Police, stakeholders meet with Charity residents to address concerns about children

first_img…Education Ministry officials no-showThe increase in teen pregnancies and the spike in children involved in criminal activities are the two main issues affecting residents in Charity, Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam)This is according to Commander of G Division (Essequibo Coast-Islands), Khali Pareshram, who told Guyana Times that during a meeting with dozens of residents, the police were told that these issues stem from truancy acts.As such, a stakeholder meeting was recently held between the residents and various Government agencies to discuss solutions to these pressing issues, however, representatives from the region’s Education Department were a no-show.“Some persons pledged to have more children registered in the Police Youth Group and this was done in an effort to instil values and skills in the youths. Noticeably absent at the meeting was the Education Department, whose input was much needed to deal with truancy among other matters.  Despite a written invitation was sent,” the Commander related.However, in attendance were the Regional Executive Officer, Dennis Jaikarran, and representatives from the Child Care and Protection Agency, Probation and Welfare Department and Charity/Urasara Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).According to Commander Pareshram, several other issues were raised and addressed.“In addition, an Action Group was formed, mainly to deal with delinquent youths in the Charity community. Members of this group comprise of residents and stakeholders with the Child Care and Protection Agency as the lead agency. Matters raised in respect to the NDC of Charity were numerous and this has prompted a separate visit by Mr Jaikarran to address the many irregularities.”It was also noted that many skilled persons offered their services to support the functioning of the Police Youth Group at Charity.“With the current systems in place coupled with the Action Group, residents of Charity have now felt satisfied that efforts were made to deal with their difficulties,” the Police Commander added.One week before this meeting, over 50 residents of Charity, Region Two, turned up to a “Face the Community” meeting hosted by G Division of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) 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-aged children.Commander Pareshram explained that at the top of the long list of concerns raised was the matter, which was pointed out by several persons, that a specific group of young men are committing crimes in their community.The Commander added that 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 schools, however, for reasons unknown, they are not in classrooms but 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.”The residents of Charity 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”. (Kristen Macklingam)last_img read more