Top Cop assures of election season security

Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud has assured that the police will deliver proper security during the current electoral season including on Elections Day and the period after.

In the ‘Conference Statement’ issued following the conclusion of the Police Officers’ Annual Conference on Saturday, Persaud was reported as saying that the Force is fully aware of its security responsibilities for the impending General and Regional Elections. He assured that the police will deliver proper security during the current campaign and which will continue on Elections Day and the period after.

The country has been shocked by the gunning down last week of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing in the Diamond Housing Scheme while he was campaigning for people to go out and vote on polling day.

The statement said that the newly-confirmed commissioner outlined a number of achievements of the police during 2014 including a decrease in serious crimes and road fatalities; the implementation of the year one strategic objectives of the Force’s Strategic Plan, with a few exceptions that are work in progress; partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police in the area of training for police ranks; as well as the launching of new initiatives under the Cops and Faith Community Network that continue to be beneficial to the work of the police.

The other achievements include the expansion of the Force’s social crime prevention programme throughout the police divisions; improved cooperation with stakeholders in the policing of the interior; the establishment of Media Relations Officers in the police divisions; development of a SWAT team; and medical outreaches.

The conference also reviewed the social crime prevention projects in order to ascertain the positives as well as to identify the necessary improvements required. According to the statement, plans for 2015 were presented and discussed and Conference focused in great detail on the continued training of ranks both local and overseas in order to improve service delivery, the enhancement of public trust, crime reduction and traffic management, crime scene management, police misconduct and corruption, the Force’s Strategic Plan and Institutional Modernisation, crime investigation, prosecution in the courts and the improvement of police community relations.

The statement said that issues raised by President Donald Ramotar in his address at the opening of the Conference and those raised in a subsequent address by Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee were discussed as a priority.

Ramotar had outlined a 15-point anti-crime strategy designed to restore public confidence in the Police Force which he labelled ‘15 in 2015’ and the statement said that a special team of senior officers has been tasked with detailing the action plans aimed at implementing the strategies.

The Conference also heard presentations from Police Legal Advisor Justice Claudette Singh on election offences; Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack on investigation and prosecution issues; and Red Thread Official Karen De Souza on approaches to gender-based violence.

Presentations were also made by officers and civilian employees attached to the Force in the areas of elections preparedness, the implementation of the Police Strategic Plan, traffic issues, an analysis of the crime situation, indiscipline in the Force, domestic violence, violence in schools, and human rights, among others.

According to the statement, the Conference held lengthy discussions with meaningful participation among officers on these issues, resulting in a number of policy decisions being made and also   mechanisms for the monitoring of their implementation; as well as to further ventilate issues that were restricted by time constraints during Conference.

The statement said that a presentation was also made by the chairman of the Police Association focusing on the work of the Association in addressing issues concerning their membership and aimed at improving the welfare of ranks.

The Conference, which ran from March 12 to March 14, was held under the theme ‘Providing effective security through partnership, enhanced public trust and capacity building’ and was attended by 156 officers.

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