The police force has been addressing the concerns of the miners association continually

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Police Force is responding to an article published in the Stabroek News yesterday under the caption `Miners’ group in year-long wait for meeting with Top Cop’.

The Commissioner of Police is neither unmindful of the issues and concerns of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) nor unwilling to meet with the GGDMA and/or any other body with the interest of miners being the focus.

As a matter of fact the Force has a responsibility for prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law and order and is willing, ready and able to do its duty.

During the last few months the Force has noted the number of disorderly murders and a few crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs and has been sending teams into the interior in response to these concerns, supporting the ranks already on the ground and also doing roving patrols comprising air, vehicular and riverain.

The roving patrols originated since the Officers’ Conference of 2010, and prior to then the police had implemented a special river patrol between the Essequibo and the interior that is coordinated by the Commanders of “D”, “E & F”, and “G” Divisions. In addition the Joint Services Operations Group (JSOG) has been involved in both response to reports of crime in the interior and confidence building patrols.

In addition several miners have been granted permission to have guards established with Supernumerary status and also individual firearm licences. This process is ongoing.

The statement reportedly made by the GGDMA is quite unfortunate as over the years the Police Force has had regular and consistent meetings with this body albeit on many Sundays as organized by the GGDMA.

The Police Force had discussed various plans for check-points and personnel support with Supernumerary Constables by miners of the interior. This is as recent as 2010. They had jointly identified the locations where check-points would be placed and would have had assistance in manning those points. The GGDMA has subsequently had difficulty in fulfilling the role to which it had agreed.

However, the Force has still continued to meet with this body and has pushed ahead with plans, strengthening its staff at Kurupukari, Kirkwood, Mabura, Itaballi and Teperu and from time to time holding the tri-junction which has entry and exit points to Lethem, Mahdia and Bartica.

In addition it has been linking with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to provide support for enforcement in various areas in the interior.

In fact the concerns of the GGDMA are continually being addressed.

In July of this year the GGDMA wrote the Commissioner of Police for a meeting and he responded positively and for some reason the meeting has not yet crystallized. For the GGDMA to state that it has been trying to meet with the Commissioner of Police for one year is highly unethical and the reason for it making such a statement is unknown.

The Police Force hosts a monthly meeting of the Hinterland Intelligence Committee of which the GGDMA is a member and has every opportunity to raise concerns as they relate to the mining community. However its attendance at that meeting has not been consistent.

The Commissioner of Police has since had dialogue with Mr. Patrick Harding, President of the GGDMA, and will meet with that body next Tuesday.

Yours faithfully,
Ivelaw Whittaker
Public Relations and
Press Officer

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