GPF undergoing capacity buildingAs the Guyana Police Force (GPF) continues with efforts to reform its operations, the capacity building department of the Force’s Strategic Planning Unit was commissioned on Monday and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan calledPublic Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattanon the hierarchy of the law enforcement agency to build on its leadership and professionalism.The Minister gave this encouragement at the police officers’ training centre in Eve Leary, Georgetown, where he said that under the United Kingdom’s Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP), the GPF would be able to implement the reforms.“Our Police Force needs an improved capacity and capability in the area of professional strengthening in leadership, which will empower the Force to initiate reforms and to strategically plan out for the realisation of these objectives,” he notedRamjattan expressed appreciation for the UK’s support in assisting the security sector, calling the nation one of Guyana’s allies. The capacity-building department was opened as Britain continues to carry out its objectives by providing assistance under the SSRP.Referencing the recently-halted Police promotions that followed the commencement of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into an alleged assassination attempt against the President, the Public Security Minister noted the need for an overhaul of the guidelines that govern the hierarchy of the Guyana Police Force.“Indeed with all that has happened recently and highlighted in the news concerning our Police Force, especially its upper echelons, there is need for strategic rethink,” Ramjattan asserted.UK experts Paul Mathais and Andy Odell are in Guyana to offer support in matters of security and to assist in the sector’s reforms under the guidance of Presidential Advisor under the SSRP, Russell Combe.After he carried out an assessment of the reforms that were needed within the local Police Force, Combe handed over his preliminary findings to the Guyana Government in June 2017. One of the advisor’s key focal points related to the prison system where it was noted that many prisoners were on remand for longer than the prison sentence they would receive if they were convicted.British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn also addressed Monday’s commissioning of the department. He informed the gathering that the launch was just one of several initiatives planned over the next few months to assist the country’s security sector.“It also adds to the support we are giving to other areas of the security sector – the Prison Service, Defence Force, and specialised agencies such as the Special Organised Crime Unit,” Quinn disclosed.“We also expect it to support and sustain relevant reform programmes and the implementation of those reform action plans for broader security reform within the Police,” the Ambassador added.Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine welcomed the addition to the unit, indicating his willingness to see the realisation of strategies recommended under the programme.“More and more, every sector of society is depending, requesting, demanding improved services from the Police Force,” he told the participants.An initial training exercise with stakeholders followed Monday’s launch and two officers from the Surinamese Police Force were present to support and train locals, along with the UK experts under the Strategic Planning Unit’s Capacity Building.It was during a meeting with former British Prime Minister David Cameron in September 2015 that President David Granger requested that the multimillion-dollar SSRP be revived.After this request, an analysis was subsequently conducted on the current state of the local security sector and how the UK Government could assist Guyana.As part of the implementation phase, UK security expert Combe was first recruited on a one-year programme where he guided and advised the Guyanese Government on reforming the security sector.
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