should give it credit for continuing to intercept drugs.

The minister also used his presentation to announce that after multiple technical issues, the $840 million forensic lab will finally be operational by the end of April.

The sod turning for the lab was since September 2010, with extensions being provided ever since.

Most recently Rohee had stated that the lab would have been commissioned at the beginning of 2014.

Rohee stated that the lab was going to be a vital component in furthering the security services in Guyana. He stated that along with the lab, the Community Policing Groups were not to be criticised because without the cooperation of the community, the police are at a disadvantage.

Rohee also called for a holistic approach to security in Guyana. He said that focusing on crime was not public safety and instead a holistic approach had to be taken to fight drug trafficking, human trafficking and money-laundering. Rohee did not address what this holistic approach was and how it would be executed.

Rohee was interrupted halfway through his address by the APNU parliamentarian Basil Williams, who said that the minister needed to stay on track.

Williams stated that the standing orders provide that when persons are addressing the house they must be speaking on relevant issues. Rohee had been addressing the political atmosphere prior to 1992. Speaker of the House Raphael Trotman stated that Rohee could continue on, but had to curtail his speech to remain relevant to the House proceedings.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

Two of the better appointed stands at D’Urban Park (Stabroek News file photo/Keno George)

D’Urban Park bleachers to remain

The bleachers at D’Urban Park will not be dismantled as originally intended as government intends to preserve and improve the area and turn it into a facility for public events, President David Granger has said.

default placeholder

Funerals held for Kamarang sisters crushed by tree

Post-mortem examinations were performed yesterday on the two children who were crushed to death on Thursday in Kamarang, Region Seven and they were buried with the village council assisting with funeral expenses.

default placeholder

Plug leakages to prevent state resources from bleeding out

Revenues from ExxonMobil’s oil find here could be at least four times Guyana’s national budget at current market prices, and a top US Embassy official here has urged government to move swiftly to implement measures to ensure transparency and accountability.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: