Biometrics project underway to track criminals

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
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The massive US$28 million Brickdam Station, which will serve as the Headquarters of the Guyana Police Force, is expected to serve as a ‘nerve center’ for crime fighting in Guyana.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo outlined on Thursday that investments will be made to equip the 12-storey structure with cutting-edge technological and forensic capabilities. He said Government is currently seeking to develop a biometrics project that would allow the Guyana Police Force to track and locate criminal elements immediately through facial recognition and other advancements.

“The Central Police Station may be 12 storeys high, but it would be the nerve center for crime fighting across the country in a modern environment. The technology will support it. It has to be bolstered by good quality forensic labs,” said Jagdeo.

He added, “We’re already putting in security cameras with facial recognition software. We’re working on a biometric project that would allow us to know every criminal in Guyana, and we can pinpoint where they are at any moment. Through facial recognition software, we will be able to track every person who comes into our country and overstays their visa or anything else. All of that (is) being worked at in different pieces.”

The Vice President added that this new structure is not being constructed as just a building, but as a masterplan to elevate the country’s security architecture. Similar plans are afoot to upgrade and equip existing Police stations in Guyana.The contract for constructing this new HQ was awarded to local construction company R Basso and Sons Construction, in association with Qigjian Group Company, and the building is expected to be completed in 30 months.

This modern facility, which will have the capacity to house a total of 2000 personnel, would house central departments such a Traffic, Finance, Impact Base and Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The building’s design also caters for earthquake resistance, and the building consists of state-of-the-art fire protection and detection systems, advanced CCTV monitoring and access control systems, and a telephone and data connection system to provide 24-hour service.

The Guyana Police Force’s Regional Police Division 4A Headquarters at Brickdam, Georgetown was destroyed by fire on October 2, 2021.

The fire, which started at about 11:06h in the upper flat of an eastern building, spread to several other mainly wooden buildings in the compound despite the efforts of the members of the Guyana Fire Service, who subsequently managed to bring it under control.

All the buildings in the compound had been completely destroyed, with the exception of the station lock-ups, barracks, and Impact Base. In addition, a few Police vehicles had been slightly damaged, while a number of privately owned vehicles that were detained in relation to matters under investigation had been destroyed or damaged. All the prisoners who were in custody in the station lock-ups were safely evacuated, and there had been no loss of Police or civilian life.