Charity residents concerned over spike in teen pregnancies, child crimes
…G Division Police to collaborate with stakeholders to curb growing trends
Though several programmes and proposals have been put in place countrywide to address the issues of truancy, teenage pregnancy and children involved in criminal activities, the prevalence of these matters is worrisome to a large number of Essequibians.
Over 50 residents of Charity Village in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) on Sunday last attended a “Face the Community” meeting hosted by Commander of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) G Division, Khali Pareshram, where they voiced several concerns. Guyana Times was told that over 80 per cent of the issues affecting those residents stem from actions by school age children.
Commander Pareshram told this publication that the meeting was held at the Charity Secondary School, and was art of his administration’s drive to improve public trust and create partnerships in “improving Police postures and community relations.”
He explained that at the top of the long list of concerns raised was the matter wherein several persons pointed out that a specific group of young men was committing crimes in their community. According to the Commander, those pinpointed are the same individuals who had alleged “Police brutality” when they were earlier apprehended by Police ranks in relation to other crimes committed.
“The residents called on the Police and the relevant stakeholders to quickly address the very unpleasant situation with the young boys, which has now become unbearable.”
Complaints were also made about other children between the ages of 10 and 14 who are also said to be engaging in criminal activities. Many of these children should be attending school, but, for reasons unknown, they are not in classrooms but are reportedly involved in illegal actions, he noted.
“These children that the residents are complaining about, apparently they are all delinquents, they are not going to school. The residents also said that there are children living in stalls at the Market Centre. A request was made for a truancy campaign (to be launched),” he disclosed.
The residents also pointed out that a growing trend in their community is the issue of an increase in teenage pregnancies. Commander Pareshram noted that they also highlighted that there are young females in their area who are involved in “sexual favours.”
As such, the collective request was that there be an official mentoring programme for the children in that village; and in light of the pressing issues that involve children, it has been decided that an action committee be formed to address them.
The Police Commander added that, due to the nature of these concerns, ‘G’ Division will be partnering with stakeholders from respective Government agencies and regional authorities to tackle these problems, which are resulting in negative effects in that community. (Kristen Macklingam)