Gov’t is well positioned to fight crime – Minister Rohee
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Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee last evening disclosed that his Ministry’s main focus in 2010 will be on the establishment of the Central Intelligence Center, positioning of cameras at strategic locations in the city, completion of the US $22M Citizens’ Security Programme (CSP) and infrastructural strengthening across the country. The Minister was at the time speaking at a televised interview on the National Communications Network (NCN).

He said that a holding center at Sophia will be commissioned shortly, for housing young criminals in accordance with the law, pending the completion of their trial, so that they would not be kept in jail with dangerous criminals.
“They will await trial at the holding center and subsequent to the trial, they will await transportation to the New Opportunity Corps,” Minister Rohee said.
He said that the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Disciplined Forces Commission Report will be completed by May, and it will then be taken to the National Assembly for consideration.
The passage of this report in the Parliament will see various stakeholders in the security sector being tasked with the implementation of recommendations contained within the report. Recently, a Motion establishing a Standing Committee on oversight of the Security Sector was passed in the National Assembly.
“This Standing Committee will have general oversight of the security sector under which the Report of the Disciplined Forces Commission will be implemented,” he said.
Responding to a question on the current state of the prison system, Minister Rohee said that it has come a long way and that there has been considerable improvement in Georgetown as well as other areas.
“People feel a greater sense of comfort and security now as compared to 10 years ago and this is because the Government has invested heavily in this area. The security sector holds number three spot in the allocation of resources under the National Budget and that is a conscious policy of the Government,” the Minister said.
With respect to drug-trafficking, Minister Rohee said that the Government’s position in its manifesto is very clear, that it is completely against narco-trafficking in the country.
“We are pursuing a policy of international cooperation at various levels to learn from the experiences of other countries, to be able to get technical assistance from these bodies to assist us in this fight. We attend many conferences overseas because we see this as an investment, ” he said.
He added that the institutional arrangement that exists so far includes the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), the Narcotics Branch of the Guyana Police Force, a task force on illicit drugs and firearms, a National Anti-Narcotics Committee, a broad based steering committee involving the Ministries of Health, Education, and Human Services and Social Security, and the National Committee on Law and Order.
Minister Rohee refuted allegations that the law enforcement bodies lack coordination in the fight against narcotics.
“We are coordinated as best as we can be, among the law enforcement agencies that are vested with the authority to fight drugs in Guyana,” he said.
He added that the drug fight is a holistic struggle that is ongoing, and which cannot be eradicated by Government’s efforts alone.
“We do not produce cocaine in Guyana, this is imported. The drug problem is one that has been exported to Guyana,” the Minister said.
A number of legislative interventions have also been  made. These include amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing the Terrorism Act, the Interception of Communications Bill and the Criminal Procedure (Plea Bargaining and Plea Agreement) Bill.
“The legislative architecture in the country has changed dramatically over the past few years, we are well positioned for this fight,” Minister Rohee said.

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