Albouystown business community praises police

Albouystown business community praises police

MAY 7, 2014 | BY  | By Kiana Wilburg

The “Impact Albouystown Project” which initially saw some opposition from some quarters is now being lauded by members of the business community who expressed that they have seen remarkable improvement in the area since its implementation.

 Police officers engage a youth in dialogue about the project.

Leader of the political opposition coalition, David Granger, had expressed that his concern over the project and its “initial impact” on residents of the community, who had also expressed some weeks ago their frustration with the aggressive behaviour of the police officers.

Granger, during his weekly press conference, said that he feels the project was off to a bad start and that there was need for it to be reformed if it is to see any amount of success. He also informed that he made his views pellucid during a meeting with the Commissioner of Police (ag) Seelall Persaud. 

This publication spoke recently with several members of the business community of the neighbourhood.

One businessman who owns a mini food stall expressed that the changes have been welcomed.
“Well at first the project started off on a bad note. The police were not friendly. They felt as though they were on some high horse. So we used to keep away and not tell them anything.

People would complain sometimes that as soon as they leave the shop the police harassing them and checking their stuff. I don’t know what is it that made the police change their behaviour, but now they have a better approach to us. I mean, the police come around to the different shops and they talk to us and now they are very cooperative and friendly and that is what we want to feel, man.

“We don’t want to fear the police. We want to feel that they are here to protect us and work along with us man. They have been keeping watch on the neighbourhood and I can testify that the community is safer. I use to get a lot of breaches at my gate. Sometimes the criminals in the area would break yuh locks or try to stick you up and rob you. I use to fear for my life in here sometimes and I used to be taken advantage of and since the community policing project come, I don’t get dem problems anymore.”

A businesswoman said, “I feel that this is a wonderful initiative. I feel safer in here. The police would now give you updates on the project and tell you what it is all about. I mean the community was kind of skeptical about this project at first, because we didn’t know what kind of behaviour to expect, but yuh know the police eventually came around and they are kinder with us. I am happy about that. Since they are in the community I have seen remarkable improvement in the all-round safety and security in this community. It’s like you could breathe better. I just want to say a big thank you to the Commissioner who thought of this project. He is proving to be a man of vision.”

This publication also approached another businessman of a local shop who is also a farmer. “I would normally get a set of breaking in on my place. People always trying to thief my stock. Now that the police here I don’t get problems at all. I am seeing that their presence is making a big difference here. I would encourage them to continue.”

The members of the business community expressed that considering the remarkable work, some of them will be starting their own mini-programme which involves the provision of coffee and other snacks as tokens of their appreciation of the officers who are working tirelessly to help restore peace and order to the community.

One community member expressed, “We are not doing this for laurels. These guys are doing their jobs but they didn’t have to do this project and we are appreciative of all that they’re doing. We know that in the beginning it was not accepted but trust me, we see where this project is going. For too long the criminal elements have been left to run this area like it’s their little sin city, but not anymore. I along with some other members plan to get some gifts together for the officers. We are also planning to get snacks and lunch for them. It is not often that we get to feel like this with the presence of the police. We want to show our gratitude and we want them to continue with the excellent work. We even got some gifts for them but that is going to be a surprise that they will be very happy for when we give them.”

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  • francis jackson  On 05/15/2014 at 2:36 am

    At last! very good initiative – community and the police working together for the safety of the neighborhood. In my State we have the same initiative started by our former mayor and it works call CAPS – community policing strategy. Once a month the police, homeowners, businesses, community activist, and other high spirited community residents meet at the community center for a monthly meeting; residents are informed of crime stats and complaints – the police works with the community for a safe neighborhood. At the end of the year, a party is held where the police and CAPS members meet to thank each other. Keep the initiative going, if it is good for our communities in the US and produce good results, it is good for Guyana.

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