Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, as he addressed the gathering on Wednesday evening ….Min Felix hails govt’s efforts at tackling crime, reforming police force By Alva Solomon GUYANESE must not allow the Peoples Progressive Party to forget the past and according to Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, the APNU+AFC Coalition will continue to expend finances on reformation of the security sector and improve services offered by the Department of Citizenship.
“They owe this nation an apology,” he said, noting that it is for the 21 policemen who died in that violent crime wave post-2002. “There are no longer human rights abuses,” he said, adding that if they do occur, they are dealt with forthwith.”
Felix, who is the campaign manager for the East Bank Demerara corridor, told a mammoth crowd at the Diamond Market Tarmac that no other first-term government has done as much as the David Granger administration, geared at development of the country.
He said President David Granger has placed a “careful eye on law enforcement” and according to Felix, a number of initiatives have been put in place over the past four years to address crime. To this end, he spoke of the Safe City security project which saw closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) being placed around the city to augment the police work in undertaking its duties.
The large gathering at the Diamond Market Tarmac (Adrian Narine photos) The Safe City programme operates on an independent government-owned fibre optic network managed by the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), an agency of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications. It has no points of entry or gateways for any third party – individuals or companies and the network is physically independent.
It is physically isolated from the eGovernment platform which provides connectivity to government institutions, agencies, schools, health and other public facilities.
Felix also noted that government has invested $110M in procuring DNA and gun-residue testing equipment to aid the police in its crime-fighting agenda.” We are putting our money where the developmental needs are,” he said to the large crowd which gathered shortly after 17:00hrs on Wednesday.
He said that the investment by the government has resulted in the reduction of serious crimes from 2015 to date. “They have seized close to 596 illegal ?rearms in that period,” he said of the Guyana Police Force’s efforts.
Felix also noted that there have been systems put in place to curb extra-judicial killings, adding that this has been an area which the police have been working to address. “I think that is a remarkable record,” he said, adding it shows the Presidentâs character. “And thatâs why David Granger must get another chance,” he said to the jubilant crowd.
Felix told supporters that the March 2, 2020 elections this year is about choosing the best leader to take Guyana forward. He said that in less than five years, the David Granger-led government has achieved a lot and he noted that in 2015, the government took the nation out of fear which existed for years.
In this regard, he recalled the February 2002 jail break which led to a violent crime wave that swept the nation. He said a former Minister of Home Affairs permitted the prison of?cers to take the prisoners to Mashramani celebrations that year, and this was seen as an opportunity by some prisoners to break free.
“We had in that period something called massacres, massacre in Lusignan, Bartica and massacre in Linden,” he said, adding that it took the David Granger government to bring sanity to the country. “We donât have to be afraid of the phantom,” he said.
Felix also recalled that Guyana was known for a high incidence of drug trafficking, noting that cocaine went overseas in rum, lumber, and ?sh, among other items. “Everything had cocaine,” he said adding that, “Granger ?xed that problem.”
Felix also noted that the fire service has been enhanced and to date, a number of facilities to enhance the work of the Guyana Fire Service have been established across the country. He also noted that one can apply for a passport with less hassle these days and such is ready within five working days once the applicant’s particulars are in order. He said that the decentralisation of critical services is also benefitting the populace.
LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle