There can be no doubt Guyana is doing better than years ago – Minister Ramjatttan
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan this evening chided members of the Parliamentary opposition, People’s Progressive Party for their “doomsday” projection and stated emphatically that “there can be no doubt that Guyana is doing better than it was under the previous administration.”
“they spread their litany of woes… the illusions they come up with, their pessimism … I want to say that Guyana has its challenges but there can be no doubt that it is doing much better in everything when compared to years ago,” Minister Ramjattan said.
In addition, the Public Security Minister said that despite the claims of the opposition the evidence shows that homicides and other crimes are on the decline.
“We have the statistics on the homicides that happen in this country for the year 2012 we had 139 murders, …2013 we had 155; 2014 we had 149; 2015 – 149; 2016 – 142; 2017 – 115 and 2018 up to now 93. Yes, it is declining!” he underscored
Continuing the Minister told the opposition MPs “…just don’t give the impression to your base that crime rates are skyrocketing. Robberies of all categories – 1,401 in 2012 in 2013 – 1,531; 2015 – 1,449; 2016 – 1,293. Robberies of all types we had …. 2017 – 1,237 and in this year thus far 965! …. That is what false news and fake news does. It weaponizes the truth to the extent that it will burn it. That is what the opposition wants… they want to give the impression that crime is very high in Guyana.”
In addition, Minister Ramjattan highlighted that Homicide Monitor, the most comprehensive publicly available dataset on murder in the world indicates that for Guyana out of 100,000 persons there are 15 murders compared to Jamaica with 56; Trinidad – 36; St Lucia – 34; St Vincent and Grenadines – 35; Belize – 37 and Barbados – 11.
“I want to say that although 15 murders per 100,000 is bad, it is far superior to the impression you guys want to give to the world,” the Minister told the opposition MPs in the National Assembly.
Further, Minister Ramjattan highlighted several successes in crime fighting locally and pledged to continue to invest in training and other resources for members of the Guyana Police Force and other Public Security agencies.
“Every day in the stop and search we are catching somebody with a gun… we are training at risk youths, we are training our policemen… MBA’s in the police force. Now… they didn’t have that under Mr. Rohee … the quality of the police stations is being improved. In 2019 we have another six police stations to commence rehabilitation or be newly constructed. We are also going to upgrade our forensic laboratory to the cost of $1Million USD. An Italian company, Q and T has won the bid and we are also going to get gun residue testing there. We are doing what is required. We have MOUs and other agreements with other partners the DEA, Interpol…,” Minister Ramjattan outlined.
The Minister said more than $35Million has been allocated in the 2019 budget to continue improvement in the security sector. He also commended Minister Jordan for a well put together budget. “Thank you, Minister Jordan, for the best budget you have presented, and the 15 percent increase given to the MOPS $35.6Billion is a quite sum,” he said.
“In 2019 when you get a report all stations across the country will know of it. The CSSP programme has been helping in many ways with training at-risk youths for the reduction of crimes and recidivism … a brand-new prison will be constructed in Berbice… we will have a number of programmes to ensure we do not unnecessarily incarcerate our people. We are also talking about restorative justice inside the prison where there can be earlier releases for nonviolent offences. We are also asking the parole board to move faster so that the issues of parole for women and children in prison can be addressed faster,” Minister Ramjattan indicated.
The debate of the 2019 Budgetary Estimates began in the National Assembly Monday last and will conclude tomorrow. Consideration of the estimates will begin Monday next. Minister of Finance Winston Jordan presented his 5th consecutive budget on November 12. It is the largest to date at a whopping $300.7Billion