Minister Gajraj urges...
Policing Groups to be proactive in crime fight by Mark Ramotar
Guyana Chronicle
April 5, 2004

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HOME Affairs Minister, Mr. Ronald Gajraj, yesterday stressed the importance Community Policing Groups (CPGs) play in the fight against the evils of crime and criminal activity in Guyana and urged them to be more proactive in crime fighting.

Speaking at a meeting at Divisional Headquarters, Cove and John Police Station, East Coast Demerara, organized by the Guyana Police Force, Minister Gajraj told members of the CPGs based within the 'C' Division, they had no choice but to be more proactive in the fight against crime if this scourge is not to continue to plague several areas along the East Coast, especially the lower East Coast.

"Sometimes the fear of being the victim of a crime can be worse than being the actual victim of a crime," Minister Gajraj asserted.

In this regard, he urged CPGs not to wait until the crime is committed to act, but rather to be proactive and alert in a committed effort to 'nip any such act in the bud'.

"I'm merely seeking to remind you of the circumstances that lend the boldness to criminals and the way they commit their crimes," he posited.
He also emphasized that the CPGs are not a substitute for the Guyana Police Force, but rather a supplement to the Police Force.

He urged the establishment of a Community Policing Secretariat, and assured group members that he would seek the commitment of retired police ranks to assist in the running of such a secretariat in the interest of Community Policing Groups across the country.

The Home Affairs Minister assured those present that he would try to get between $10M and $15M from this year's budget to enhance and develop CPGs in Guyana.

He also assured CPGs that Government fully supported them in the fight against crime.

The Home Affairs Minister lamented the fact that only after a crime has been committed in an area that efforts are made to be more proactive in the crime fight.

According to him, the police should not wait until there is a criminal activity in an area before they touch base with the CPGs. Likewise, the CPGs should not only touch base with the Police when there is a crime in the area. He said there should be constant collaboration "in this whole committed effort to rid this country of that frightening scourge."

He said it is incumbent on all stakeholders to ensure that they create a partnership that is necessary in this whole crime fighting effort.