Last Updated on Saturday, 7 May 2016, 20:05 by Denis Chabrol
Amid calls for President David Granger to remove Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan and Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud due to numerous incidents of violent crime, the minister said he would not be moved.
“That’s the right of a citizen under this democracy…Ramjattan is not doing a good job, they could call for his resignation but I have the confidence of the President and I have the confidence of the National Assembly and I think the statistics will prove that we have brought down the crime situation,” the Public Security Minister told Demerara Waves Online News.
President David Granger said, with the strengthening of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Guyana Police Force, reduced crime rates and the capture of perpetrators not long after crimes have been committed, “I am very confident that we are winning the battle.”
The Public Security Minister has been quoted by the Government Information Agency (GINA) as telling the National Assembly that for the period January 1 to April 30, 2016, Guyana recorded a 19 percent reduction in crime, compared to the corresponding period last year.
Among those calling for Ramjattan and Persaud’s removal is Retired Lieuenant Colonel, George Gomes who is a staunch supporter of the President Granger-led coalition administration. Writing recently in the Kaieteur News newspaper, Gomes said Ramjattan was unfit to be Public Security Minister, despite provisions of the Cummingsburg Accord between the Alliance For Change and A Partnership for National Unity that the AFC would control public security. “While I understand the provisions of the Cummingsburg Accord, Mr. President, I urge you to consider removing both Mr. Ramjattan and the Commissioner of Police from their respective appointments, before the crime situation escalates to a catastrophe and brings your government down,” said Gomes. He charged that there was no macro plan or proactive approach to crime fighting, leaving anyone with a gun emboldened to commit robberies. Gomes argued that there was a lack of visionary leadership at the ministry and the police force and so Ramjattan should be shuffled to a ministry where his qualifications are more suitable.
Reacting to those calls, President Granger said crime has been statistically reduced now compared to the first quarter of 2015 and more perpetrators are being caught shortly after, no reports of piracy since the commencement of aerial patrols, and lower rates of rapes and armed robberies. “We can’t prevent interpersonal violence but you read the papers, sometimes between 72 and 96 hours, the culprit is found and brought before the courts and this is the first time it has been happening so effectively ,” he said.
Latest figures also show that as it relates to crimes for the first quarter of this year, there was a nine percent reduction each in reports of murder and gun-related robberies; eight percent decrease in armed robberies; 38 percent decrease in robberies with violence; 38 percent decrease in robberies with aggravation; 18 percent decrease in rape; and 22 percent decrease in break and enter and larceny.