PPPC promises anti-crime strategy, 20,000 education scholarships, improved internet service

The opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Saturday hammered the incumbent coalition’s failed 2015 elections promise to deliver GYD$9,000 for a bag of rice, even as it churned out promises to solve crime, poor internet access and other woes facing its Essequibo Coast stronghold.

Claiming that at least 12,000 persons attended its election campaign rally at Anna Regina, Essequibo, the PPPC also pitched a promise to provide 50,000 scholarships nationally and improve health and education services in Region 2 (Pomeroon-Supenaam). Police also estimated about 12,000 persons attended.

PPPC presidential candidate, Irfaan Ali said fighting crime would have to be addressed strategically to counter internal and external threats by high-tech criminals who are targeting Guyana. “We have to ensure that we build a system that will cater for new and innovative crimes because, while investors are looking at Guyana, as a new destination to invest the sophisticated criminal is also looking at Guyana as an area for opportunity so our crime system must be built on a platform that is built to respond to the present situation but it also must take the potential threats of the future and be able to react and respond proactively to that threat,” Ali said.

The opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips has already promised to devise an anti-crime strategy that will also reduce poverty and increase employment.

Ali said the anti-crime strategy would require greater community involvement, intelligence-led approaches, build a regional security system that is run as far as possible by people from the regions, use technology to identify crimes before they are committed, reform, training, retooling and private-public security partnerships. “We have many private security firms operating but they are all operating in ad hoc manner. We have to look at ways in which we can bring the private sector with the public sector as we develop and we work on a holistic crime-fighting strategy for our region,” said Ali.

Between 2002 and 2008, the then PPPC administration had been accused of turning a blind eye or facilitating death squads and drug traffickers in crime fighting as well as permitting the purchase of sophisticated mobile telephone interception and location technologies.

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