What would have been far more comforting than the statistics released by the Guyana Police Force to convey the state of the nation’s crime health and number of police who have had overseas training to combat crime would have been a public unveiling of how the Ministry of Public Security intends to keep people safe during the upcoming celebrations.
It would, actually, be reassuring to see the Minister Ramjattan, not only address local Guyanese who will be celebrating this significant milestone, but, specifically, address the Diaspora which will be the larger contributor to expected revenues over the period of celebration.
That Guyana has become a state with disproportionate violent robbery per capita is a reluctant acceptance and has been a deterrent to many potential Diaspora vacationers in years past. So, in anticipation of thousands of visitors in the coming weeks, it would be more like standard protocol to see the Joint Heads of Team Dragnet which has had commendable success in reducing the occurrence of violent crimes since its inception, detail to would be celebrants the number of security personnel who will be in uniform or otherwise interspersed with crowds to thwart any attempts to rob or otherwise discomfit Guyana’s guests.
It would be good to know that a sizable contingent of Dragnet Forces will be on constant patrol throughout the areas that would be prone to the invasive type robberies that are not uncommon in Guyana. And that would include hotels, event venues and all other locations that may attract a heavy tourist population.
And since this will be a part of Tourism, the protocol extends to that Ministry to share the responsibility of assuring visitors of the efforts to ensure their protection. It would be reassuring for the Minister of Tourism to help assuage visitor trepidation by sharing with potential visitors what plans are being implemented to protect both local and foreign visitors to events that will bring revenue to the Ministry.
We understand that Tourism’s security plans will be a sub set of the general security of Dragnet but it is protocol for all of the agencies involved in the efforts to show how their specific entity will be coordinating safety. So, it would add to comfort to hear the Minister of Tourism say that they are implementing additional measures to ensure citizens and visitor safety during the Jubilee celebration.
The Guyana Police Force should be commended for the swift apprehension of the Casino Five who robbed the Ramada Princess Casino on April 29th 2016. Though the robbers have been apprehended, it is critical to note that they have not been deterred by Operation Dragnet hich has been credited with the deescalation of these types of crimes and that the holdup/heist type operation was executed right before the country receives, potentially, its largest visitor influx.
Minister Ramjattan had said that Jubilee security is a priority and revealed that international agencies like Interpol, Drug Enforcement Agency and that England, America and Canada had offered assistance during the period of heavy visitor convergence. He also called on policing groups in communities to be of assistance, as well.
We know the international agencies will be confined to international nuisances like narcotics, arms transportation and trafficking in persons. What we know, too, is that policing groups in communities have never been capable of containing community crime so calling on them now seems slightly incongruous.
Visitors have already begun their trek to Guyana and the venues that will host tourists and citizens during the Jubilee celebrations are well known.
Now would be a good time for a loop of statements to start streaming from the Ministries of Tourism, Public Safety and from the Office of the President, committing steadfastly to the maintenance of public security and safety of local and foreign nationals during this period of celebration.
The very countries that have offered to assist with tourist volume during the next few weeks have issued warnings to their citizens headed for Guyana to be wary of crime.
Public announcements from the Office of the Presidency and Ministries Public Security and Tourism may help to quell many fears resulting from negative travel advisories from the countries that have become home to most of the Diaspora.