Stabroek News

The Guyana Police Force’s strategic plan is riddled with inaccuraci­es and inconsiste­ncies

- Dear Editor Sincerely, Clinton Conway Assistant Commission­er of Police (Ret’d)

I recently perused, with much dismay, what the police labelled, “The Guyana Police Force Strategic Plan 2022 - 2026”. The theme of the strategic plan, which was developed by the Police Strategic Planning Unit, is, “Policing to safeguard communitie­s and wellbeing of the people throughout Guyana for 2021 and beyond.” What is meant by safeguardi­ng the wellbeing of people throughout Guyana for 2021 and beyond, moreso, when the plan caters for period 2022 - 2026? That is not achievable nor realistic. It is utopia. Why not stick to the mandate as outlined in section 3 (2) of the Police Act Chapter 16:01? The plan appeared to have been backdated.

One year elapsed and there is no mention of any milestone/s the police achieved during 2022. The plan is riddled with inaccuraci­es, irrelevanc­ies and inconsiste­ncies. In many instances the language is long winded and not easily understood. Both the Minister of Home Affairs and acting Top Cop posited unclear and confusing statements. Reading the Minister’s missive, I detected three incoherent sentences consisting of seventy two, sixty one and sixty words each. The acting Top Cop’ message followed the same style of the Minister’s. Wow! Is it a case of monkey see, monkey do? Did a single person composed both speeches? There are numerous critical issues and concerns that must be highlighte­d in the so called strategic plan. However, because of space I will attempt to confine this episode to the police strategic response to the traffic lawlessnes­s on our roads where lives and limbs are in perpetual peril.

Page 70, serial number 9.1.7 outlined the strategic plan of the police as it relates to road traffic. It sits on four pillars: (1) Strategic Objectives: - To develop and implement a robust and Traffic Management system by 2026. (2) Measurable Objectives: - Improve the traffic posture and the traffic management system by 2026. (3) Resource required: Equipment, Workshops, Learner Driver Seminars, Campaigns, Traffic Management (4) Strategic Activities: Conduct seminars with road users and drivers quarterly to promote road safety on an annual basis. Conduct Traffic Safety Campaigns and Educationa­l Programmes in Regional Divisions monthly by 2026. Conduct Learner Drivers’ Sessions monthly within Regional Divisions by 2026. Implement robust traffic management system in collaborat­ion with agencies and government department­s. Develop and implement a Traffic Management Plan.

Here are some burning questions: What is a robust and Traffic Management system? Why implement it until 2026? What is meant by ‘improve traffic posture and traffic manage system by 2026’? What equipment is required for the plan? What workshops will be conducted, when and where? What campaigns will be conducted, when, where and by whom? What is meant by Traffic Management? Are drivers not road users? Why promote road safety annually and not throughout the year? Why monthly Traffic Safety Campaigns and Educationa­l Programmes by 2026? Which agencies and government department­s will the police collaborat­e with? When will the police develop and implement a Traffic Management Plan? There are numerous other questions to be asked, but let me move on.

I vividly recall when Commission­er Laurie Lewis brought Guyanese management consultant, Dr. Aubrey Armstrong, from Barbados, to enlighten senior police officers in principles of strategic management. Dr. Armstrong had several sessions with us on the topic. He left with us a clear concept that when designing a plan, moreso a strategic plan, our objective/s must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART). It is still applicable now. Those features are sadly lacking in the police strategic plan to bring back sanity on our roads. According to the message of the acting Top Cop, “The successful implementa­tion of this strategic plan is dependent on all ranks of the Guyana Police Force, coupled with community partnershi­ps, which will drive our growth to create a better quality of life and safer community for the citizens of Guyana.”

This cannot be achieved because the vast majority of the members of the Executive Leadership Team, their deputies, sub divisional officers, inspectors, station sergeants, other subordinat­e officers, the largest categories of members of the Force - the constables and members of the community are not au fait with the existence of the plan. Electronic copies are scarce and not circulatin­g while limited hard copies are safely secured at Eve Leary. The plan appears to be confidenti­al like the imaginary RSS report. Instead of making wild and hollow statements the police must revise the plan, seek external profession­al help and attack the traffic lawlessnes­s frontally, fundamenta­lly and profession­ally. God help those who help themselves. More about The Guyana Police Force Strategic Plan 2022 - 2026 in subsequent articles. May God help the Guyana Police Force.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana