ADMINISTRATOR of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Community Policing Groups (CPG), Rishi Das, says the unit’s membership has doubled since the start of the year.
Since January, 139 groups have been formed, taking the total so far to 225 CPGs, with some 2,215 additional members taking the total membership to 4,225.
“If we look at the figures, it will be every month membership onboard is 316 and forming of groups each month within January to date, is 20 groups per month.
“So, we are reaching the achievement that minister has given us of over 5,500 persons. So, we are working towards the goal and so far, we are doing well,” Das told DPI in a recent interview.
He said groups were formed in areas such as Moruca and Mabaruma in Region One; Santa Mission in Region Three, at Orealla and Siparuta in Region Six; and in several communities along the coast. Das said being in the groups and meeting the people are the key factors that led to the massive increase in membership countrywide.
“It is about visitation. Most of the areas that we visit, they complain about visitation, that the secretariat that was prior never visit them. Some areas, three and four years, they never got a visit.
“They only go and form the groups and never go back to see what is going on. I would call it management by walking around. If you do not go and visit, you would not get anything coming out from them,” he said.
Additionally, the administrator said the CPGs continue to work hand-in-hand with the Guyana Police Force to address crime in communities. He said the policing group has since assisted with recapturing two escaped prisoners.
In November, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn relaunched the CPGs with a focus on rebuilding, boosting membership and regaining trust within communities in order to prevent crime. In 2019, CPGs reportedly assisted in dismantling carjacking rings on the East Coast and Soesdyke Linden Highway. They also discovered an illegal airstrip in Region Nine.
Das said the CPGs are assisting in flood relief efforts and the fight against COVID-19 in communities countrywide.