La Parfaite Harmonie residents’ security concerns addressed -MOPS commence Community Partnership Outreach

DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, October 14, 2017

Security was among the top priorities at a meeting held between law enforcement and Parfaite Harmonie residents on Friday night at the community Primary School.

The meeting was the first in the series of an interactive community engagement programme planned by the Ministry of Security towards addressing the security concerns of the residents across the country.

At the meeting at the Parfaite Harmonie Primary School, a team comprising Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, Deputy Regional Executive Officer Jennifer Ferreira-Dougall, ‘D’ Division Commander Leslie James and other government officials, addressed concerns about speeding of vehicles, loud music playing in vehicles, adults preying on school girls and the dumping of garbage.

They also responded to calls made for the establishment of “a much-needed police station,” within the community.

Minister Ramjattan advised residents that “it is simply too late” to get the funding for the construction of the police station into the 2018 Budget. It is “well passed” the deadline for the submission of programmes and projects for inclusion into the Budget, the Minister explained.

In the interim, as the Ministry work to address this concern, the Minister encouraged the residents to form a Community Policing Group, that will be the “eyes and ears of the community.”

As it relates to the sore issue of the wanton disposal of garbage in the community, the residents disclosed that some were refusing to pay the $400 per week to Puran Brothers disposal Inc. for disposal services and instead had resorted to disposing their garbage around the community.

Minister Ramjattan observed that this is an issue that can be addressed by the members of the community themselves. He suggested that the residents report such acts as soon as they witness it.  He also issued a desist call, to those residents that engaged in such actions, and warned of the consequences. “We are not setting the examples and that is not how we are going to take back our communities…We have to ensure that these people know that there is a disincentive for dumping garbage because they will be prosecuted sixty of fifty thousand dollars fine and probably also community service,” the Minister said.

To address the unhealthy situation that would have arose in the community due to the dumping, the minister told the residents that he would seek to have a Community Organised for the Restoration of the Environment (CORE) group established in Parfaite Harmonie. CORE is aimed at empowering and bettering communities through the formation of community groups aimed at the beautification of the environment.

Divisional Commander James assured that the issue of older men preying on school girls is on the front burner for the police. According to the commander he has instructed ranks a while back to embark on an intel-led operation.

James stated that “I recalled three such persons were brought before me by my staff and I warned them because when they were intercepted, they were not engaged in the act… we recorded it and they were warned sternly. Their excuses were that they were just relaxing which of course was just an excuse.”

A campaign was also launched to address the issue of speeding, the playing of loud music and tinted vehicles. Since then ten persons have were taken into custody and will appear before the court.

The commander told residents that he has an open-door policy and encouraged residents to visit his office whenever they have issues that need to be addressed.

After the engagement, residents of the community expressed their gratitude on having a fruitful discussion. Wilbert Vyphuis a resident of the community said that he has been living in La Parfaite Harmonie for the past four years.

“We have to understand that it all comes down to resources, what you have and how you can best make use of it, so I am satisfied with what he said and I can only hope that the promises that were made, that those promises will be kept.”

The next security meeting is set for Sunday with residents of Skeldon, Region Six.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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