Work­ing groups pro­posed to lead po­lice re­form

-UK-funded sec­tor re­form plan

Stabroek News Sunday - - NEWS -

Af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing poor for­ward plan­ning and in­ad­e­quate re­sources as ma­jor short­falls in the Guyana Po­lice Force, the UK-funded Se­cu­rity Sec­tor Re­form plan has pro­posed the creation of seven work­ing groups to deal with spe­cific as­pects of much-needed re­form.

It is en­vis­aged that these work­ing groups will col­lab­o­rate closely with the force’s Strate­gic Plan­ning Unit (SPU) to iden­tify, con­struct and ini­ti­ate ac­tion plans, while a Depart­ment for Se­cu­rity Sec­tor Re­form will be re­spon­si­ble for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of all re­form ac­tiv­i­ties, the plan, which Sun­day was seen by the Stabroek,

states. The plan was handed over to Pres­i­dent David Granger in Jan­uary by Bri­tish se­cu­rity ad­vi­sor Lt Col (rtd) Rus­sell Combe but has not yet been made pub­lic. Granger had told this news­pa­per that a copy of the plan would be sent to Op­po­si­tion Leader Bhar­rat Jagdeo, fol­low­ing which it would be laid in the Na­tional Assem­bly.

“Dur­ing the month of Oc­to­ber, af­ter the re­cess, it will be made avail­able to the Na­tional Assem­bly,” Granger said a month ago. The Na­tional Assem­bly comes out of re­cess on Thurs­day. Once tabled, the doc­u­ment be­comes pub­lic.

The plan makes rec­om­men­da­tions for govern­ment ac­tion in key ar­eas.

The es­tab­lish­ment of the Depart­ment for Se­cu­rity Sec­tor Re­form, which was an­nounced in Par­lia­ment in Novem­ber last year, was the first to be men­tioned. Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment, this Depart­ment should be re­spon­si­ble for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of all se­cu­rity sec­tor re­form ac­tiv­i­ties, tak­ing ac­count of all on­go­ing pro­grammes and events. It was stressed that the Depart­ment must en­sure there is co­op­er­a­tion be­tween all govern­ment min­istries and agen­cies.

‘Work­ing groups-model’

Ac­cord­ing to the plan, the SPU, which is “slowly” build­ing up its staff and has ad­e­quate of­fice space at po­lice head­quar­ters, is “con­sid­ered the right place within the po­lice to act as a hub for man­ag­ing the re­form process as a strate­gic re­quire­ment of ‘change man­age­ment.’” It notes that fo­cused train­ing has been con­ducted by con­sul­tants, who were the ap­pro­pri­ate “sub­ject mat­ter ex­perts,” as the first step to ad­dress­ing the short­fall that ex­ists at SPU.

The doc­u­ment fur­ther ex­plains that the use of these con­sul­tants for ar­eas of fo­cused at­ten­tion is the com­ple­men­tary sup­port to which the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity would con­trib­ute. “This pro­vides the nec­es­sary ex­ter­nal sup­port to the Guyana Po­lice, whilst recog­nis­ing that one of the prin­ci­ples of the re­form project is that it is owned and de­liv­ered by the in­sti­tu­tions of Guyana,” it states.

It was ex­plained that the SPU will act as the sec­re­tariat for the seven work­ing groups of se­lected po­lice of­fi­cers and other govern­ment pub­lic ser­vants or of­fi­cials with rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence. “They would con­sider the re­form nec­es­sary, by the use of work­ing groups, and with in­ter­na­tional and na­tional con­sul­tancy sup­port where ap­pro­pri­ate,” the plan notes.

Fur­ther, these groups, which would be chaired by a se­nior of­fi­cer, are to act as the ‘de­liv­ery team’ for re­form.

The plan says that adop­tion of the ‘work­ing groups-model’ by the force will be the be­gin­ning of the re­form process.

One group would be tasked with iden­ti­fy­ing the re­quire­ments for es­tab­lish­ing a cross govern­ment co­or­di­na­tion com­mit­tee to syn­chro­nise the var­i­ous “strands” of re­form work be­ing un­der­taken.

A sec­ond group would fo­cus on the or­gan­i­sa­tion and de­ploy­ment of ranks through­out the coun­try, in­clu­sive of main­te­nance of the Po­lice Es­tate and the num­ber of po­lice di­vi­sions, sta­tions and out­posts nec­es­sary, while the third group will look at pay, al­lowances, rank struc­ture, the ap­praisal sys­tem and pro­mo­tion pol­icy in keep­ing with the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (CoI).

Group four’s man­date is to re­view the pro­cure­ment and main­te­nance of po­lice equip­ment, in­clud­ing ve­hi­cles and uni­forms.

The fifth group, the plan says, will fo­cus on the re­view of the po­lice com­mand and con­trol sys­tem,

in­clud­ing the com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work, the role of force con­trol and po­lice di­vi­sional op­er­a­tions rooms, and the need for stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures for daily rou­tine and dur­ing a cri­sis.

