$60M IDB-funded Parika Police Station commissioned
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Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn (third right), Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken and other senior police ranks outside the remodelled Parika Police Station
Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn (third right), Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken and other senior police ranks outside the remodelled Parika Police Station

MINISTER of Home Affairs Robeson Benn on Sunday commissioned the $60 million Parika Police Station, which was remodeled by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme.

The police station was designed to be public-friendly, and will house a domestic violence room, juvenile-friendly holding area, a child-friendly area, witness protection room, a case management room, a case management system, an integrated crime information system, and offices.

The Citizen Security Strengthening Programme helps communities better resolve conflicts in non-violent ways, improve police effectiveness and availability of crime data, and provide opportunities to rehabilitate and reinsert prisoners back into society.

So far, several police stations across the country have undergone rehabilitation and upgrades under the programme. These are: Port Kaituma and Mabaruma stations in Region One; the Aurora and Suddie stations in Region Two; the La Grange station in Region Three; Cane Grove in Region Four; Albion, Whim and Mibikuri in Region Six; Issano in Region Seven; Annai and Aishalton stations in Region Nine and Mackenzie, Wismar and Kwakwani stations in Region Ten.

Rehabilitation is currently ongoing on an additional seven stations, including the Blairmount station in Region Five, and the Mahdia station in Region Eight.

These station upgrades are expected to complement the work being undertaken by the government to improve the performance of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). These infrastructural changes would allow the strategic implementation of technology in the day-to-day operations of the GPF.

In early 2022, President Dr. Irfaan Ali disclosed plans to develop and implement ‘smart policing’ systems to improve the accessibility and efficiency of the Force.

President Ali, who made these statements at the opening ceremony of the Police Officers’ Annual Conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, said that while the police force has continued to work to reduce crime systematically, it cannot be “business as usual”.

He noted that with Guyana on a fast-growth trajectory, systems must be put in place to ensure the safety of Guyanese, visitors, and persons interested in investing in Guyana.

“Aggregate investments, both private and public, are increasing; citizens are investing in new homes, cars, and other personal belongings; businesses are expanding. Those making these investments are doing so with the understanding that the country will boost security to protect them and their investments,” President Ali stated.

One of the major undertakings of the smart policing system is the implementation of a digital platform for ticketing, directly relating to breach of road laws. The President disclosed that the government has already started discussions with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and intends to have this feature incorporated on all of Guyana’s major highways. This system will incorporate fixed-speed radars on main roads, so as to identify those who use the roads recklessly and to photograph these infractions.

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