Police forming competent anti-crime team
- Commissioner Felix
Guyana Chronicle
April 23, 2004

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POLICE Commissioner, Mr. Winston Felix yesterday said the Police Force was in the process of forming a competent team of ranks to function in the capacity of crime fighting.

At the opening of the Police Annual Officers Conference, he said the event was being held at a time of major challenges to police services around the region.

Felix noted that crime today was a multinational enterprise, with its own very public and brazen agenda.

“The world has changed. As information and communication technologies, including the internet, simplify communication, anti-social behaviour has become endemic resulting in greater intolerance, greater disrespect, and an increase in interpersonal conflict and violence. This change presents a formidable challenge for police forces the world over.

“We in Guyana feel its impact severely here, perhaps, due to the pressure on our human and financial resources, and the levels of poverty with which we are trying to cope with international assistance,” the Commissioner said.

He made it clear that the police “cannot overcome violent, dangerous and committed criminals, by waving a white flag at them; neither can we descend to using their rules.”

“But our rules make provision for varying levels of force as necessary. We will adhere to those. We will not make up the rules as we go along,” Felix said.

He said assistance had been requested from the United Kingdom, for training to better equip ranks to cope with engagements involving the threat and use of firearms and added that the discussions and arrangements were well advanced.

He outlined improvements to boost the image of the Police Force, including: taking prompt action in response to reports; treating everyone fairly; being courteous; improving investigative skills and pursuing investigations aggressively; embarking on preventive methods of policing such as the re-introduction of the beat duty system in Georgetown; aggressively addressing quality of life issues such as the noise nuisance problem, and strengthening the work of community policing groups to develop partnerships in communities.

The Commissioner also addressed several issues such as training for officers, the computerisation of traffic records to be networked and the welfare plan for injured police ranks.

He noted that in 2002 when the first set of policemen were killed, the President generously awarded the dependents of those policemen the sum of $1M.

He asked the President before the gathering to implement an insurance plan to cover injuries suffered by policemen in the execution of their duties.