The sixth group, the plan ex­plains, will ex­am­ine the plan of the Mar­itime Re­view con­ducted in Novem­ber, 2017 to de­ter­mine the doc­trine and pol­icy for the em­ploy­ment of a mar­itime ca­pa­bil­ity for the force, based on the op­er­a­tional re­quire­ments needed to meet the likely threats and to rec­om­mend the ca­pa­bil­ity-based equip­ment re­quire­ments and de­ploy­ment lo­ca­tions nec­es­sary across the coun­try.

The seventh group, the plan pro­poses, would re­view the force’s bud­get and fi­nan­cial poli­cies.

Pay re­view

The plan also rec­om­mends a re­view of the Po­lice Es­tate, the num­ber of sta­tions and out­posts, as part of the re­view of po­lice di­vi­sional bound­aries, tak­ing ac­count of re­gional bound­aries and the pop­u­la­tion and to in­clude the role and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Ge­orge­town City Con­stab­u­lary and other town con­stab­u­lar­ies.

An ex­am­i­na­tion of the poli­cies and meth­ods for the pro­cure­ment, al­lo­ca­tion and main­te­nance of po­lice ve­hi­cles and equip­ment, in­clud­ing ra­dios and uni­forms and those do­nated by China in 2017, is rec­om­mended.

Fur­ther, the plan rec­om­mends an ex­am­i­na­tion of the cur­rent pay and al­lowances for po­lice, tak­ing into ac­count the CoI into the Pub­lic Ser­vice and com­pa­ra­ble ju­ris­dic­tions within Cari­com.

There is also a call for a re­view of the rank struc­ture, pro­mo­tion pol­icy, ap­praisal sys­tem, dis­ci­pline and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment poli­cies for po­lice ranks. This, the plan says, should be com­ple­men­tary to the study done un­der Cit­i­zen Se­cu­rity Strength­en­ing Pro­gramme (CSSP) and in­clude the roles of the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion and Po­lice Com­plaints Author­ity.

The plan rec­om­mends re­view of the “com­mand and con­trol” by the po­lice dur­ing a cri­sis, in­clud­ing the func­tions of Force Con­trol, the de­ci­sion mak­ing process by of­fi­cers at each level of com­mand and the need for a Na­tional Threat Level and Alert State Sys­tem.

It also rec­om­mends the creation of a pol­icy for fi­nan­cial strate­gic for­ward plan­ning and the mech­a­nism for the po­lice to pre­pare a com­pre­hen­sive an­nual bud­get, in­clud­ing more de­tailed di­rec­tion and guid­ance, a more flex­i­ble ap­proach to cap­i­tal costs and in-year un­fore­seen costs, par­tic­u­larly for emer­gency re­pairs to in­fra­struc­ture, pro­vi­sion of util­i­ties and san­i­ta­tion.

Days af­ter re­ceiv­ing the plan in Jan­uary, the Pres­i­dent pro­vided few de­tails about the ar­eas the pro­posed re­forms fo­cused on.

When he ad­dressed the An­nual Po­lice Of­fi­cers’ Con­fer­ence later in the year, Granger had said the re­forms would en­tail crime pre­ven­tion through im­proved in­tel­li­gence and proac­tive de­ploy­ment, pro­tec­tion of vic­tims and vul­ner­a­ble groups from crim­i­nal be­hav­iour or dis­or­der, and the pro­mo­tion of greater pub­lic con­fi­dence in of­fi­cers through eth­i­cal con­duct, and the pro­mul­ga­tion of mea­sures aimed at build­ing the force’s ca­pac­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity.

Granger has main­tained that there will be se­cu­rity sec­tor re­form and that the plan in­volves mea­sures to pro­mote greater pro­bity in the work of the po­lice and to en­sure greater in­tegrity among its of­fi­cers.

Jagdeo has crit­i­cised govern­ment for fail­ing to make the re­form plan pub­lic, while not­ing that “buy-in” from ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the op­po­si­tion, is crit­i­cal.

Combe who left Guyana af­ter hand­ing over the plan re­turned in April to con­tinue ad­vis­ing the govern­ment on se­cu­rity sec­tor re­form on a con­tract which will end in March next year.

When ap­proached in Au­gust, he would only say that the plan placed fo­cus on ar­eas of gen­eral im­prove­ment within the force. A num­ber of ini­tia­tives had al­ready been un­der­taken and he had stressed that the plan was be­ing con­sid­ered and was be­ing “worked through” at the mo­ment.

A pre­vi­ous at­tempt to get a UK-funded Se­cu­rity Sec­tor Re­form Pro­gramme off the ground was aborted un­der the for­mer PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion fol­low­ing dif­fer­ences be­tween the then govern­ment and Lon­don. Af­ter Granger took of­fice, he re­opened dis­cus­sions on the is­sue with Lon­don.

Lt Col (rtd) Rus­sell Combe (at left) hand­ing over the plan to Pres­i­dent David Granger in Jan­uary

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