Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan is worried over the fact that adults are using children to commit crimes. This, he said, is a challenge for law enforcement agencies since children cannot be charged, and prosecuted in a court of law.

During an interview on the radio programme “Insight” recently, Ramjattan said, “A lot of them are very young persons; persons so young, that you cannot even charge them. In Guyana, the law is: 14 and below are not criminally-responsible. This means that you can’t charge or prosecute them – they’re children.”

Ramjattan continued, “A number of them are being utilised by adults to go and do the snatching…Sometimes when the police do arrest them…The parents or guardians are quick to bring their birth certificates and say: well, they are less than 14 years. And you can’t really do anything,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Police Force (GPF)’s Public Relations and Press Officer, Superintendent, Jairam Ramlakhan, in a statement to the media, noted that many youths do not often realise how much of a negative impact a criminal record can have.”

The Minister noted the very dangerous yet realistic possibility that a criminal record can close down opportunities for youths and push them towards a life in which criminality ends up being the only option.

The GPF’s approach, he said, is to get into the communities, work with young people and guide them in another direction by employing the Force’s social crime prevention programs.

Ramjattan said that public support is needed to receive the information required for preventing and solving issues surrounding crime.

Further, Ramjattan promised, “We are going to beef-up the police patrols all about the place. We have utilized our video cameras and the Command Centre that we have in Liliendaal check on a number of these bicycle and motorcycle guys for a period of a couple of days and after that, we then go in and – after having identified them – ensure that we arrest them. About 39 arrests have been made,” the Minister noted.


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