By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The residents of Festival City and North Ruimveldt on Friday evening, September 18 held a meeting with senior officials from the Guyana Police Force with the aim of addressing the current crime situation in the community.
The meeting saw the attendance of senior police officials from the ‘A’ Division including, Inspector Frederick Joe. Over the past weeks, crime in the area has escalated to “scary” heights as several persons are robbed and beaten as they make their way home at nights.
During the meeting, residents raised some critical points with the security officials as they sought to arrive at common ground on how to address the crime situation.
One resident stated that the Community Policing Group (CPG), which has been defunct for some time now, needs to be revitalized. The Organiser of the event, Margaret Lawrence expounded on this point, adding that residents now need to demand the security they need from officials and those in office.
“We need to demand that the outpost is serviced properly and they have the right resources. We are tired of calling and hearing that they don’t have vehicles,” said Lawrence.
One of the participants, who identified himself as the leader of the CPG, stated that via the task force, a decision should be made for night time policing groups.
According to Brian Thompson, the government cannot do it alone and the community needs to join in the fight.
“When the task force is formed I will better engage the task force on strategic approaches we can use to tackle this issue of crime…there is a master plan…there is a master plan that represents community policing and there is a master plan that addresses youths in power,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Head of the Festival City Parent/Youth Organization (FCPYO), Richard Taylor, stated that a more hands on approach need to be adopted in order to address the issue and see some results.
He said that he had several conversations with authorities on the issues affecting the community, but it never got past the level of talks.
“You cannot come into a community and say you want a CPG without engaging the community leaders…I don’t deh pon talk shop, Iz deh pon work shop,” said Taylor.
Pointing an issue that was raised earlier in the discussion about the lack of resources, Taylor urged that residents improvise and not depend on the government to do everything.
“You do not need a vehicle to patrol Festival City…. You have other alternatives….if you can’t have a motor vehicle, you use a bicycle,” he stated.
He also noted that several defunct structures in the community need to be cleared, pointing out that there is a Guyana Marketing Corporation building that is currently abandoned and serves as a haven for criminal elements.
“Get rid of the abandoned buildings…we have to come out and do it…couple of years ago certain crimes never used to happen in Festival City,” said Taylor