APNU+AFC promises-salary hike for law enforcers; gun amnesty, crackdown on corruption, drugs

APNU+AFC promises hefty salary hike for law enforcers; gun amnesty, crackdown on corruption, drugs

Thursday, 23 April 2015 21:27 –  Written by   -CND

The opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+ AFC) is promising a 20 percent salary hike for all law enforcement officers in the first year, and a crack down on white collar crime, drug trafficking and illegal guns.

With the starting salary of constables just around GY$60,000 (US$300), the coalition hopes that an initial 20 percent hike in salaries will be among several measures that will help policemen and women go after criminals. “Public security is the bedrock of a safe human society and the crime situation is both the most pressing and most depressing problem facing ordinary Guyanese today,” says the grouping in its 44-page manifesto.  

If the coalition wins the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections and gets its way, soldiers would be deployed alongside police in all policing divisions as part of a special Anti Crime Unit, to be headed by a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) officer on secondment, “to confront violent armed criminals.”  The coalition promised to amend the law to provide for life imprisonment after persons would have been convicted three times for violent felonies.

Civilians are to be hired to perform desk duties in the police force and so release more policemen and women on the streets.   The parties further promised to allow members of the Joint Services to work in the Administrative Region of their choice wherever practical.  Community Policing would be legalized and Citizen Policing Units would be established in keeping with global best practice.

Pledging to ensure protection of all citizens, communities and institutions from threats to their well-being, APNU+AFC intends to issue an amnesty for all illegal guns. “Implement an amnesty programme for the surrender of illegal weapons which will be backed by a ‘Voluntary Weapons Collection’ programme,” the parties said in their joint manifesto obtained by Demerara Waves Online News.

Backing up the gun amnesty, the coalition also promised to set up a special fund to provide alternative opportunities for training, development of income generating projects and the provision of credit for youth at risk. Also on the drawing board for them are sport, scouts and other cadet-like schemes in schools and religious organisations.

In the area of drug trafficking, an APNU+AFC administration is expected to grant full permission to the United States (US) Drug Enforcement  Administration (DEA) to fully establish its local facility and work along with the proposed Drug Enforcement and Control Agency (DECA). That agency  would also be responsible for the coordination and execution of the national drug enforcement policy between the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit, Police Anti Narcotics Unit, INTERPOL and other agencies.

Other crime-fighting measures, according to the coalition, would include the establishment of a Police Air Wing to be based at the Ogle International Airport, and the introduction of a Witness Protection Programme through negotiations with the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

The coalition promises to address fraud and graft by establishing and training a group of forensic auditors to target corruption and white collar crime.  APNU+AFC also wants to establish a special office in the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions for the employment of Special Prosecutors to prosecute persons accused of certain categories of offences.

APNU+AFC also plans to establish a Ministry of Justice and National Security to “better coordinate all aspects of public safety, border security and the National Security Strategy.

In the area of justice reform, the coalition plans to pass legislation to allow for neighborhood justice panels  of village elders to adjudicate petty matters such as anti-social behaviour and family disputes in an effort to free the courts’ time for more serious matters.

 

Soldiers urged to act professionally amid PPPC statements

Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:01 -Written by 

Amid fears raised by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) that the military would not act professionally if the opposition coalition is re-elected because its top brass includes ex-army officers, the Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Mark Phillips told soldiers not to campaign for any party and the army would be taking instructions only from President Donald Ramotar.  [Read more]

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Comments

  • albert  On April 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    It seem better to refrain from criticising these guys and think instead of the Chinese saying: better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. If they win they will need a ton of luck to get Guyana out of the mess its in. Few have the courage to attempt it.

  • guyaneseonline  On April 25, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Jagdeo ordered closure of GDF unit which was targeting criminal activities
    April 25, 2015 · letter from George Gomes
    Lieutenant Colonel (retired) GDF
    Dear Editor,

    It has been noted that former president, Bharrat Jagdeo stated that the alliance between the coalition and former military personnel is something to be feared. Jagdeo is further quoted as saying “When they link up with the Military and come into your homes and start kicking the doors down, and when they come after you, who is going to be there?”

    These statements are an attempt to demonise both serving and former members of the Joint Services. Does he expect them to support his party after such despicable utterances?

    I trust that those to whom he has referred, have noted these statements and Jagdeo’s attempt to disgrace our most noble profession. I urge them to act and vote appropriately.

    Jagdeo also stated at a recent Freedom House press conference that the Army may have decided not to go after the criminals during the crime wave of the 2000’s. As a result of this crime wave, the GDF established what was called the Military Criminal Investigation Department (MCID). The aim of this department was not only to go after the known criminal elements, but also to pursue the architects of the crime wave.

    Jagdeo ordered the closure of the MCID, thus bringing to an end the process that would have ended the criminal activities.

    Jagdeo’s major fear was that this department, apart from exposing the criminal architects, may have also led to the arrest of senior government functionaries.

    The Govt’s attack on the Military and Veteran communities has served to unify all Joint Services Vets to support the Coalition.

    That a commander-in-chief and a former commander-in-chief have set out to demonise their country’s Military is a clear indication of the depths to which the nation has descended. The Coalition offers us the hope of rescue. Let’s throw our support behind David and Moses.

    Yours faithfully,
    George Gomes
    Lieutenant Colonel (retired)

    • albert  On April 30, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      First time I agree with Jagdeo. Criminal investigation of this sort is not a role for the military. It is a technical field requiring training and experience. The typical military officer would be torn apart by defence lawyers.

  • Cliff  On April 25, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Sorry to say that Guyana is not in a mess but showing great progress. The country has now a middle class entity from the bankruptcy which was inherited by the present Govt.
    Salary hike: How are they going to do this with all this incoming revenue? The country will once again be bankrupted and all the gains made will be lost.

  • Cliff  On April 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Correction; Salary hike: This should read ‘How will APNU/AFC pay this increase to the Army/Public servants if they do not plan for new incoming revenue’?

  • N.Augustus  On April 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    ” GDF established what was called the Military Criminal Investigation Department (MCID). The aim of this department was not only to go after the known criminal elements, but also to pursue the architects of the crime wave”. Not sure for Jagdeo reason, but It does not seem a good ideas for the army to be involved in police worki. Unfortunately, the past and current actions of some members of the GPF & GDF does raises some concerns. Promises by parties are common place, but here again reality comes in – where is the money coming from? Do we rob Peter to pay Paul or balance the needs of all and spend accordingly? Lets hope oil is found and we can do all this is promised. Just saying.

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