GUYANA: Speak up - EntornoInteligente / Guyana Chronicle / Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, speaking to children at a youth conference on Sunday (Adrian Narine photo) — Min. Ramjattan urges youths to expose criminal activities in their communities — says several social programmes on stream to tackle scourge THE Ministry of Public Security has realised that the traditional policing system would no longer be able to contain the level of crime in society and through the Community Police Groups (CPGs), it intends to employ social programmes to combat crime.

“Over the years, we have realised that community policing must not only be a supplement for law enforcement, but must use social programmes within the community to lessen the crime rate,” said Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, during his address to children and their parents at a youth conference at the Mahaicony Community Centre on Sunday.

The youth conference was one of many activities that were scheduled to be held throughout the year to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of CPGs in Guyana. Community policing has been an integral part of crime-fighting, but the minister said their missions could not be successful without the support of the residents of the community. He believes the relationship between the residents and the CPGs must continue, especially since the residents would be able to guide and enlighten the groups about the subjects to include in the social programmes.

Children did a skit to raise awareness about teenage pregnancy (Adrian Narine photo) The residents would also be able to mobilise youths who would be the main beneficiaries of the programmes. “One of the first people to be targeted are young people and their parents, because we need to get the youths out of bad habits,” said Minister Ramjattan, adding that many studies showed that youth who participate in positive social activities turn out to be better adults.

On the negative aspect, he referred to recent studies that revealed that children from the age of 11 years old use illicit drugs in school. “The findings of those studies were startling, because these were children from top schools but, we want to use these findings to target our young people of today and make them better,” said Minister Ramjattan.

The minister pointed out that there are a lot of other illicit activities going on in the communities and even in households, but persons are not speaking up.

SPEAK UP “Very many of us would prefer to keep quiet and not speak out…when we keep it in and we don’t talk we gonna suffer more violence because silence is violence,” said Minister Ramjattan.

He encouraged children to speak out if they are aware of persons being involved in criminal activities.

Instead of being involved in illicit activities, he urged the children to read more, stay in school and become professionals in whatever field they prefer. Some of the children who spoke with the Guyana Chronicle said they were excited to be a part of the youth conference, because they intend to teach their colleagues what they learnt.

GUYANA: Speak up

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