They have proven their worth Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
April 15, 2004

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THERE are different views on the Community Policing Groups, with representatives of some political parties and the media expressing opinions against their existence.

However, the prevailing view is that they play a very important role in society and provide some of the necessary security required in villages and towns of our country.

Actually, the Community Policing Groups arose during the time of the PNC regime, when `break down the door’ crime was rampant. They grew out of necessity, but were largely ignored by the government.

It was after the PPP/Civic came into office in 1992 that they began to command attention due to the excellent work these groups were doing in their communities.

It was under the guidance of the then Home Affairs Minister Feroze Mohamed that the necessary links were made between the Community Policing Groups and the Guyana Police Force.

Training, guidance and the provision of weapons began. Soon these groups became more disciplined and equipped to deal with protecting their communities.

The Police Department began to recognise that the Community Policing Groups could provide some of the security needed.

Due to numbers and equipment required, the Police could not possibly cover every village and community in Guyana.

With the upsurge in crime and the sophisticated methods introduced by criminals being repatriated from the USA and Canadian jails, the Community Policing Groups have taken on new responsibilities.

Many belonging to these community groups spend two or three nights a week, depending on the size of the defence group, patrolling village streets and ensuring that all is well.

Many such groups have apprehended criminals, big and small, from drug pushers to fowl thieves.

They should be given all the support needed, in both word and deed and this includes encouragement and the continued provision of training, funding and equipment.

They have proven their worth and they are needed and respected for their hard and dedicated volunteer work!