The first component of the Citizens Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) was launched on Wednesday with the focus on curbing crime and violence in targeted communities.
The programme is a collaborative effort between the Public Security Ministry and the Inter-American Development (IDB), which is funding the CSSP.
Some 20 communities in Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) have been identified for the ‘Community Crime and Violence Prevention’ project – component one of the CSSP.
The CSSP aims at reducing crime and violence in Guyana, especially in the targeted communities and among youths, by increasing their human and social capacity through various programmes; such as skills training, developing community leadership in violence prevention and promoting community cohesion, among others.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan pointed out that the crime rate in Guyana is compounded by the high incidents of violent behaviours at the community level, especially among youths.
He mentioned the recent incident where 13-year-old Daveanand Sanichar was beaten to death just over a week ago a few houses away from his Plantain Walk, Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara, home. The Minister also reflected on another incident where an 18-year-old was in the company of his father and another individual when they carried out the gruesome triple murder at Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder.
“So this component of the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme is a grass-roots attempt designed to address these kinds of crime and violence at the community level by reducing the contributing factors while at the same time strengthening the protective factors,” he stated.
IDB Country Representative, Sophie Makonnen, also underscored the importance of having community participation in efforts to curb crime and violence, noting that it is a key component of any Citizens’ Security Strengthening Programme.
She pointed out that the CSSP will contribute to addressing the key causes of crime and violence while at the same time, contributing to institutional strengthening as well.
Of the US$15 million loan from the IDB, some US$5.7 million will be spent on the first component to support the ‘Community Crime and Violence Prevention’ under the CSSP.
Among the 20 communities to benefit from this project are Vreen-en-Hoop and Westminster in Region Three; Rosignol in Region Five; Wismar in Region 10, and Friendship-Kildonan, Albion-Fyrish, Port Mourant and Rose Hall, Adelphi Village and Canefield and Angoy’s Avenue in Region Six.
Other communities are Albouystown; Charlestown; Sophia; South Ruimveldt Park and Gardens, North Ruimveldt; Alberttown and South Cummingsburg; Kingston and Lacytown, La Pentience and West Ruimveldt, Agricola-McDoom; Mocha-Providence; Annandale-Lusignan; Buxton-Friendship and Vigilance, and Enmore-Haslington in Region Four. (Vahnu Manickchand)