– Barama Road Outpost to be strengthened as crime prevention intensifies
The police are to recommence backland patrols in East Coast and West Demerara and Berbice areas.
This is one of the decisions taken at the recent annual Police Officers’ Conference, which ended last Saturday.
Over three days, the officers deliberated on a number of issues and took several decisions aimed at enhancing operational capabilities, the working environment of police ranks and police/community relations.
The recommencement of the backland patrols comes in the wake of a drop in criminal activities as the police are now focusing their attention on crime prevention.
It also comes in light of the changing nature of criminal operations in which criminal elements successfully use the backlands of coastal villages to elude pursuing members of the security forces.
Previously, the focus was on the East Coast and East Bank Demerara backlands, which were frequently used by members of the Buxton/Agricola gang in their escape after committing heinous crimes.
This led to the massive clearing of the backlands of Buxton by the Joint Services, which saw the criminals being flushed from that area and eventually led to their capture and elimination.
A decision was also taken to strengthen the police outpost at 72 km, Barama Road.
The road is seen as a main transit point for criminals operating in the interior locations.
There has been an increase in criminal activity in the vast interior region of Guyana with murders rising and attacks on mining camps creating a problem for the police.
A team of officers has been mandated to assess the implications of the separation of “E & F” Divisions (Interior), while special roaming teams will patrol border and interior locations.
There is also to be the re-invigoration of marine patrols among West Demerara, Essequibo and the interior divisions.
The officers also decided on a Strategic Training Plan for the force. This plan is to be prepared by the Felix Austin Police College (FAPC). It will encompass various aspects of police training to deal with current trends.
It includes training of ranks for the soon to be established forensic laboratory which is to come on stream under the Citizens’ Security Reform Programme.
Kaieteur News understands that in areas where the force is deficient, it may have to source personnel from outside, especially with regards to laboratory technicians.
This move might see the force enlisting persons as Cadet Officers to fill the gap in keeping with the challenge given by President Bharrat Jagdeo for the police force to have 50 new Cadet Officers to make up for the possible shortfall that may arise when the present crop of officers retire.
“We may have to enlist direct entry into this area. While the Cadet Scheme is still officially on the books, there were some objections from the Police Association for vacancies in the officer ranks to be filled from within the force itself,” a senior police officer explained.
Other decisions taken include a Community Outreach Programme featuring the Police Military Band in concert and involving the recruitment section of the FAPC in relation to career development, which is to be conducted in all Police Divisions.
The role of Community Policing Groups is to be expanded to include traffic control and the promotion of Youth Clubs within their communities; there will also be increased participation of the Police Scout Movement in all Divisions.
Another significant decision taken at the conference is for Divisional Commanders to organise periodical Community Days to meet the public in relation to their concerns at a public place in their Divisions.
At present, there are public days during which members of the public meet with the commander at their offices.
A programme of training is to be developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security to assist Neighbourhood Police personnel in social intervention in their communities.
Counseling of ranks who had some traumatic experience in the line of duty is to be done routinely.
There will also be Safe-Driving Competitions for police drivers and civilians, which will be coordinated and conducted countrywide by the Police Traffic Department.
Communicating of crime tips and road safety tips through text messages to members of the public will also be explored.
The training of police ranks in the Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch languages, especially those at border locations, is to be galvanized, while there will be improved use of video lectures during training in all subject areas at the FAPC.
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