first_imgUnited Kingdom-based expert, Colonel Russell Combe has handed over to Government his final report on the Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP).The document was handed over to President David Granger at the State House on Wednesday in the presence of top-ranking Police and military officers.While the report focuses primarily on reforms within the Guyana Police Force, Combe explained that there were measures also included to address issues plaguing the Prison and Fire Services as well as the Coast Guard of the GuyanaUK security expert Colonel Russell Combe handing over the SSRP report to President David Granger on Thursday at State HouseDefence Force (GDF).During a meeting with then British Prime Minister David Cameron back in 2016, President Granger had requested that the multimillion-dollar SSRP be revived.The US$4.7 million security sector pact was initially launched in 2007, but was scrapped two years later, after major disagreements between the then Administration and the UK Government over some of the conditions of the plan.According to President Granger, with this report, his Government will now try to correct errors.Recalling all the previous attempts at security reform, the Head of State posited that the root cause of the escalation in crime in Guyana was narcotics trafficking.However, the UK-based security expert explained that tackling the cause of crime was outside of his current capacity.“(Cause of crime) is driven by economics and whilst that’s an important area to tackle, that’s not an area where I would be in the position to offer advice to the President. He needs to look at that along with his other government strategies and… hopefully, there will be resources to improve in that area with the oil and gas exploration taking place in Guyanese waters,” he asserted.Nevertheless, Combe went on to posit that the presentation of the report was not just the beginning or end of efforts to reform the local security sector.“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 noted.The Colonel added that the report did not only contain his views on issues facing the security services in particular the Police Force but was a compilation of previous reports.“I also want to stress that it’s a dynamic document, one that will be built upon throughout my period of return, and also a reference document for the various security sector players and actors,” he outlined.The UK expert further stated that they do not want to see the report sitting on a 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 parts to be dealt with by different groupings.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

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