General Secretary and Member of Parliament for the opposition, People’s Progressive Party, Clement Rohee, wants to know whether an actual survey was ever done by the APNU+AFC government that revealed a reduction in crime.
The Guyana Police Force has been reporting a reduction in serious and violent crimes when compared to last year, even as the daily police blotter highlight many armed robberies.
Rohee who served as Home Affairs Minister under the PPP government relied on the same Police figures when in government, but now he has raised questions about the figures.
He told National Assembly on Friday during the budget debate that the Government needs to face the music when it comes to the crime problem. He said when in opposition, the APNU and AFC had all of the answers but is not showcasing any of those answers now that it is in the seat of government.
“We hear crime is down, but was there an actual survey carried out?”, he questioned, while telling the National Assembly that the budget measure to deal with crime appears like “old wine in new bottles”
“There is inertia and total complacency at the top of the administration in the crime sector” Rohee posited.
In addressing the plans for the Security Sector, Rohee maintained that it does not matter how many Billions are pumped into the security sector, instead, what matters are the lives that are saved and that there is a sense of security among the populace.
“They (Govt) claimed they had all the answers when they were in the opposition, now that they are in the government, they have to face the music, the crime situation is not even better off, it’s even worse.”
In response to Government Ministers saying that the PPP is trying to vilify the National Budget as a way of political gain, Rohee told them that “rather than watching out for us, the government should watch out for themselves”.
He noted an article that was recently written by WPA member Dr. David Hinds who opined that the larger parts of the Coalition who came together are now falling apart or have already done so.
Rohee noted that he had wanted Minister of State, Joseph Harmon to speak about the fear of crime that is gripping the nation, He pointed out that instead, Harmon spoke about comfortable topics and regaled the house with the “so called green theme planned by the Government for Guyana”.
The PPP GS said that he has repeatedly heard of the resilience of Guyanese from the government and as if to add insult to injury, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan at the end of the budget presentation, urged Guyanese to work harder and make sacrifices,
Rohee said Budget 2017 should be seen as outrageous with its taxes, that he described as “ridiculous”.
The Budget, he said, lacks imagination.