Hanover cops turn to social intervention to fight crime
Without waiting on the input of external agencies, the leadership of the Hanover Police Division has launched an ambitious social intervention agenda, which is designed to promote integration, curb lawlessness, and restore peace to the parish.
According to the parish's commanding officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police Sharon Beeput, in addition to its all-out war on criminal gangs, the police are also pushing aggressively to re-establish police youth clubs and the neighbourhood watches, which had gone dormant.
"We want to apprehend the criminals, but we also want to help the people to rebuild their communities," said Beeput. "We want them (the people) to see the police as their partners for the greater good, not their enemies."
She added, "At present, we even have a police team participating in the Hopewell Community Football League."
While her ultimate plan is to see a reduction in all major crimes going into the latter part of the year, Beeput said that despite recent successes such as the killing of three of Hanover's most wanted men and the seizure of several guns, she would not be comfortable until residents start feeling safe in their communities once again.
"We have been going into the communities and talking to the people, and we believe our message is getting through as life is steadily returning to some of the dormant neighbourhood watches and youth clubs," said Beeput. "I have a committed team of police officers working with me, and we have a shared vision to make Hanover safe again."
IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE
Beeput has also been extending herself to addressing social issues affecting the parish to include working closely with the National Works Agency to fix
problematic potholes along the major thoroughfare in and around the Lucea township.
"We are committed to doing the things that will help to improve the quality of life for the people. We want them to realise that we are here to help them make their communities better," said Beeput.
With the foundation steadily being laid to win the confidence and the support of the residents, Beeput said that the next stop is to forge a partnership with the Social Development Commission, the Hanover Lay Magistrates' Association, and the business community to develop sustainable programmes to help the communities.
"When we move out the gangs, we want to fill the vacated space with meaningful programmes to help to better the communities," she said. "We want to fix Hanover, and with the help of the various stakeholders, we are going to do it."