Community policing groups in Guyana celebrate 41 years of service to Guyana

GINA, GUYANA, Saturday April 22, 2017

The Ministry of Public Security joined with Community Policing Groups (CPGs) from all across Guyana to observe 41 years of the patrol’s presence in our communities. The anniversary was observed this year under the theme ‘celebrating 41 years of partnership, supporting reform and development.’

Mayor of Corriverton, Krishnand Jaichand (extreme left), Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan (on podium), Administrator for CPGs in Guyana Dennis Pompey and Chairman of the National CPG executive Dr. Mark Constantine all stand at attention as Minister Ramjattan takes the salute from member of the E Division Community Policing group

This year’s observance was facilitated in the ‘B’ Divison East Berbice, Region Six. The event began with a march past which saw the participation of CPGs from all the policing divisions. The participants assembled along the Skeldon Factory Road and proceeded westward along the Corentyne Public Road. The parade culminated at the Scottsburg Community Centre Ground, Skeldon.

The Minister of Public Security and Third Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan took the salute as  the Mayor of Corriverton Krishnand Jaichand, Administrator for CPGs in Guyana, Dennis Pompey and Chairman of the National CPG executive Dr. Mark Constantine stood on the side of the podium as the parade went past  the ‘National Insurance Scheme’s branch office at Corriverton.

Pompey told those gathered at the community centre ground that his reflections confirmed that the CPGs in Guyana started with just about a few hundred persons but today the organisation has grown significantly. More than 4000 men, women and youths are currently members of the CPG.

Minister Ramjattan, in giving the feature address praised the efforts of the policing groups over the years. He noted that although the work of the CPGs goes unrewarded the sacrifice is well acknowledged. He added that these groups can expect some sort of reward, confident that it will improve performance and encourage greater commitment to the work of the CPGs.

Minister of Public Security and Third Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan giving the feature address at the anniversary celebration

“I want to say that for 41 years, doing all that you have done, your youthfulness notwithstanding, you have done an adult’s job. I have read the reports as to the patrols that you have done, vehicular patrols ATV patrols, foot patrols and it is extremely significant the effort that you have put in without salary… better days are coming and we may very well address that issue.” Minister Ramjattan pointed out.

Ramjattan added that CPGs must now become familiar with modern day criminal activities such as cyber-crime, trafficking in persons, child pornography and terrorism to become more effective in their activities.

The Minister added, “We are also having a huge number of other types of crimes that the organisation 41 years ago could not have foreseen. It is especially important that our CPGs in the interior become acquainted with what these are all about so that they can help supplement the police’s efforts.”

‘B’ Division commander, Ian Amsterdam stressed that the CPGs,  although they are not paid a salary, is more of a supplement to the Guyana Police Force and not a substitute. In addition to providing neighbourhood security, Amsterdam said that CPGs are highly recommended for those who may be tempted into criminal activity and left to idleness.

‘B’ Division commander, Ian Amsterdam giving brief remarks at the anniversary celebration

Amsterdam added that as a result of the growth of CPGs as well as greater collaborations in the B division, there has been a significant decrease in crime rates and there is expected to be a further decline in those numbers as the time goes by.

“I am happy to say that B Division has been doing well when we compare ourselves to last year. At the end of March we’ve seen a 12 per cent decrease in crime and we have a healthy clear up rate of 82 per cent. This is not all because of me, this all because of people like you (CPGs) who work tirelessly,”the Commander explained.

The Policing Divisions participating in the march past were judged based on contingent size (25 points), uniformity (25 points), coordination (30 points) and command (20 points).The results declared wereB3 Division (No. 35 Village to Orealla) third place with 85 points, A1 Division (Central Georgetown) second place with 86 points and C2 Division (Conversation Tree to Good Hope) first place with 88 points.

Other participants of the programme including the youth arm and women’s group of the CPGs received recreational games and sports gear. These were presented with the aim of promoting more social activities and sport education among CPGs throughout Guyana.

Community policing entails that the Police and community must work together to identify, prioritise and solve contemporary problems to improve the quality of life in the community. Community Policing in Guyana was established in 1976, as what was then known as Crime Prevention Committees under the late Commissioner of Police Henry Fraser, DSS, DSM,  they  later evolved into what is known today as Community Policing Groups.

By: Delicia Haynes

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