Jul 14, 2008 News
NEW AMSTERDAM, BERBICE – The Guyana Police Force stepped up activities to mark its 169th year of existence. Besides those at the Head Quarters, Division ‘B,’ which spans from Abary in West Berbice to Orealla in the Upper Corentyne, has outlined some events.
In Berbice, the celebration began two Sundays ago with a Church Service at the Faith Revival Tabernacle in New Amsterdam.
There, Assistant Commissioner Clinton Conway, who heads Division ‘B,’ spoke of the need for Divine intervention for a successful fight against crime.
“There are many lessons in the Bible that can guide us law enforcement officers. There were many battles fought in those days, and today we can learn from them.”
The Guyana Police Force was established on 1st July 1839, and today many of the very objectives are still present. These include prevention and the detection of crime, maintenance of law and order, preservation of the peace, and prosecution of offenders.
“These objectives were set by Sir Robert Peel of Great Britain when he established the first Police Force in Britain. This is why today we still hear persons referring to the British cops as Bobbies.” Mr. Conway said.
Commander Conway, who himself has a total of 35 years in the Force, reflected on some changes. “In the earlier days there were very few gun-related crimes.
There were mostly what was called ‘choke and rob’ and other minor street crimes. Today, we are living in a society where bandits do not hesitate to use heavy artillery to rob and kill the innocent in many cases.
The Guyana Police Force embarked on a community involvement process to strive for a reduction in crime and the fear of crime.
These include community policing groups, neighbourhood police, Impact and Traffic Advisories, youth clubs, station management committees, divisional advisories, more interaction with the various stakeholders, and a number of other initiatives.”
Mr. Conway pointed out that there are challenges, especially in the area of manpower, training and equipment, and that the forensic aspect is very critical at this time.
He called on persons not to miss out on the opportunity to serve the country as a member of the Guyana Police Force.
He reiterated his call for members of the public to assist the Force in ensuring that crime in all communities is kept to a minimum. The Commander noted that many persons are aware of the movements of those with criminal intent, but only few would alert the Police.
Mr. Conway feels that there is a need for closer ties between the Police and members of the public. There are times when victims may give a detailed description of their assailants to Police, and subsequently they refuse to identify the suspects in an identification parade.
At a glance, many may conclude that crime generally in the division is on the increase, he posited. However, the statistics do not always support this. Figures are now being complied for the second quarter of this year.
For the period January to June, there were decreases in both reports of indictable and summary crimes.
“However, there has been an increase in murder and break and enter and larceny for this period. “All it takes is for one high profile crime to be committed and then persons would definitely presume that there is an increase in crime. During this, the month of our anniversary observance, we are stepping up our anti-crime and traffic enforcement activities.”
The Commander listed profiling of prisoners, witness support, effective management of crime scenes, forensic investigation and intelligence gathering, the involvement of communities, and interacting with stakeholders as some of the operational tactics used.
Closer collaboration with the Head Quarters and other divisions was also cited for some of the success ranks in Berbice achieved.
Accurate and timely intelligence, rapid response, effective tactics and follow-up and analysis all combined to make up the four-step approach being used for the reduction of crime and traffic offenses.
According to the Assistant Commissioner, the division will continue to involve other stakeholders as it strives for youth development.
In Division ‘B’ there are ten youth clubs. These are spread out at Weldaad and Hopetown on the West Coast of Berbice; Sisters Village on the East Bank of Berbice; Angoy’s Avenue and Smythfield in New Amsterdam; Canefield in East Canje; and Fyrish, Belvedere and Corriverton on the Corentyne. The members are said to be between the ages of nine and 15.
The division is working with these groups to improve their performance in academics and sports, as well as develop skills training.
Two Sundays ago, members of Division ‘B’ handed over a number of table tennis, basketball, football and cricket equipment to the Sisters Village, Angoy’s Avenue, Cumberland and Smythfield Police Youth Groups.
Other activities include a day of sports in each of the three sub-divisions — Fort Wellington, New Amsterdam and Whim — and television programmes on crime and traffic.
The curtain would come down on the month of activities in Berbice on August 3rd with a day of sports for the youth clubs, community policing groups and station management committees.
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