With an aim of developing and reconfiguring Community Policing in Guyana, Government has committed some US$3 million to carry out a series of trainings in CPGs across the country.
Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan made the disclosure on Friday at a press conference held in his Brickdam Office, where representatives of CPGs from across the country gathered to begin the month to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Community Policing in Guyana.
According to Ramjattan, training will be given to Community Police particularly for them to be better community elders for the purpose of solving the crime situation in their respective communities. That, he explained, will be a component of the Citizens’ Security Sector Strengthening Programme.
Some members of the CPG
“Outlayed there will be $3 million. We are going to go into the communities to do a number of things including awareness campaigns, workshops, family-oriented activities, establishment of community action councils, training in community assessments, cross-cultural awareness, rapid impact project”, he said.
According to the minister, Government is of the belief that the training could help the youth in communities to be “job ready”, entrepreneurial, receive counselling and skills training. He said it would also prepare officers with the capacity to understand where persons might be headed. And those who are going in the wrong direction make early intervention to stop it.
Ramjattan said during the course of the 40th Anniversary celebration, Government hopes that members of community groups and liaison officers could begin a deliberation as to what was said by President David Granger, during his address to the Annual Police Conference earlier this month where he underscored that safe communities are at the core of safe countries.
According to Ramjattan, the President made some “telling points” in relation to policing groups and asked the question if Community Policing intends to be a parallel political force under the control of an elected Minister or part of a professional police force under the command of a Commissioner of Police?
“The Head of State had said that what was needed was comprehension of role and compliance with the national law, and not necessarily contrivances of an organisation”.
The minister said it was important that everyone sees the organisation being more directly involved at the community level, solving crimes but also helping in the preparation of solutions to those crimes, getting to the root causes and not just being an enforcement organisation.
“And for that reason, government is going to be addressing risks associated with interpersonal violence and bringing those experts to communities so that they could understand what are the causes of interpersonal violence so that they could get to the root of it so that they could become society’s elders within their communities”, he said.
“How we could have better parenting, conflict resolution, support economic inclusion by vocational and remedial education and a number of other things that could help solve the crime situation at the root level because when the economic situation is bad, crime increases all the time”.
He said when the social norms are in disarray, there will be problems. When there is disequilibrium of the balance of community relations, there will be problems, so we want to develop and reconfigure those other aspects so that we could have better communities, so we could have a safer country.
The membership of the Community Policing Group currently consists of 263 groups with a membership of 5194. During the period of June to December the CPGs conducted some 255 vehicular patrols, 138 motorcycle patrols, 150 bicycle patrols, 243 foot patrols, 50 boat patrols, and 13 ATV Patrols. 38 arrests ranging from murder to domestic violence.
According to Ramjattan, over the years CPG’s have been exposed to training in a number of areas including Policing, Domestic Violence, and Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Fire-fighting, Road Safety, first Aid, suicide awareness, interpersonal violence and communication.
He said during that period, there was an increase in the membership of the Policing Groups. The provision of additional uniforms , vehicles and equipment to all community Policing Groups and introduction of training programms for liaison officers and elections of new National and divisional community policing executives.
The CPG was established in April 1976. This year, the anniversary is being commemorated under the theme, Community policing building public trust, social cohesion and embracing youth empowerment.