A SWAT team will not reduce crime

Dear Editor,
I hate to state the obvious but a SWAT team will not prevent or reduce crime. Nowhere in the world has a reduction in crime been positively correlated with the performance or inclusion of a SWAT team as a crime-fighting mechanism.

This shows again that our government is either not interested or inadequately informed on crime-fighting.  In fact the government asked the Inter-American Development Bank for weapons during negotiations on the Citizens Security Programme which would have constituted the bulk of the loan from the bank.  This is another indication of the thinking of the government in relation to crime reduction and prevention. These measures are reactive rather than proactive and with the continued interference in the daily operations and strategic decisions of the Guyana Police Force, may result in more ‘accidents’ and extra-judicial killings.

Interference with the Guyana Police Force is a deliberate attempt to weaken the force by bringing disharmony and divisions among ranks so the force is not only ill-equipped to address crime and violence; it also weakens the ability of the force to stand as a collective voice and body in the interest of officers and our country.

Proven methods for reducing and preventing crime include: (1) more intelligent policing; (2) adequate organizational structure and remuneration for the police; (3) no political interference; and (4) enhanced relations built on trust, respect and understanding between the police and public.

Once again Editor I repeat, a SWAT team is just another stunt at best or lack of knowledge at worst on the part of the government.  It is also a reactive approach to addressing crime prevention and reduction.  We have to look at the whole picture, identify root causes and also ask ourselves why the police profession is not respected and has become synonymous with corruption. Whose interest does this serve?
Yours faithfully,
Mike Archer

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