The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) is taking the government to task over what it deems a deviation from a promise the coalition made in its 2015 elections manifesto. The delivery, or lack thereof, under consideration has to do with the enhancement of the security sector.

In a statement to the media, the federation noted that the APNU+AFC included in its manifesto, a commitment to develop a comprehensive Public Security plan, which is aimed at, among other things, reducing “the high rate of armed robberies, murders, piracy, human trafficking and domestic violence while improving policing and maintaining police teams and identifying ways of ensuring that police officers spend more time deterring, detecting, preventing and investigating crime”.

FITUG said that that plan seems to have “gone through the window”, with crime still being a major issue, four years later.

Further to that, the federation noted that despite pronouncements from officialdom that criminal activity is on the decline, people are seeing, and some are experiencing an entirely different state-of-affairs.

The federation noted that a cursory examination of the news, over the last few days, revealed that at least five persons would have been murdered, including a gold miner, Deon Stoll.

“Certainly, what the news has been saying and what we have been hearing just over the last few days demonstrates that we cannot give any credibility to the notion that crime is abating,” FITUG noted.

The group said too, that there is a “critical” need for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to “proactively address what is clearly a frightening situation”. The bloc issued a call for more regular patrols, intelligence gathering, among other activities.

The federation noted that unemployment is playing a major role in the current crime situation.

“The Federation recently pointed out that the most recent Labour Force Survey, prepared by the Bureau of Statistics, indicated that unemployment rate rose from 12.2 per cent at the end of 2017 to 13.8 per cent at the end of 2018. In the same period, youth unemployment rose from 22.9 per cent to 25.6 per cent. The report also disclosed that earnings of workers also declined during the period. This worrying trend cannot be ignored as it well has an impact on crime in our society.”

FITUG said that it now turns to those charged with security responsibilities, to devise and implement credible and workable initiatives to put a brake on the “harrowing” situation.


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