New Member of Parliament for the People’s Progressive Party, Harry Gill has issued a call for a complete overhaul of the Guyana Police Force.
During his maiden presentation in the National Assembly, Gill said the government needs to find a proper plan to fight crime and therefore needs to ensure a much better and more efficient Police Force.
“The Guyana Police Force needs a complete overhaul of its operations and infrastructure to be an effective proactive crime-fighting unit. Our police officers need to be respected by citizens and their civilian authority”, Gill said.
He admitted that most police officers find themselves working in deplorable conditions and desperately need new office facilities and furniture.
According to Gill, the previous PPP government which left office three months ago, spent hundreds of billions of dollars to train and equip the Guyana Police with the latest technology, boats and vehicles.
The PPP back bencher called on the government to keep its campaign promise and deliver on the 20% salary increase that was promised to members of the security forces during the 2015 elections campaign. Gill said from all appearances, the $11.9 billion in the budget for the security forces may not be enough to to ensure the increases.
He said that while the security initiatives proposed in the APNU+AFC budget appear commendable, the Guyana Police Force may be hard pressed to deliver goods with an $11.9 Billion budget that also covers the Guyana Prison Service, the Guyana Fire Service and the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit.
Mr. Gill also focused his budget presentation on the tourism industry and called for toughening of laws against persons convicted of crimes against tourists and those caught with illegal substances.
The new MP also criticized the creation of the Ministry of Citizenship saying that its development was “ad-hoc”. He said the responsibilities now shifted to that Ministry should have remained under the Ministry of Public Security.