Region 6 launches “Team Policing” to address COVID-19
Police in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) will be increasing patrols with the aim of clamping down on businesses that flout the COVID-19 guidelines.
To achieve this, newly-appointed Divisional Commander, Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan on Sunday launched “Team Policing”.
“Team Policing” was launched in the Sub-Division 1 which includes New Amsterdam and East Canje and is expected to be extended to other parts of the Region within the next few weeks.
Commander Ramlakhan on Sunday stated that it is time for the town of New Amsterdam to benefit from 24-hour Police presence.
“As part of this initiative, we will be having a rigid COVID-19 exercise because I have observed that persons are breaching the curfew, persons are breaching the emergency measures and it is time. We have been warning and warning so, as of today a team will be set up to deal with bars and rum shops because they are prohibited from opening as well as gyms,” the Commander explained.
The Commander acknowledged that his actions will not be appreciated by many but he has to uphold the law.
“We are the enforcers of the COVID 19 guidelines and we are going to do just that. There will be no favours and no fear,” he outlined.
Meanwhile, the new Commander has placed emphasis on his human resources and has put systems in place so that the public can receive optimum benefits. Between Friday and Saturday, in excess of eighty officers were transferred within the Region.
Ramlakhan has also involved the Town Constabulary, the business community, the New Amsterdam Post Office and the prisons as part of the initiative.
“Team Policing” will see Police patrols operating on a 24-hour basis along main Street, Stand and Republic Road between King Street and Pope Street.
It will also target Mount Sinai which is popularly referred to as Angoy’s Avenue.
“I can safely say as from now on residents of New Amsterdam can walk freely. Yes, we will make some people uncomfortable, those who want to breach the curfew and the emergency measures.”
On the other hand, Deputy Commander, Superintendent Alistair Roberts explained that “Team Policing” will expand to the other two sub-divisions in the Region. He noted that the enforcement will be done through a collaborative effort of the police and the Guyana Defence Force.
“However, we are encouraging members of the community to assist us when it comes to enforcement because, without the presence of the general population, these bars and rum shops would not have the need to be open.”
He noted that while the police will be enforcing the law, the onus is on persons to protect themselves.
He added that both traffic and criminal Investigations will be given a boost for the exercise. “We have been getting some success but there are a number of intelligence-led operations that will be done during this period,” Roberts posited.
Regional Executive Officer of Region Six, Navindra Persaud welcomed the initiative and explained that crime causes a downturn in economic progress and instability in homes.
“I think this is a start towards improving all the lives of all the people in New Amsterdam.”
Deputy Mayor Wainwright McIntosh pledged the municipality’s full support while noting that it is a positive outlook for progress.
Post Master Wayne Seymour also congratulated the Commander for the bold step, noting that the post office and the police have always had a close relationship to the extent that most post offices are next to police stations.
In addition, Regional Detective Officer, Superintendent Elton Baird said the idea is to have the police work in collaboration with members of the community.
“The police must be seen as a friendly person and not as law enforcement officers only. When we have the police and the community working in close collaboration, information can come from the very community which will aid us in terms of our crime-fighting capabilities. So, this initiative is important,” he noted. (Andrew Carmichael)