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Social crime prevention paying off- Top Cop

Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud addressing a seminar for the Police Divisional Community Relations Officers and Subordinate Officers in Charge of Stations.

Buoyed by a 15 percent reduction in serious crimes last year due attributed to a Social Crime Prevention Programme, the Guyana Police Force on Saturday widened the involvement of the religious community in helping to building trust between police and the public.

Police Commissioner said since the engagement of a church and mosque in Albouystown about two years ago and the spreading of the involvement of the religious community to other areas of Guyana, he said there has been a 15 percent decline in serious crimes. “We looked in the society and there is nothing that happened significantly that we can attribute that reduction to and when we look at the services we deliver, save and except the introduction of the crime prevention programme, there is nothing really that’s significant.

“Off course we don’t understand that a number of factors would have impacted the reduction but that is the most significant thing that has occurred and so we are motivated by that and our partners are motivated by that,” he said.

Latest statistics show that there are 40 percent recidivists, new entrants between 17 and 22 years old and the continuous involvement of criminals between 16 and 35 years.  “It speaks to the effectiveness of the justice system as a deterrent and as a corrective institution and we see that behaviour changes because they were involved in a life of crime between 16 and 35 (years) a lot of them am sure moved on to other areas,” he said.

He said the law enforcement agency, through its network of members of the faith-based community, would be also encouraging residents to install lights and surveillance cameras on their premises.

Persaud hopes that doing so would assist in deterring crime and provide evidence to investigators when required. The Top Cop envisages that the network of faith-based personnel will help identify crime threats and inform police.

With the family being the earliest and most important institution that newborns are socialized by, the Police Commissioner urged participants to lead the way in their own homes and communities in inculcating positive behaviours.”I am saying to the members of the force-‘start with ours’- start with our own family and then spread around,” he said.

The Guyana Police Force also plans to engage building experts to advise prospective property owners on how to design and construct properties that would minimize criminal activities.

Saturday’s seminar for Divisional Community Relations Officers Subordinate Officers in Charge of Stations was facilitated by Reverend Raphael Massiah.

In addition to the excellent work being done by the Cops and Faith Network (CFN)  to counsel and motivate  several categories of criminals, who have been arrested, the  GPF  has been engaged in programmes to impart life-skills, moral education, entrepreneurial skills, discipline, anger management sport and other positive human development activities