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Police aiming for better youths in Agricola

Members of the Agricola Chosen Generation Police Youth Group pose with senior police officers, Scout Leader Welton Clarke and Headmistress of St. Anne’s Primary School Melissa Haynes

After the capture of criminals in Agricola in recent years, the Guyana Police Force on Saturday embarked on a strategy to mould very young children in that East Bank Demerara community to become future leaders.

The strategy included Saturday’s launch of the Agricola Chosen Generation Police Youth Group at the St. Anne’s Primary School.  The 71 enlisted participants would be taught sporting disciplines, public speaking, etiquette, literacy, numeracy and skills and respect for authorityAlso on the cards are visiting other communities and participating in camps with other groups to integrate and network with other youths. They would then be encouraged to join the Police Scouts Group as part of an ongoing plan to create better citizens.

“The main objective of the group is to get a little more discipline and concern about their community and own personal development,” said Community Scout Leader, Welton Clarke. He told Demerara Waves Online News that he hoped that the youth group to reduce their vulnerability to negative activities.

Commander of “A” Division, Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken recalled that years ago Agricola was a “village of interest” where criminals in and out of that community had targeted law-abiding citizens. “We denied them the role models in terms of raids and our searches, we charged the persons who perpetrated the act of crimes and brought stability to Agricola,” he added.

Acknowledging that “confrontational policing” would not always work, Hicken said the police force decided to embrace parents in a mutually beneficial partnership to empower the children.

“No sense we try to develop the children without the involvement of the parents. It is necessary if we’re to change and curb the attitudes of the little children because of prevailing role models that were available to them then,” he told the gathering.

The Commander appealed to stakeholders to continue supporting the police in this venture to transform the community into generating future leaders.

In what appears to be a two-pronged approach, the Police Force would be also engaging the parents by training them in catering at the Agricola Industrial Arts Centre.  Hicken hoped that the training would not only help the mothers gain employment but also form themselves into a group that can supply food to the community. “We thought of dealing with the parents so that they could be young entrepreneurs,” he said.

The Police Force plans to supply ingredients and provide transportation to participants from other East Bank Demerara communities.