President ‘studying’ security reform recommendations – Harmon

first_imgSecurity reformMonths after interim and final reports were submitted to the Government by a British security expert, the recommendations contained are still being studied by the President.During a post-Cabinet press conference on Friday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon revealed that it is before the President and experts, adding that there is necessity of caution when making changes to the security sector.“There are several recommendations that were made in it. And these are matters that require careful study. As you know you don’t drastically change your security framework overnight unless you put in place certain processes. The report is getting attention at the level of the President and a team of persons who are studying the report itself,” Harmon explained.The US$4.7 million security sector pact was initially launched in 2007. There were major disagreements between the then Administration and the UK Government over some of the conditions of the plan.The programme was subsequently re-established, and Government is of the view that, once implemented, Guyana’s security sector would be significantly strengthened.According to Harmon, the Government is optimistic that this would lend to reducing the crime rate. President Granger has previously said there is need for a stronger Police Force, one that is better equipped with all tools necessary to function adequately.An interim report was presented in 2017. UK expert Russell Combe, who was hired to assist with the Security Sector Reform Action Plan (SSRAP), presented the final report to Granger in January.While the report focused primarily on reforms within the Guyana Police Force, Combe explained there are measures also included to address issues plaguing the prison and the Fire Service, as well as the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard.The Colonel had also explained that the report does not only contain his views on issues facing the security services, in particular the Police Force, but it’s a compilation of previous reports.“The report is dynamic; it’s not to represent just the beginning. Activities supported by the United Kingdom have already commenced: the training of (Police’s) Strategic Planning Unit last year and then in November there was consultancy on the marine capability of the Police Force and indeed engaged with the coast guards as well… So this is not the beginning, nor is it the end,” he had noted.UK expert further stated that they do not want to see the report sitting on the shelf, gathering dust. In fact, he noted that the report was compiled in such a way that it can be broken up and separated into its parts to be dealt with by different groupings.As such, Colonel Combe is expected to return in April this year to oversee the implementation of his recommendations. His new tenure will see him in Guyana until March 2019.last_img