MINISTER of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, has said that two aircraft seized during recent drug busts will be used by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to enhance their mobility and response to crime.
The minister, in making this disclosure, on Saturday, during a drug eradication exercise, highlighted that government has placed top priority on tackling crime within Guyana to promote safer communities through the provision of more equipment and facilities, training for law-enforcement personnel, and the improvement of investigative and forensic capabilities, among other mechanisms.
He noted that the government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, has been doing its part to curb crime across Guyana. According to Minister Benn, those efforts so far have been successful.
In a recent interview, the minister had said that the success, is evidenced by the 20 per cent decrease in serious crimes recorded between January and July.
“Serious crimes are down by 20 per cent year-to-date, compared to 2020. We did have it down by 30 per cent, but there have been some jumps over the last six weeks or so, but you may note that we are having success in terms of solving some of those and we are on track to solving some of the more critical ones, he said adding:
“A great deal of energy and effort is being expended to do fighting of crime…we have to have the ability and the mobility to deal with those issues…”
Minister Benn indicated that the force has five aircraft that were seized during drug bust operations. He noted, however, that three of these aircraft were destroyed by the pilots flying them.
He noted that from the busts, the GPF had managed to arrest three Brazilian pilots who operated the vessels carrying the illegal substances.
“A number of planes [got] destroyed. We have three and we recovered two whole. We have three but we have two whole, which will be put to use for operations of the police and the military. So, we have had significant success,” Minister Benn stated.
Meanwhile, in keeping with government’s aim of providing more assets to improve the performance of the police force, 50 brand new vehicles were purchased to boost its ability to tackle crime.
The Security Sector Reform Study of 2017 had highlighted the major deficiencies in the operation of the force including chronic underfunding, a shortage of vehicles and the poor state of the vehicular fleet, the lack of adequate communication equipment and poor maintenance of physical assets.