Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan said last Friday that there needs to be a national plan for addressing crime and this, in addition to the provision of more resources to the police, should include educating youths and developing better economic circumstances in the country.
Speaking to reporters just before the start of the Parliament he said he was “very disappointed” at the recent spike in crime particularly in ‘A’ Division (Georgetown). He pointed to the lack of resources but said it is known that this is not necessarily what causes crime. “Crime is caused by what is called the socioeconomic circumstances that breed desperation,” he said adding that this desperation causes young people, particularly those who indulge in alcohol and narcotics, to commit violent crimes. He made the point that in order to tackle crime the “root causes” have to be hit.
Asked whether there is a specific plan for Georgetown with regard to crime, he said that the larger picture is going to be national. “How are we going to send our young people to school… and the more immediate short-term plan is to get more patrols out there.
That is why I recently made the decision of taking away the police community groups’ vehicles at least about 25 or more than 25 and redistributing them to the police force,” he said.
Within the last few weeks there has been an increased number of gunpoint robberies and murders. Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum in an invited comment last weekend shared that statistics show an overall decrease in gun-related crimes.
Subsequently he said that the decrease he was referring to was in relation to gun crimes and not overall crime as some persons are being led to believe.
Meanwhile, Ramjattan said that his recent two-day trip to Berbice “was wonderful”. This was his first official trip to a police division since he took up office last month.
He told this newspaper that he was able to become acquainted with a number of the policing community groups and also the divisional superiors. He said that he also learnt about their deficits in terms of transportation, motor vehicles and radios that are not working. “Realizing the very chronic resource deficient that they have and making some notes as to what we will have to budget for 2016 so that we can resource them to do better patrolling especially.”