Nineteen law enforcement officers drawn from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) last Thursday completed a five-day Jetway training programme facilitated by the Canadian Embassy. The closing ceremony was held at the Grand Coastal Inn, Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara.
The Jetway training programme uses a common sense policing approach to detect travelling criminals. It has contributed to the seizure of billions of dollars worth of contraband worldwide.
This course is essentially an investigative technique that can be employed by any law enforcement agency. However, it is often tailored based on the peculiarities of individual countries. The course for Guyana focuses on interdicting the transportation of contraband and illicit drugs at airports.
Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. Nicole Giles said that Canada’s jetway programme is recognised as a best practice internationally and has proven to be an effective tool in law enforcement efforts to disrupt organised crime and enhance public safety.
“Jetway training strengthens not only border security, but security threats at large…among other things the Jetway training programme strengthens the ability of Guyana’s law enforcement to detect signs that betray persons with criminal intentions such as when a person is lying,” she explained.
She said that although Jetway is implemented in all corners of the world, it by no means follows a one size fits all model, “Rather, it builds upon work already being done by the GPF and CANU in the area of identifying and stopping criminals. It also builds on previous Guyana-Canada collaboration in the area of security, such as the fraudulent document training and equipment cooperation announced by Minister Rohee and myself only last month. RCMP, GPF and CANU worked together to adapt, modify and tailor the Jetway Programme to take full account of the particular challenges and opportunities in Guyana, so that it meets the needs of the GPF and CANU.”
The High Commissioner said “We have once again been impressed with the high calibre of the officers participating in this training.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee expressed the Government of Guyana’s gratitude to the Canadian Government and in particular, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), whose instructor along with an official from the Trinidad and Tobago Airport Authority executed the course.
He pointed out that the programme’s common sense approach, whereby trainees were taught in great detail how to detect what would be termed as suspicious behaviour and movements of persons, who may be involved in criminal/illegal activities, will be very useful to Guyana’s security sector.
He noted that organised crime is a constant threat that does not make any distinction between large or small economies. He added that this threat does not exist in Guyana in the conventional sense as it does in other parts of the world.
“There is crime but the extent to which it is organised in such a methodical and integrated manner is something that we still have to determine and establish…criminal enterprises are always seeking to integrate themselves…we cannot remain indolent to any form of crime we always have to be one step ahead,” the Minister said.
The Jetway programme was launched in 1994 by the RCMP. Its techniques can be applied to crimes committed or about to be committed not only at airports but across the spectrum including traffic checks or house searches.